Our district gives the DIBELS three times a year: In September, January, and May. As long as the children are working at grade level and showing growth, there is no need for additional assessments. If the children are working below level, or are not showing adequate growth in reading skills, they are followed more closely by Progress Monitoring, accompanied by additional instruction or alternative instruction.
DIBELS will help figure out which kids need help. Then what?
A Quick Phonics Screener can help you find a deficiency in decoding skills more quickly and more specifically than DIBELS or other assessment tools. It's a one on one assessment, and can be done in a couple of minutes. (Click here for a free copy of a QPS. Scroll 1/3 down and click Quick Phonics Screener.)
I prefer QPS uses nonsense words, but I'm unable to find a copy online. This gives a true measurement of how the child does at "sounding out" the words without relying on the visual memory. (I've known more than one reading deficit that was masked by a strong visual memory!)
Looking closer, you'll see the QPS, you'll see the order of subtests is in a logical order: letter ID, letter sounds, cvc words, cvc words with blends, cvce words, r controlled vowels, cvc with digraphs, vowel pairs, words with prefixes or suffixes, two syllable words, and multisyllabic words. The QPS suggests if a child misses 5 or more in a section, that's the skill needed.
My next post will give more suggestions on what to do with the information from the QPS!