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WWYD? Son and Reading
Old 01-04-2013, 04:05 PM
  #1

My son is in kindergarten at my school. I decided last night to DRA him just to see where he's at. I have NO intention of telling his teacher that I did a DRA on him.

He passed a 4 and 6 with flying colors (one miscue on the 6 and good comprehension). I didn't go on to an 8 because we had to get going.

At my school we track every student's reading level, and this information is available to every teacher. I recently looked to see where he's at, and she has him at an instructional 3. There is a significant difference between a 3 and an 8. A 3 is still very repetitive while an 8 is an actual story with a beginning, middle, and end.

I'm concerned because this is a significant difference. It was one level it wouldn't be a big deal.

So, I'm wondering if I should ask her about it. I was thinking about saying something like, "I'm wondering what level X is reading at in school because at home he's been doing great with level 6 books". She actually hasn't mentioned his DRA level to me since conferences at the beginning of October, so she wouldn't assume that I would know. Also, she probably wouldn't assume that I looked at his level where we keep track of everyone's level.

The other thing that irks me is that when they did his DRA at the beginning of the year, he was at an independent 2/instructional 3 which means she has him at the same level since September.

I feel like I have to bring it up so that's not really the issue, but is what I said above okay? Any other suggestions?


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you may be concerned
Old 01-04-2013, 04:14 PM
  #2

you are the parent. Do remember that the atmosphere in a classroom is more distracting than sitting at home with an adult. Maybe you could approach it from a the view "Where is "Bobbie at in reading?"Is he having difficulty progressing? What areas do you see him struggling? What can we do to support his reading at home?" Good luck...
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:16 PM
  #3

IMO, I spend more time teaching and less time testing children. Their scores are often incorrect and we all know it. For whatever reason a child who can't count to ten scores at a third grade level and our gifted fifth grader tested as a pre-primer.
The better question, is the work he is doing appropriate? Is she challenging him? Does he like school or is he bored? Many 5K teachers are pretty in-tune with their students development and abilities.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:17 PM
  #4

Thank you! Yes, I know his classroom environment could be different than when I tested him. That said, 3 and 8 are really significantly different that I'm not sure the environment could cause such a difference.

I spend more time teaching and less time testing children. Their scores are often incorrect and we all know it.

Yes, but a 3 and an 8 are significantly different. She probably should be testing him as she's kept him at the same level since September.
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DRA2 done 3 times a year
Old 01-04-2013, 04:17 PM
  #5

We have been directed to only do 3 DRA2's each year..in Sept/Oct, Jan/Feb and then in May, so I see no worries. We still keep them moving along, it is not a good use of kindergarten time to DRA2 more frequently IMO. If he has made such growth his teacher is doing the right thing.


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Old 01-04-2013, 04:18 PM
  #6

we have been told to not pass kids on to the next level until their writing is commesurate with their reading. So although I had fourth graders who read Level T (beginning of 5th grade texts) at the beginning of fourth grade, I am keeping them right at this level. They did not, and are not, indepependently writing multi- paragraph pieces with strong introductions and conclusions. In fact, when my most accomplished reader was asked to write a reading response, he wrote 2 sentences in bulleted format. Not at all what I would expect from an accomplished fifth grade writer (or fourth grade for that matter).

How is your son's writing? Can he write a complete sentence with proper letter formation, spacing, punctuation and spelling? I know by the end of kindergarten many kids are writing 2 sentences. Can he do this?

I would talk to his teacher and find out why he is still in repetitive texts. She may have a very reasonable answer. And perhaps she will be happy to have more information from you that will get him at a more appropriate reading placement.
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Testing Your Child
Old 01-04-2013, 04:20 PM
  #7

I think you can approach the teacher, but you will need to be honest. IMHO, you need to tell her you tested him.

I can see where he might still be at the same level. It is possible his daily work does not show that he is ready for the next level or achieving above the level where he is working...in which case, she would not test him to see if he can move up. I always looked for "signs" the child was ready for testing, and a move up (sometimes down).

