Parent Guide to DIBELS Assessment
D.I.B.E.L.S. 8th edition
Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills
The teachers and administrators at desert Sage Elementaryare committed to helping each child become a successful reader. As part of this commitment, our district tests all kindergarten, first, second and third grade students three times per year. We use a test called Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) to help us examine how your child is doing in learning important reading skills.
DIBELS tests four of the skills that are necessary for learning to read. Children who learn these skills become good readers. These skills are:
- Phonemic Awareness:Hearing and using sounds in spoken words
- Phonics:Knowing the sounds of the letters and sounding out written words
- Accurate and Fluent Reading:Reading stories and other materials
easily and quickly with few mistakes
- Reading Comprehension:Understanding what is read
For more information on these skills, known as, The Big Ideas in Reading, you can visit: http://reading.uoregon.edu/big_ideas/
DIBELS 8 is made up of short individual tests. Each DIBELS 8 test focuses on a different skill and takes one minute to administer. A child may be given three to five of the DIBELS 8 tests depending on his or her grade level. Each DIBELS 8 test takes one minute to complete because these tests are used as indicators. Much like using a thermometer to take a child’s temperature is an indicator of overall health, each test is an indicator of how well a child is doing in learning a particular early reading skill. DIBELS 8 is used throughout the United States. A child’s score tells us whether the child is likely to be “on track” for learning to read, or whether that child may need some help in learning important reading skills. DIBELS 8 is used to identify children who may need extra help to become good readers and to check up on those children while they receive the extra help to make sure they are making progress. Children are not given grades based on these assessments.
How much time does it take?
Each of the DIBELS tests only takes about one minute to complete. DIBELS tests are “indicators” of the
student’s overall reading status, and are not intended to be in-depth or comprehensive measures of reading. Just like using a thermometer to take your child’s temperature, which provides a quick indicator of your child’s general health, these quick DIBELS tests provide teachers with information about your child’s reading health and how well he or she is progressing on a particular early reading skill.
Benchmark assessments generally take 2 to 6 minutes to give, depending on the grade of the
student and time of year.
How will the results be used?
A student’s scores on the DIBELS measures give the school information about whether or not a student is on track for grade-level reading success. A school can quickly identify students who do not meet the goals on each DIBELS measure and provide extra help. For example, if your child is reading words accurately, but slowly, the teacher can provide extra practice re-reading stories and passages to improve his or her reading rate or fluency. Your child's teacher can use the progress monitoring scores to make sure your student receives extra help to improve other reading skills during the school year. Teachers can review scores on DIBELS measures for all the measures for all the to prepare their day-to-day reading lessons.
As the reading specialist, I can study the test scores across classrooms and grade levels to make decisions about how to best use resources to make sure that every child in K-3, including your child, is on track to become an accurate and fluent reader.
If you would like more in depth information please explore the University of Oregon’s DIBELS Data System website at http://dibels.uoregon.edu
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