DIBELS stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills.  The DIBELS measures are indicators of the skill area they are designed to assess. DIBELS measure is a quick and efficient indicator of how well a child is doing in learning a particular reading skill. All K-3 grades students are assessed three times per year (August/ December/ May).

      DIBELS measures are used to:
      • identify students who may be a risk for reading difficulties in grades K - 3
      • monitor at-risk students while they receive additional, targeted instruction from the classroom teacher and school reading specialist
      • help classroom teachers plan for small group reading instruction to meet individual reading needs for all students

      Essential Skill Areas of Early Literacy

      The DIBELS measures were developed to be indicators of the essential early literacy skills that a child must master to become a good reader.
      • Phonemic Awareness:  Hearing and using sounds in spoken words.
      • Alphabetic Principle and 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.
      • Vocabulary: Understanding and correctly using a variety of words.
      • Comprehension:  Understanding what is spoken or read.


      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.