Will the teacher be using the same testing materials you used when she tests your child the next time?

If she does and if you have not told her you tested him, she is going to get false info because your son will already have taken these tests. The other thing that is going to happen is that your son will mention to her that he has already taken this test, and if I was the teacher, I would wonder how that happened.
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Dra
Old 01-04-2013, 04:21 PM
  #8

We DRA kids 3 times a year. Our middle of year check is in January. If yours is the same maybe she is waiting to update it officially when she does the next DRA. You might ask if she can check it because he's reading well at home. I wouldn't get too anal about it though. He's in a really good place for midyear kindergarten either way. She'll probably know you tested him when she DRAs next because he'll say I already read that book with Mom! My kids attended my school and I had to bite my tongue lots of times for peace. You probably won't like the way the other teachers will do everything. My advice is to hold your tongue which I know is hard!
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:29 PM
  #9

Personally, I'd let it go. It seems as if bringing it up could be a perceived stepping on toes and could be intimidating (it's hard enough teaching a teacher's kid without any added stress).

It's kindergarten, let him enjoy the easy books! At home, he can work through more challenging ones if he wants, but I wouldn't push it.

If this were a case of a wrong GPA calculation in high school with college admissions and scholarships riding on it, then go ahead and make a comment.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:30 PM
  #10

Quote:
We still keep them moving along, it is not a good use of kindergarten time to DRA2 more frequently IMO
You can move a child up in the guided reading group levels without doing a DRA. She isn't keeping him moving along if she's had him at the same level since September.

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How is your son's writing? Can he write a complete sentence with proper letter formation, spacing, punctuation and spelling? I know by the end of kindergarten many kids are writing 2 sentences. Can he do this?
He is writing beyond where a K student should be right now and at school (I've seen his writing). As far as complete sentence with correct punctuation, spelling, etc...no, of course not, but that wouldn't be developmentally appropriate even for a child at a DRA 6/8. But, yes, he knows all the major sight words (can read them and write most of them), he can stretch sounds in words he doesn't know.

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Will the teacher be using the same testing materials you used when she tests your child the next time?
No, we have two kits. I know which one she would use at the end of the year.

Quote:
t is possible his daily work does not show that he is ready for the next level or achieving above the level where he is working...in which case, she would not test him to see if he can move up.
She doesn't have to test him to move him up a couple levels. She can just move him up. We test at the beginning and end of the year (and as needed) formally. Otherwise it's observations, running records, etc...As far as his daily work, it seems pretty easy (at least what I've seen). Of course I'm not in the room to watch him but I'm still concerned.


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Old 01-04-2013, 04:34 PM
  #11

Wow, I am so surprised that so many of you have said to "just let it go". If I had a child in my class several levels below where he or she should be, I wouldn't feel good about that.

Quote:
It's kindergarten, let him enjoy the easy books!
He doesn't really enjoy them!
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:35 PM
  #12

I was in a similar situation with DD in second grade. She has performance anxiety at school and her teacher was reluctant to test her on the next higher level because she didn't want to stress her out. It'd been the same thing at the beginning of the year, a reluctance to see how far she could legitimately go. I called her on it mid-year. Teacher explained reluctance to push. Because we had a fairly good working relationship, I called her on it, said she was afraid to frustrate DD (even though I wouldn't have minded and could have dealt with any concern). She didn't. Finally, I just said, Then don't, but she's doing a 20 at home. We'll just keep doing it. Unbeknownst to me, she pulled DD aside the next day, tested her, and had the courage to say I was right and moved her to the next higher reading group.
Do you mind me asking how often you're expected to update reading levels at school? I can totally imagine having marked at the beginning of the year when we did initial DRAs, moving the group through the books but forgetting to update formal reading chart even though the kids have moved on in class.....at least until we do mid-year reassessment. Is this possible for your DS's teacher? I'd explain what you did here---checked him at home, noticed his progress on the reading chart (or lack of progress) and express concern over discrepancy.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:36 PM
  #13

I am a Kindergarten teacher and my first thought is that he has not been DRAed since early fall! In K it is extremely rare to DRA kids more than 3x a year, tops. In our district we are actually told to do it in January/February and again in May and that's it! I would also hesitate to DRA him again at home. At this age they thinking nothing of saying in an excited tone of voice, "I read that book at home with my mom!" And keep in mind that if he is testing out for you at a level 6 she must be doing something right in her reading instruction or he wouldn't be there, and so must you! It is a struggle to get most K kids to a level 6 by the end of the year!

Nancy
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Talk to the teacher
Old 01-04-2013, 04:37 PM
  #14

It seems that is what you want to do anyway. We Benchmark in Dibels in Sept., Jan., and May. If DRA is similar, maybe you should wait until she has given it and ask for a conference then.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:44 PM
  #15

Quote:
Is this possible for your DS's teacher? I'd explain what you did here---checked him at home, noticed his progress on the reading chart (or lack of progress) and express concern over discrepancy.
We update the chart monthly. We mark by the month which is how I know it's up to date.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:44 PM
  #16

I'm not sure what you should do, but with that said, I'm wondering if all parents have access to the record of levels that you looked at? If not, I think you might have abused you position a little bit... Maybe I am not understanding correctly, though, in which case, I apologize.

I have a had a similar situation with a student on my team whose mom is a secretary at the school and can access all of the final grades online, which parents cannot. Her mom looked at her report card the week before conferences for them, and it turned into a commotion (at the wrong time) because she was unhappy with something and her daughter was telling all of her friends that she had already seen her report card. It kind of left a bad taste in all of our mouths, so I think you are right to not tell the teacher that you did this.

Does he get sent home with any books? What level are they on? How does the work sent home look? Just because the file you saw says one level, doesn't necessarily mean that she is only giving him work on that level...perhaps she just hasn't updated it yet? If you are concerned, you have every right to ask, but definitely phrase it in a way that you are just curious about his level as he has been doing well at home.

Good luck either way - I do hope your son gets what he needs! And I hope I didn't offend you. I just wanted you to know how it comes off based on personal experience. I know you are just trying to do what's best for your son though
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I teach 1st not K
Old 01-04-2013, 05:12 PM
  #17

we now do DRAs 3x a year. We are not happy about the winter/Jan. testing. It takes a long time to test all the kids one by one reading book after book to find the level. We need to cancel all the guided reading instruction groups to do the testing. We test in Sept. set up our groups do Running Records on one child in each group every day, meaning I have a running record on every child in my class every week. Why DRA besides? Cancelling the instructional groups for the testing just puts them several lessons behind. How is that helping them progress?
Does the K teacher do running records on an ongoing basis? Do you have a whole day or a half day K? Does he bring home his guided reading books every day or every other day? What level are the books he brings home? In K they are not usually expected to write in response to reading. They may practice writing a word, but not responding in writing.
If you do bring this up with the K teacher, try to get a great mind set before you go in. Your admitting being "irked" may not set the right tone in the conference, not that you would use that word, but your irritation may come across. If the K teacher is an experienced teacher, she will know you tested him at home, and she will know you looked up his scores, you do not need to tell her.
You also did not inform us in your post your professional relationship with her. Is it a big school and you don't really know her or is she someone you talk to every day and eat lunch with. That will make a difference in how formal the conference is.
I am wondering how you tested him at home? Did you bring the DRA kit out of the school for personal use? Since you did it only with your own child I am sure you will go without a consequence, but I will tell you that a teacher I know did that to check on kids she was tutoring and she was in a BOAT LOAD of trouble. District purchased materials may never be used for personal use, whether you are being paid or not.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:58 PM
  #18

I did a second DRA and the principal said I should not have done that because it isn't our window to do so. I wanted the info for my reading groups before break but the testing window is after break. It is also after report cards. That means I have to report September DRA scores on report cards even though I know they are higher. Doesn't make sense to me.

As a former kinder teacher we did not do DRA. We start in first. If you are really concerned I would talk to the teacher. It is hard being a parent and a teacher. Hopefully the teacher can give you answers. One thing I noticed as a first grade teacher that moved to kinder was that the kinder teachers did not all have the books or training to work with a higher level kinder reader. Does the teacher have level 6 and 8 books? Does she stop testing at a certain level?
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My first thought
Old 01-04-2013, 06:03 PM
  #19

was to put yourself in this teacher's place. Would you want a parent testing their child without you knowing about it, and then asking you why you aren't doing what you're supposed to?
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I'd leave it alone...
Old 01-04-2013, 06:18 PM
  #20

The important part is that you know your child is reading and improving. I would not appreciate a colleague approaching me on this topic. My kids went to the same school where I teach and I was always very careful to know the difference between acting as a mom a pad acting like a teacher. You have access to information that other parents do not since you are a teacher there. Don't misuse that info.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:31 PM
  #21

As a parent and a teacher, I understand that you wanted to know how your child was doing. On the other hand, it seems that since you don't feel comfortable telling your son's teacher that you tested him, maybe you shouldn't have tested him with school materials at home. If I took a DRA kit home, it would be seriously questioned. If I was your son's teacher and found out that you tested him and were questioning me about it without being honest about everything, I would be greatly offended. They will probably have an idea that something is not on the up and up and feel strange. That does not make for the best learning environment for your son. I think you either need to drop it or tell them what you have done and apologize. Then ask for recommendations about working with him, etc.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:42 PM
  #22

I am tired of the politics of education. As this child's teacher, I would be embarrassed to have my student reading so below their correct level, but ultimately I want what's best for the student. I would be grateful (as long as it's approached in a helpful, non-judgmental way) for the assistance and I might ask you to test the rest of the kids as well.
Just approach her in a helpful manner and it should be fine. At least, that's what I think.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:46 PM
  #23

Quote:
Why DRA besides? Cancelling the instructional groups for the testing just puts them several lessons behind. How is that helping them progress?
Where in my post did I say that I expect her to cancel groups and test? A child can move levels without being formally DRA tested. So many of you have said you DRA 2/3 times a year. We do too, but kids still move levels in groups. Please do not tell me you only move kids up levels after you've DRA tested your 2/3 times a year?

Quote:
I'm wondering if all parents have access to the record of levels that you looked at?
I am a teacher at the school with access. We are all able to access anyone's reading level chart (and this is known). I did not abuse my privilege. That's not the point of my post anyways, so no need to accuse me of this.

Quote:
Does he get sent home with any books? What level are they on? How does the work sent home look?
Level 3 and they are too easy.

Quote:
Your admitting being "irked" may not set the right tone in the conference, not that you would use that word, but your irritation may come across. If the K teacher is an experienced teacher, she will know you tested him at home, and she will know you looked up his scores, you do not need to tell her.
You also did not inform us in your post your professional relationship with her.
Yes, I am irked. She is an experienced teacher and we worked together on the same grade level previously. We have a professional relationship. We have less of a personal relationship now that we are on different grade levels, but we are friendly to each other. I wasn't planning to have a formal sit down chat about it and accuse her of not meeting his needs (I would NEVER do that). I am just concerned that my son is not working on the level that he is capable of. Is it so bad to want that? Based on this post, I'm feeling like I shouldn't want that!

Quote:
I am wondering how you tested him at home? Did you bring the DRA kit out of the school for personal use? Since you did it only with your own child I am sure you will go without a consequence, but I will tell you that a teacher I know did that to check on kids she was tutoring and she was in a BOAT LOAD of trouble. District purchased materials may never be used for personal use, whether you are being paid or not.
You know...this really isn't the issue here. Why even bother bringing this up? NO, I did not test him at home. I tested him AT SCHOOL in my classroom. It was after school hours and not on my duty time. My district doesn't get ramped up like that. I've taken guided reading books home to work with kids. Heck, I've gone in during the summer to get books from the curriculum for college courses and my principal could care less. So, this is a non-issue.

