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luvtoread25 luvtoread25 is offline
 
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Questions about fluency rates and students' reading growth for first grade
Old 05-24-2014, 09:44 AM
 
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Does your school set quarterly benchmarks for reading fluency? If so, what are the rates for each quarter and how are they assessed? Do you use Dibels, Aimsweb, or something else? Do you administer the assessments or does someone else pull students for assessment? What do you personally think is an appropriate end of the year rate for first grade? Do you also assess nonsense word fluency? What is your personal opinion about NWF? Do you think these two components are adequate indicator's of a student's growth and achievement in reading?


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Old 05-24-2014, 06:32 PM
 
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Our reading assessments include DIBELS with Mclass TRC and STAR Reading. We usually administer the test, but sometimes an aide will pull them out. I check fluency in my room weekly and graph their progress. Our end of the year rate is 60wpm for mastery. I personally think NWF is fun. I think comprehension needs to be tested. We do DORF with 3 passages and retelling. TRC also does comprehension as does STAR.
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Dibels
Old 05-25-2014, 03:29 AM
 
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We have been using Dibels the last two years. I administer the test myself. I like the nonsense words part because it gives me an idea on how they are in their phonics skills. I don't like the Dorf because I feel like the passages are not relevant to them so it makes it harder... It's good to have data and we do progress monitoring for some kids during the year. I only progress monitored the kids who were well below benchmark and only for nonsense words. The kids who are that low are not ready for dorf passages anyways. I would also love to hear how others feel about Dibels...
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Dibels
Old 05-25-2014, 08:02 AM
 
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I give the Dibels to my kids by myself during the time I usually do guided reading groups. It takes me about 8 -10 days (lots of interruptions of course) to do 25 kids and I'm in the middle of it right now.

The Good- I like Dibels for the information it gives me about a child's letter sounds, blending, decoding, and reading fluency. One child may do poorly on NWF because he doesn't know the sounds, another because she can't blend yet, and another because he's just not quick enough yet. It's a good measure to identify at-risk kids, so you can provide intervention and progress monitor quickly.

The Bad- What I hate is that my district uses it to label kids. They assume a low DORF score means the child is a below level reader. It just means they're not reading quickly enough yet. Our first graders need to get a DORF=57+ at this time of year to be considered "on-level". It's all developmental. I'm far more concerned with their ability to read accurately, rather than quickly, at this point. My district has also begun to use the Dibels scores in teacher evaluations. YUCK!
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Thanks!
Old 05-25-2014, 10:40 AM
 
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Thank you to those of you who have responded so far. I posted this here and on the k-2 board because I was hoping for lots of responses. We are using Aimsweb. This is also being used as a vendor approved assessment to determine student growth which is 50% of our evaluation as well.
My issue with both the CBM and NWF is that we spend the entire year in small guided reading groups doing picture walks, building background, making predictions, teaching reading strategies, and telling students that what they read has to make sense. This is also done with differentiated leveled books, passages, poems, etc. Then 3 times a year, we pull all of that support away to see how many words (both real and nonsense) students can read in a minute on a grade level text that many of them may not be ready for yet. If it was simply used for diagnostic purposes, it would be fine; however I already know which students in my room will perform poorly on this and why. Some of my better readers don't do well on nonsense words because they are trying to make the words make sense in their minds. They recognize words easily, understand the sense of story when they read, and quickly use a variety of reading strategies to figure out words they don't automatically know. It takes some students a minute or longer just to get focused on the task and some simply don't do well on timed tests. Some of my lower readers excel at NSW fluency because they rely more on phonics components to sound out words as they read. I also have good readers who read with accuracy and expression and have good comprehension, but who do not read fast. I do not feel that these assessments give a true and complete picture of the students as real readers. I know how much growth they have made since the beginning of the year, but these assessments do not always show that. Some of my best readers scored in the 70-90 range on the CBM. They still made tremendous growth from the fall, but a score of 90 falls in the average category for national norms. I only had two students out of a class of some of the best readers I have ever had who scored above average. To me, a good reader reads accurately, with good expression and appropriate rate, and understands what he or she reads and enjoys reading! I don't care how many words they read in a minute! Reading is not a race.
On our evaluations, a teacher can receive the highest rating possible based on observations and walkthroughs, but that rating will drop if students do not achieve above or well above expected growth in both reading and math. The students have to read more than 100 words a minute to achieve above average. I am not sure how developmentally appropriate this is. Sorry this is so long, but I am a little frustrated by this.


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Old 05-25-2014, 04:36 PM
 
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Just an idea- there are in between passages for Aimsweb that you can use to progress monitor your students throughout the year. It would also get them used to reading a passage with no picture support or background. And get used to the 1 minute timing. Another idea is to use a program like Read Naturally a few times a month in your room. There is background and vocabulary support, however, the students practice with a partner on one minute timings. It is just too bad how much emphasis is placed on scores now.
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:52 PM
 
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I do use the passages to progress monitor those who are below level in both CBM and NWF. They are timed throughout the year in many other areas as well, but some of the students still struggle with this. Our instructional aides also pull students for the Aimsweb testing. Some of my students get frustrated easily and the aides do not always know how to get them back on track.
I agree that there is way too much emphasis on scores.
I will check into Read Naturally.
Thanks for your input.
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