• ~ D.I.B.E.L.S. ~

    Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills

    DIBELS Next is a series of short tests given to children in grades K-3 to screen and monitor their progress in learning the necessary skills to become successful readers. Many elementary schools in Arizona are using DIBELS to meet the reading requirements of No Child Left Behind.

    All DIBELS Next measures are timed for only one (1) minute.  The reason for the timing is to find out if a child is able to answer the questions automatically and does not take a long time to think about how to answer the questions or read the words correctly.  Having these basic reading skills at the automatic level allows children to focus on understanding the meaning of what they are reading.

    Areas assessed using the DIBELS:

    * Letter Naming - Kindergarten and first grade students are given a page with uppercase and lowercase letters and asked to name each one.   

    * First Sounds - By the middle of kindergarten, children should be able to say or recognize the beginning sounds in words automatically.  To measure this with 
       DIBELS, students are given a word and asked to say the beginning or initial sound in the word.

    * Phoneme Segmentation - This is a measure of children's awareness of the many sounds that make up words we speak.  It is given to kindergarten and first grade
       students and is a skill that should be mastered by the end of kindergarten.  For example, the child is told a word like "map" and asked to say all of the sounds in the
       word (m-a-p).

    * Nonsense Words - The ability to blend together the sounds represented by letters to make words is an important skill in learning to read.  This skill helps children
       in kindergarten, first, and second grade to use their knowledge of the relationship between letters and sounds to read unfamiliar words.  Children are shown a page of
       make-believe words, like "feb" or "hon," and asked to read them as whole words or by saying the individual sound of each letter in the word.

    * Oral Reading - This is a measure of how fluently and accurately children can read passages written at their grade level.  This is given throughout the first, second, and
       third grades.  Children are given three passages and asked to read each one aloud for one minute.  Children who read accurately and fluently are better able to
       understand what they read.

    * Retell - This measure is intended to provide a comprehension check for the Oral Reading Fluency assessment. Students should have a retell score of at least 40% of
       their oral reading fluency score. 

    For more information on these skills, known as The Big Ideas in Reading, you can visit: