DIBELS or Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills

During flex testing students in grades Kindergarten through Second grade were given the DIBELS. That data was used to determine which students would need extra support during the first part of the school year. That information will be discussed during Parent-Teacher Conferences in October. If you have specific questions about your child's DIBELS scores, how they scored, and if they needed extra support please contact me or your child's homeroom teacher. The document below explains DIBELS and can help answer your questions.

What is Dibels?

Finding Just Right Books using the Five Finger Test

I teach students to find Just Right Books using the Five Finger Test.
Five Finger test is one way to "test" a book before you spend too much time with it and get frustrated.
1.  First choose the book you think you would like to read.

2.  Find a page of text somewhere in the middle of the book.  Find a page with lots of text (words) and few or no pictures.

3.  Begin to read the page.  It is best to read the page aloud or in a whisper if possible while doing the test so you can hear the places where you have difficulty.

4.  Each time you come to a word you don't know, hold one finger up.

5.  If you have all five fingers up before you get to the end of the page, wave the book "good-by."  It is probably too difficult for you right now.  Try it again later in the year.

6.  If you have no fingers up when you finish the page, then the book may be an easy read for you. 

7.  If you have less than five fingers but more than one or two fingers up when you finish reading the page, the book may be just what you need to grow as a reader.  Enjoy!

Classroom Library

Classroom Library I have found that nothing creates a more effective reading workshop than an organized library. Every teacher organizes her library in her own way, but you may find some of the ideas below helpful if you are trying to organize your own. Many of the ideas have come from books or from visiting other teachers' classrooms.

Within each section of the library, books are categorized in baskets by genre or topic. Each basket is labeled to indicate the type of books a reader will find inside. Throughout the school year, students and I work together to determine each student's "just right" level for books to read in the classroom library.

As students get to know themselves as readers, they work their way through the levels. A student can read books at their "just right" level and books below their "just right" level. (For example, a student whose JR level is Yellow 2 can also read Yellow 1, Red 2, and Red 1 books.) Every book has a colored sticker with a number that corresponds to the levels on the arrow above.

What do the color codes mean? Each color on the reading level arrow corresponds to a Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading Levels. The chart below shows how the classroom library codes compare to the Fountas and Pinnell levels and to grade levels.


Spelling List 1

Spelling List 1 consists of missed sight words from last weeks pretest and will focus on closed syllable words and short vowel sounds. At the end of two weeks there will be a spelling test. The goal is to increase word attack, reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension skills at the word level. This will help students to understand spelling concepts in order to help them remember a word's spelling, meaning, and grammatical role.

Edward W. Dolch developed lists of the 220 most frequently used words in children's books. Form 50 to 75% of the text consisted of the words he put on his lists which became known as the Dolch words' lists. A reader who knows the Dolch words will recognize the majority of the words in a typical selection. Its important that students not only know how to read them but also to spell them.
4th Grade Spelling List

5th/6th Grade Spelling

2nd grade Spelling List

Readers Rights

I believe that students should be able to decide what books they are going to read, including those we read together. My goal is to get students to read, to get students excited about reading. In valuing their opinions, even about the books we share in class, they learn that I their preferences are as important as mine. I came across the "The Rights of the Reader," by Daniel Pennac while I was reading The Book Whisper this summer. Though I will not be posting it on the room, I wish to share it with my parents so they can begin to understand how I take their children who hate reading to children who can't wait to finish the book and have another one lined up to read.

The Book Whisper by Donalyn Miller is a wonderful eye opening view into how one teacher takes on the daily challenge to turn all students in readers. She helps her students to discover the rewards of reading no matter how far behind students may be. Donalyn Miller writes an ongoing blog for teachermagazine.org. Reader Rights

Who am I?

Wordle creates  “word clouds” from the words you use. We will use Wordle throughout the year.

About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.

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