Quote:
Does the teacher have level 6 and 8 books? Does she stop testing at a certain level?
Yes, we have plenty of books at all levels. No we do not stop testing at a certain level. We DRA all through elementary up to 5th grade.

Quote:
Would you want a parent testing their child without you knowing about it, and then asking you why you aren't doing what you're supposed to?
Honestly, if the parent was concerned, why not? I would never ask her "why she's not doing what she's supposed to be doing". I am not that kind of person. And honestly, I wouldn't allow a child to be working at a level that much lower than he or she is capable of.
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Old 01-04-2013, 06:52 PM
  #24

You know what...you are about the only person who didn't make me feel like crap for posting about my son's reading and my concerns about this.

At the end of the day, I am a mother who wants my son to be working at his level. I like his teacher (a lot) and I am not accusing her of not doing her job. Admittedly she has a lot of tough kids in her class this year, but I am his mother and I want what is best for him. I would expect this from any parent of a child in my classroom as well-that they want what is best for their child. I chose her for his teacher because I know she is a good teacher; however, good teacher or not, I have a concern.

I can appreciate everyone's opinions on what I posted, but what I do not appreciate is people accusing me of taking materials home that I shouldn't have (when in fact I test my son at school in my classroom on my own time). And then telling me that I could get in trouble for doing that. And in not so many words, accusing me of being a bad person.

I simply asked for advice on how to broach the subject with my son's teacher. I never once asked if it was legal for me to give him a DRA. Or that I would some how mess up some kind of DRA schedule for doing this out of sequence.

Some of the comments on here have absolutely disgusted me.
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Old 01-04-2013, 07:47 PM
  #25

As your child's mother you are his educational advocate. You have every right to schedule a conference with his teacher and discuss your concerns about his reading level/placement. If she is a good teacher she will be happy to meet with you, discuss it, and hopefully come up with a solution to meet your child's needs.
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Maybe??
Old 01-04-2013, 07:59 PM
  #26

Maybe if you went in with the idea:
"I was curious about how ??? was doing, so I did a quick DRA on him. (As long as you are not using the same program he will test on later, I see no problem with you doing one.) He showed me he was on a able to do a 6. Is that what you see in the classroom?"
I am sure that you know students read much better for parents/family. It is possible that what he does in class is lower than what you got.
She may only be sending home things that are mastered. I send home books on a lower level for my reading class. I do that for two reasons. I want everyone to read the same thing. I know they are all able to read it successfully. However, I have them do much more challenging things at school that is based on their individual reading level. I also make recommendations for books on a child's level if parents ask me.
She may believe like my grandson's teacher (he was tested at 4th grade level in 1st grade) that she doesn't want to push him and he needs to read the same materials as his peers.
I truly believe that you are your child's advocate. You have every right to question what he is doing in the classroom. I would want my parents to do the same. In fact, I have had them come in and ask what I am doing to challenge their children. I appreciate their support and concern.
As long as you approach the teacher in a positive manner, I can see no reason why she should be upset.
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As a K teacher and a mom...
Old 01-04-2013, 08:21 PM
  #27

I think it is perfectly fine for you to ask your child's teacher what level he is reading in class. There is nothing wrong with that. I would see what she says. If she says a 3, you could let her know that he is reading higher levels at home. You could also ask her what types of skills and strategies he is working on in those 3s. I don't know what kind of guided reading she does (or if she even does GR), but sometimes when teachers follow a "program" there is more of an emphasis on skills than levels. Also, in Kindergarten we are teaching them all the early literacy skills they need in order to read and write. Sometimes, I find that even for my students of higher levels I have to take a step back and make sure that there aren't holes in these skills. I may have a child reading level 4 books who has a great visual memory and a great ability to use meaning to decode, who may still need support in sliding through words left to right consistently. I am not saying that is what is going on with your son, and a 3 since September seems a bit much, but it is important to keep in mind all the developmental and beginning literacy skills that have to be learned and practiced.

