Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I brought home my DIBELS scores to examine more closely tonight and I just came across something that literally just blew my mind.

I have talked about my sweet little Dianita before. Seriously the most adorable/precious/darling little thing on earth. Earlier this year, she was participating in our extended day and on our most recent DIBELS assessment she scored 129 on Nonsense Word Fluency....


the benchmark for end of the year Kinder is 25. 


I cannot wait to tell her mom tomorrow when she comes for the volunteer brunch. I could seriously cry right now thinking about sharing that moment with her mama. She outscored many of the kids who I consider my high kids (by a lot!). It's not that I don't consider her one of my high kids--I am always really pleased with the quality of her work and I know that she is incredibly bright, but there is just something about seeing that enormous number.

It is especially great because there was only one other student out of 42 that scored higher than she did and that girl entered Kinder already reading. Dianita did not and she struggled a bit, but clearly she blew the roof off of DIBELS and I just want her to stay in my class forever.

I am tempted to call her mom right now because I just can't wait, yet I want to do it in person because I want to see her smile when she hears the news. Go girl!


Today I introduced the "fly swatter game" for the first time and the kids LOVED it. I made a huge deal about how it's only a game for responsible students because I wouldn't put a fly swatter in the hands of just any old kid and tell them to slap something...that is a job for kids who can handle it...and handle it they did.

I have two kiddos come up in front of the white board and give each one a fly swatter. They have their backs to the words and when I say the word I want them to find, they can turn around and swat it. We incorporated our sight word songs into the game and sang the song for each word after it was swatted. 

I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of requests to play this game again because my firsties always loved it in a major way.


Mrs. Bee said...

ooh! Can't wait to use this! and YAY DIANITA!! :)

Tom Roth said...

Sneaker Teacher,
My district has rammed Dibels down our throats for the past 4 years - I quickly came to the conclusion that Dibels/Voyager is one of the many of the most ridiculous waste of time tests ever. Three speed read tests and re-tells per student per quarter (10 - 15 minutes per student). Speed Read - Regurgitate word for word what you have read.
I readily admit that I teach upper grade elementary kids... Is the Kindergarten version more valuable? Am I overreacting? I have yet to find a single "un-biased" study supporting Dibels/Voyager.
Please realize I am not attacking - I am asking an honest question - do you feel that the tests are worthy of the time and money?

Sunny said...

Tom, we use DIBELS in my district too (currently I teach 5th) and we just had a huge discussion about this on Monday at a meeting. Basically K-2 and maybe even to 3rd, the assessments can REALLY help you to see what the kiddos know in terms of letter sounds, their ability to break apart sounds and put them together (nonsense words) and their fluency.

In the upper grades (late 3rd-5th), it's worthless. All it does is show us how fast they can read. 99% of the time, they can't even retell that accurately because they're just reading fast to beat the clock. The ONLY good thing DIBELS has created is DAZE which is a comprehension piece that I feel really shows us the students' ability to use context clues to aid in comprehension. Otherwise, it's a joke in the upper grades and I don't use that data for anything.

Gladys said...

Just dropping by to say hello and congratulate you on being named one of the top 50 Kindergarten blogs! Woohoo! Congrats!


Tom Roth said...

Thanks for the input. I can get caught up in what works or does not work with the kids I teach, that is why I wondered about what others thought.
Thanks again,

Deedee Wills said...

Tom and Sunny,

We used DIBELS in our district, but just K-1. We assess everyone using the DRA (K-2) and Fountas and Pinnell (3-5 because the passages are shorter). This seems to be more valuable. I agree... DIBELS seems to assess word calling and reading readiness, but does little to assess comprehension.

Sneaker Teacher!!! Love your cute blog! I'm going to take a long look around!

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten


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