Posted by: Amanda | September 28, 2006

Reading Update

They have formed reading groups in Em’s class.  There are three kids in her group, all girls – all English speakers.   I got Em to tell me the name of the book her group is reading, and looked it up on the DRA.  It is a 12 – or G level book.  That is where we ended at the end of first grade.  She was at a 5 at the end of April when she started with the reading specialist, and a 12 when we ended the school year.  They like to see kids at a 16 – which would put them in the middle of the scope for second grade – not the best reader, not the worst.  I knew we didn’t make it to 16, because she was still struggling with  “All Tutus should be Pink” which we have in her library of books, and is a 16.  But I hoped we had made some progress.

Well,  I see a big difference in the books she can read with ease.  She finished the first half of the second grade Hooked on Phonics program.  I can pick up any “level” 1 book in any of the commercial beginning reader series (puffin, I can read, scholastic, Usborne, etc). and she can easily read them with needing help with maybe one word every couple pages.  She couldn’t do that before, I had to really scan books for simple repetitive words.  So I know she has improved.  She is fearful of chapter books – associating those with the “good readers”.  I think the fact she already makes that distinction is a big loss.

So, despite our many hours of HOP, progress that I see in her rate of speed, increased written word vocabulary, she remains at the DRA level for mid first grade (1.4).  The goal for the end of second grade is 28 or M.  (Magic Tree house #18 is listed as an ‘M’ book) I think that is possible if we are not facing any kind of developmental issues, especially since Emily seems to get things in leaps and bounds followed by plateaus, rather than steady increases.  If she doesn’t make significant progress – to 18 or so, by Christmas I will ask her teacher about testing for dyslexia as I do see some things that concern me – like she routinely sees the word – saw – and reads ‘was’.  Or she saw the word  – more- and said room the other day.

I have a parent teacher conference scheduled for November 6th.  I don’t want to push it before then because I want to give the teacher, who is a reading specialist by training, some time to get to know Em other than this first assessment and I want to give Em some time to settle into the routine and respond to her instruction.  In the mean time we will continue HOP on the weekends.  (she does 20 min of free choice reading each week night plus the worksheet homework packet).

In case you are interested – here is the DRA reading list with book titles and here is the graded benchmarks list.


  1. We are going through the same type of thing with Nate, our 3rd grader. He was on grade level DRA 28 when school ending last year and now is testing at 16. I know he isn’t a phonics kid, he doesn’t sound out things, I didn’t and he has 2 brothers that didn’t either. So I am thinking we tested by just reading outloud and he is terrible at that. I have my conference on Oct 27, so we might start some of the testing too, we have long history of dyslexia on both sides of the family. Having been through this with the other boys all I can say is don’t let Em get too down on herself, you either…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: