What is the average DRA at the beg of the year? - ProTeacher Community





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What is the average DRA at the beg of the year?
Old 05-27-2011, 07:30 PM
 
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If your kinder teachers use DRA to assess reading levels, how high to they test?


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Old 05-27-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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At my district they test until they have reached the child's instructional reading level. As for coming to first grade...we would like the students to be no lower than a level 3. A level 4 or 6 is a good start.
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DRA Levels
Old 05-27-2011, 07:42 PM
 
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Like jymnest07, our K teachers test to their instructional level.

At the beginning of the year I'm thrilled if they are reading at a level 4. Most are usually still at a 2 or 3 though. Occasionally we'll get a few who are really rockin' at a much higher (12-18) level though!
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I guess my next question is how high do you
Old 05-27-2011, 08:08 PM
 
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test in first grade? Our second grade prefers we not test higher than end of first grade levels.
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Wow, this is an argument currently going on
Old 05-27-2011, 08:32 PM
 
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at our school. The K, 1st and one of the second grade teachers test as high as kids can go. However, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade teachers want us to go only to benchmark levels. So for first grade, kids should enter at a level 3 and leave at a level 16. The problem with this test is that in lower el it helps guide instruction. We have so many levels to show growth. However, upper el only has one level for each grade (40 for 4th, 50 for 5th). So they use the test only to see if the child is at grade level. They believe if the child has seen the leveled book before, it makes the test invalid. My concern is that if we stop testing at benchmark we do not know the child's instructional level, and we may not show growth. For example, If one of my students scored a 16 in January, and I can't test higher, I do not have her current reading level. In our district we have to record levels three times a year. The scores are kept on-line for accountability, so we cannot just use a running record or another type of assessment. This has become a real problem in our school and district.


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Old 05-28-2011, 03:38 AM
 
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We test until their instructional level...no matter what grade level we are in. My problem is that not all grade levels use DRA...some use the Rigby benchmark books instead.

Do you DRA ALL of your students 3 times per year? Just curious!
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:13 AM
 
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we cap first grade at level 28
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1 year above
Old 05-28-2011, 04:33 AM
 
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We test up to 1 full year above grade level. So at the beginning of the year, I stopped at 18. Now, at the end, my ceiling is 28. Reason being that you wouldn't want to give them books that are more than 1 yr above their current level - they shouldn't just fly through the levels because they can. Rather they should be reading more broadly, and discussing more in-depth. Third grade books may have inapropriate content for first graders - not hugely inappropriate, but maybe not issues they they are dealing with in their lives yet.
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Old 05-28-2011, 05:15 AM
 
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That doesn't make sense to me - to stop testing at grade level (or even one grade level ahead). We use guided reading instead of DRA, but it's the same thing - my son is finishing kindergarten and he is reading independently at an M. His comprehension and fluency are outstanding and he can discuss level M books in great depth. Why limit him because a teacher in a higher grade is concerned about the validity of a test later on?
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Old 05-28-2011, 06:24 AM
 
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I have a feeling that with teachers being judged on the "growth" made by their students, many want them to come in just on level. If they are way above and then show little to no growth the following year, that teacher lookes 'bad'. Blame politics.

We use Fountas & Pinnel running records. I had a student whose leve was so exaggerated by the K teacher, that it could appear that he lost ground. I understand summer slide, but she blatantly was fradulent (and no longer at our school.)

I think with the poiltical pressure this debate will only get worse!
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DRAs
Old 05-28-2011, 06:26 AM
 
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We test until we reach their instructional level. I have a first grader who just tested out at an instructional level 34 (middle of third grade). However, I expect A LOT out of the kids at those high levels. If they don't give me everything comprehension-wise, I don't pass them. I find that most first graders can only give an outline of what happened at those levels and they have a hard time inferring the author's purpose and the important text implications.

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However, upper el only has one level for each grade (40 for 4th, 50 for 5th).
This isn't true, at least for fourth grade. I know my kit goes up to a level 44. I think the upper elementary kits have three levels per grade level (40, 44, 48, 50, 54, 58, etc.)

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They believe if the child has seen the leveled book before, it makes the test invalid. My concern is that if we stop testing at benchmark we do not know the child's instructional level, and we may not show growth.
I agree with you here. It is imperative that I know how much growth my students have made. If I had to stop testing at a level 16, I wouldn't be able to do that with a quarter of my students. I do not believe that the test is invalid if they've seen the book before either. When/if they see it again, it has been months since and in theory, they should be beyond that book anyway. The grade ahead of you should take your last scores to begin their testing in the fall. Not just start at the beginning of their grade level. What is the point of that? You can't use the data for instruction if you're doing that. What a waste of time!

