Dibels

Kindergarten through 2nd Grade
The first grade and second grade teachers at Oakdale Elementary School are committed to helping your child become a successful reader. As part of this commitment, our school has chosen to use a test called DIBELS to help us examine how your child is doing in learning important reading skills.
DIBELS stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. DIBELS tests five skills that are necessary for learning to read. Children who learn these skills become good readers. The skills are:

  • Phonemic Awareness: Hearing and using sounds in spoken words
  • Alphabetic Principle: 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 using a variety of words
  • Comprehension: Understanding what is spoken or read

DIBELS is made up of five short individual tests, called subtests. Each DIBELS subtest focuses on a different skill and takes about 1 minute to do. Your child may be given two to five of the DIBELS subtests depending on his or her grade level. Each DIBELS subtest takes only about one minute to do because they are used as indicators. Much like using a thermometer to take a child's temperature is an indicator of overall health, each subtest is an indicator of how well a child is doing in learning a particular early reading skill. DIBELS is used with millions of children throughout the United States. A child's score on a subtest 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. Your child's teacher will use the information to better help your child. For example, the DIBELS test may tell us that we need to spend more time teaching your child how to "sound out" unknown words.

DIBELS is used to identify children who may need extra help to become good readers and check up on those children while they receive the extra help to make sure they are making progress. Attached you will find a report explaining how your child performed on the DIBELS assessment. Reports will be sent home after the assessments are given. The reports will show what tests were given and how your child scored. You will see a colored graph. This graph will have the colors red, yellow and green. You will see the range your child is in by finding the "running man." The running man will be above the color your child scored in.

Red: Most Support /Intensive; which means they are at high risk at not meeting their end of year goal. Intense interventions need to take place.
Yellow: Some Support /Strategic; which means they are at some risk and need a little help. Whole group interventions need to take place.
Green: Goal / Benchmark; which means this is where he needs to be at grade level.

The goal of each measure is for a student to be at "benchmark." This means the student is at grade level. If you look at the report is will show green as being "low risk or goal." This means your child is at grade level.

Once these results have been established, the classroom teacher will begin progress monitoring. Only the students in yellow and red will be progressed monitored. Students in the red will be progress monitored every two weeks. Students in the yellow will be monitored once a month. Progress monitoring means the classroom teacher will retest these students to see if they are making progress. On the back of this letter, you will find the calendar of when the assessments will take place and what will be assessed.