I know you mentioned that he is not enjoying the level 3 books. Are these books ones that she sends home with everyone for homework, or are the books from his guided group? If they are books sent for the whole class, I would just have him read them once because they may contain sight words, phonics skills, or content knowledge they are learning. Then just go ahead and let him read books at his level.
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Another thought
Old 01-04-2013, 09:54 PM
  #28

There is nothing wrong with having a discussion with the teacher about the progress you have seen at home and your noticing that he may be ready for higher level books. You can ask what she has noticed in class and how he has been doing.

With everything kids are learning at home many come to school ready to READ while others are still identifying letters. Kindergarten and first grade are two of the hardest grades to teach because of the diversity in readiness.

This does not address the issue at hand but be careful as he progresses through first and second grade. I wouldn't want him to move through the levels too quickly. As a second grade teacher I have had students who are very fluent but miss many of the higher level comprehension skills. I have had other students with great fluency and comprehension but miss out on wonderful literature because they are in a hurry to read chapter books.

Good luck, sounds like your little one has a great mama bear in his corner.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:09 PM
  #29

I agree about kids moving too quickly. I've had that with my first graders where there are gaps because they move too quickly.

I noticed with my son when I DRA tested him that the word he got wrong on level 6 and 8 he didn't even attempt any strategies. I had to prompt him to use strategies. My concern is if he's reading books that are too easy, he's not being forced to use strategies that he's learning. Once I prompted he was able to attempt the word and just about get it right.

Also, his comprehension was pretty good on the level 6 but he did need a couple prompts for the retell. I'm concerned that if he's being held back at a level 3 (less comprehension compared to a 6+) he's not doing as much learning of comprehension as there's just less "meat" to books at a level 3.

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Kindergarten and first grade are two of the hardest grades to teach because of the diversity in readiness.
My range in first grade right now is first grade to third grade, but I keep moving kids along. My district uses guided reading (and strategy groups) so that kids are working at their instructional level (or supposed to be). I love the wide range. Gives me a little bit of everything.
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I think in general we shouldn't test our kids
Old 01-05-2013, 05:12 AM
  #30

with school materials.

Then they get overly exposed to the activities and the texts that their teachers are using. It sounds like you have a bright son and he may remember the stories or passages when his teacher uses them which would increase accuracy and fluency.

I've seen many posts in the vent where teachers are upset that their students say something like "Oh yeah, my mom did this with me."

I know it's a super grey area and your number one job is to be a good mama. Good luck!
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:09 AM
  #31

Since you also work at this school, you need to walk a fine line between parent and coworker. Think long and hard before you approach his teacher. Put yourself in her shoes. How would you like to be approached by a coworker about this? I know that I've kept a student in a lower group because he shut down completely when put in a higher group. Sometimes kids need to be the "top dog" in their group and gain confidence before you can push them to do more. As a teacher, you know there is a lot of gray area when teaching. It's not all about test scores-it's about knowing your students strengths and weaknesses academically, socially, and emotionally. Keep an open mind when you go to meet with her. Good luck!
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Talk to the teacher
Old 01-05-2013, 06:26 AM
  #32

I suggest you ask for a meeting with the teacher. You could start by mentioning how well you notice your son is reading. I would admit that you tested him and feel that he is ready for a higher level book. Then ask the teacher if she feels the same way. Perhaps she has a reason for having him where he is.