I do test all of my students 3 times per year. We used to get subs to teach our class while we did them but now there isn't a budget for it. I'm trying to do the third round now and it's taking forever! We're switching to Fountas & Pinnell next year. I hope it doesn't take as long to give!
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testing ?
Old 05-28-2011, 06:46 AM
 
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I test until they show their instructional level. I cannot imagine any other way of doing it or the reason why? Testing just for the sake of testing seems so silly. I want to test so I can instruct and move my students better.
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I have a feeling that with teachers being judged on the "growth" made by their students, many want them to come in just on level. If they are way above and then show little to no growth the following year, that teacher lookes 'bad'. Blame politics.
If this is true, I am so incredibly sad.
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Fern...I completely agree with you
Old 05-28-2011, 09:20 AM
 
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Parents have a hard time understanding that just because Johnny can read the words doesn't mean he completely understands what he has read.
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DRA level
Old 05-28-2011, 11:31 AM
 
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Our k test to the child's instructional level but not beyond level 16. They are considered on grade level if they reach a DRA 2 by the end of the year.

I teach first grade and believe level 4 at K should be on level.

At first grade we consider DRA level 16-18 as on grade level and are able to test up to a ceiling of DRA 28.
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I agree with Fern also!
Old 05-28-2011, 01:38 PM
 
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We benchmark 3 times per year using F&P. I find it to be subjective. I have also encountered students coming to me with much higher levels than I would agree with. I think some teachers are not as "hard" on the comprehension responses they accept and therefore fluent readers are soaring through levels.
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Independent
Old 05-28-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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We look for independent levels... At the end of K we expect a 4/6, then in first we try to have them leave at a 16/18.

I am curious as to why you are looking for instructional levels when testing for end of year assessments? We test 3x's a year to see where students currently stand independently. We can still gather data and see what students need to work on. I don't want a student coming into first as an instructional "10" but are an independent "4", that is huge difference and don't want to stress the students out. I guess I look at it as, you can push and push a kid up instructional levels, but you have no idea what they can do without the support. I have kids who can read and retell me a story at an 24, but have no idea what the author's purpose is. I would work with them on strategies to get there, but at a level above there independent level.

Maybe I am missing something here, but I would really like to know the reasoning behind instructional levels. I just don't see the benefit in it and feel you don't get an actual portrayal of what the student can really do.
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Do most of you have levels 44, 48 and 54, 58
Old 05-28-2011, 03:23 PM
 
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in your DRA kit? We have the old set and I believe these levels are not available. I will double check on Tuesday, but I do recall upper el teachers telling me they only test in the fall and the spring and just check to be sure kids are at the starting point (40 for 4th) and ending point (50 for end of 4th). Then in 5th they give the alternate book for level 50 at the beg of the year. I do test up to their ability but stop at level 30. ( I only have 2 at this level this year). However, I will say that I agree that the comprehension is very subjective.
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AliTch - independent level reading
Old 05-28-2011, 03:34 PM
 
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I have the child preview the book ( in the lower levels anyway) then begin reading. If they can read with 94% accuracy and have at least a 16 in comprehension, they pass the test. After reading, I write notes regarding fluency, phonics skills, sight words, use of pictures, monitoring, strategies, etc. During the year, I put children in smaller groups based on their instructional needs. At the end of the year I make note of skills to work on over the summer in report card summary. I consider this instructional level. For independent reading, children can choose books one level below as well as one level above instructional level. I am not sure if this is what you mean when you say independent level.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:25 PM
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:41 PM
 
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In all of this discussion, which is great by the way, there hasn't been anything said about fluency and words per minute (reading rate). Our first grade team will get students that are reading the words on a 16 but they take 5 minutes to do it. That is not reading on that level and then we have to back track and tell parents that their child is reading below where they were told at the end of K. It is very frustrating and upsetting to the parents. Enough of that soap box. We test up to instructional level, but the kids have to have all the parts, accuracy, comprehension and reading rate. Independent level is important to know but the district says to test to instructional levels.
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Old 05-28-2011, 04:45 PM
 
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calecolts1,

That is what we do as well. They have to pass ALL parts in order to pass that level. If I am not sure on the connection, I ask my team and we decide together. I don't understand why K teachers would say kids are reading a 16 if they don't pass the time? I thought you had to pass Oral Reading Fluency, accuracy and comprehension to pass a level?

Interesting.
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Thanks...
Old 05-28-2011, 05:29 PM
 
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Thank you for responding FunandSUn. I do the same, when doing guided reading groups I bump the kids up only 1 level. So if they are an independent 16, I do a guided reading at an 18. I guess it depends on what you are using the DRA for. For us, we give the next grade our assessments to see where they finished the school year. I guess I see it as a student can be instructional at all sorts of levels, so why keep testing? Don't you assess to see where the student is at?

When I say independent, the child can read fluently, comprehend, and make connections to a book without support. This is my indicator that the student is grasping the concepts in which I am teaching and is ready to go to the next level with support. It is amazing to see how we all use the DRA so differently, like another previous poster said, great thred!
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Old 05-28-2011, 07:48 PM
 
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In our district, 96% fluency with comprehension of at least 16 (I think) is passing, but we don't time them in first grade. I don't test on the next level if they read extremely slow or choppy at the higher levels. We test 3x a year also and it's awful this year with 32 kids and no sub. I'm hoping I won't have to have those discussions with parents next year.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:37 AM
 
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They test as high as kids can read. I like that because it gives me a general idea as to where kids are at when they come into first grade. We do the same at the end of first grade-test them where they are at even if it's above our benchmark.
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:46 PM
 
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Someone mentioned ORF and timing. That is not the DRA. The DRA is the Diagnostic Reading Assessment which is not a timed assessment. It is one of the quicker assessments but doesn't go into detail as much as DIBELS with Read 3D or the QRI. The DRA is based on decoding and comprehension only. But in our district students are supposed to leave Kindergarten on level 6 and leave first grade on a level 20. As far as instructional level and independent level it is basically impossible for a child to have an instructional level of 16 and be independent at level 4. That makes no sense at all. The instructional level is when a child can decode a text with 90-95% accuracy. 95% or higher is their independent level. I think some teachers confuse this concept. I use their instructional levels for guided reading and reading instruction and independent reading for their self-selection of books.

The teachers at my school are not trained on DRA and don't even know to do a running record without a palm. We have a new diagnostic program Read 3D that's based on DIBELS and they have scored their students significantly higher than they need to be because they don't understand comprehension. One of my M-level certifications is in reading so I think it's appalling and how one teacher score differs from one another because one may not truly understand the higher order questions.
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Old 05-29-2011, 04:26 PM
 
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Quote:
The DRA is the Diagnostic Reading Assessment which is not a timed assessment.
Maybe your school uses the original DRA (I used it so long ago I can't remember) but if this was true, it's not any longer with the DRA2. We start timing our students at a level 14 which is in the instructions at that level. If they do not read the within the time allotted, I don't even test the comprehension of that story!

Quote:
As far as instructional level and independent level it is basically impossible for a child to have an instructional level of 16 and be independent at level 4. That makes no sense at all.
This I agree with. Generally, if they read at an independent level 4 then their instructional level is a 6.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:56 AM
 
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There is more than one DRA Kit. You have DRA (original), 2 and the alternate kits. But I think people that do not have a true concept of reading mistake with how many words they read per minute as fluency. That shouldn't be the case it should be prosody and you have to keep in mind that some students speak slower than others, thus will read slower than others and this shouldn't be an indication on their reading abilities.
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Old 06-07-2011, 05:07 AM
 
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Usually about a 4 or so I would say, unless they are either low or high, then they could be a 1 up to a 16 at the beginning. In my inclusive classroom I have readers who are currently 1 DRA to 28 DRA. Crazy!
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:12 PM
 
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On average most of my students are a 3 or 4. My school will let us test as high as we need to though. My first grade teacher friend had a student in her class that during the midyear DRA tested at a level 30! We also assess three times a year. We try to do a nonfiction text on the second run-through.
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Old 07-07-2011, 06:50 PM
 
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I teach multi-age K/1 and have used the DRA for years. I test my students quarterly, usually the week before I do report cards. I include this statement in the report card each quarter (with an added statement of what the DRA is in the first quarter: "____ is currently reading on a DRA level of ___ with __% accuracy and **/24 comprehension. The grade level expectation for this time of year is ___."
I do not believe in stopping at any certain level. I group students based on their instructional level, so it would hinder their growth if I didn't allow them to test as high as possible. Most of my kinders end up losing comprehension (not passing due to scores below 17/24) when they get to a high second grade level 28+.
I use the D5 and set individual CAFE goals with my students. My class did wonderful this year! I had two kinders at DRA level 30 and most in the 20s. My first graders did fine but my kinders soared! D5 and CAFE really works!
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Old 11-03-2011, 06:51 PM
 
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Seriously, I'm sorry. I just read your post about not testing 1st graders reading levels above their year because you don't want them to "fly" through the levels...... Really????I am appalled at this. Have you ever met a gifted child/reader. How about a child that taught themselves to read at age 3 and can read, understand and enjoy a book like Harry Potter in 1st grade. Really? You are going to keep them in a book like "If you give a pig a pancake to discuss??? I am so sadden by this post and would pull my own child out of this environment right away if I ran across such close minded teachers. How will our children ever compete with the rest of the world when we have this sort of "teaching" going on.........
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