Personally, I hate the practice of leveling readers. I think it is demeaning to students. That fact that every teacher in your school has access to all student reading levels really makes my skin crawl. There is so much more to a reading that the number on the back of the book. Those numbers should guide teachers not label students. However, since you and your son are in a school that does it all by the number on the back of the book I suggest you speak with the teacher. Perhaps she hasn't updated his data yet, but is having him read a variety of books.
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Old 01-05-2013, 07:13 AM
  #33

Quote:
Those numbers should guide teachers not label students. However, since you and your son are in a school that does it all by the number on the back of the book I suggest you speak with the teacher. Perhaps she hasn't updated his data yet, but is having him read a variety of books.
Actually, we are not as driven by the number on the back of the book. I'm not as I do more strategy groups. That said, beginning readers should still be reading books mostly on or close to their instructional level in order to practice their strategies especially for decoding. If a child is reading books that are too easy, they are not forced to use their strategies as they know all the words. The DRA level is used as a guide as to where the child is at/what the child can or should be able to do. Again, it's not a big deal if it's within a level give or take, the the difference between a 3 and 8 is quite large.

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How would you like to be approached by a coworker about this?
First of all, I'd like to think that I'd be really mindful about what the child can and cannot do. Secondly, I'd hope I'd never have to be approached because I would not have a child working so far below his or her ability. And last, parents should be able to talk to their child's teacher about concerns whether the parent is a coworker or not. At the end of the day, it's about my son not the fact that we are coworkers. It's like some of you think I'm supposed to not say anything on behalf of my son because I might "hurt her feelings" I'd like to think I'm a very respectful person who would use some tact. It's not like I'm going to walk into the room and eat her alive.

Quote:
've seen many posts in the vent where teachers are upset that their students say something like "Oh yeah, my mom did this with me."
Since this has been said several times on this thread, I'll say it again. We have different kits for DRA testing. I chose a kit she would not be using therefore the same books will not be used. And really, if she were to use the same kit/book at the end of the year, that's a problem, because that means my son has been held back for the entire year and maybe then she will realize this.

If a child was tested in September at an instructional 3 and I'm still working with the child at an instructional 3, I'd start to wonder if a) I'm doing something wrong and need to move the child/reassess my teaching or what I need to do to move the child along or b) there's something wrong with the child that needs to be addressed.
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another thought
Old 01-05-2013, 08:00 AM
  #34

Let me first say that I've never taught or given a DRA on any grade level below third, so I may be totally off for K-2 assessments.

As a teacher, it's very important for me to have me students COLD read their DRA passages, so I wouldn't be thrilled to have my students read at home a DRA passage I plan to use in the future. This will skew the fluency and comprehension portions, so I don't feel like I would be able to get an accurate assessment from those texts. In our DRA kit, we have about four books for each level, and we have to assess fiction and nonfiction, before we can assess the next level. All of our K-2 DRA kits are the same, and our 3-5 kits are the same.

Also, I don't change DRA levels until I retest in January either. I do change their reading groups and their guided reading level as needed, but I don't formally change their DRA level.
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Old 01-05-2013, 08:14 AM
  #35

Your concerns were answered throughout the thread.

I did the DRA at school.
I used a different kit than the teacher will be using.
She hasn't changed his reading group level so he's been reading books on the same level since school started (the occasional book he brings home supports this).
While it's great that you commented on my post, you didn't offer any insight into my original question.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:15 AM
  #36

Personally, as a parent, I would ask to speak with the teacher if I had concerns. Maybe there is an issue in the classroom that you are not aware of and you should know about. If not, then you have a right to know why his reading group level has not changed. Boredom is the main reason students lose interest in learning, and that is something you do not want happening for your son. Hopefully, this is not the case, but she may be so concerned about other students that your son, being the son of a coworker is being looked over. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with asking her about his at school reading level, and sharing his at home reading level. Also, letting her know that you have no problem with him being challenged within reason may be helpful. You have not said anything that shouldn't be shared with the teacher.

With that said, in my opinion, the most important thing is that as a K he learns to enjoy learning!
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:59 PM
  #37

I like your idea of how to approach the situation. Even if she comes up with an instructional level that you disagree with, it may make her question the level enough to retest him.

Maybe she was going to retest all the kids right after the break. I'm not going to say whether or not that's a great idea to wait that long because I haven't ever taught the lower elementary grades. I do know that they certainly learn quickly, so it does seem to me to be a long time to wait since the original begining of school testing.

Anyway, good for you for being so proactive and involved with your child.
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