Thursday, January 10, 2008

It's DIBELS time again!

Well, the DIBELS window opened this week. Time for the middle of the year (MOY) assessments. Today was the first day I even had a chance to do any testing, and I didn't get very many kids tested. We were told to start with our highest kids, so that the lowest get another week or two of instruction before being tested. Quite frankly, my very lowest are so low, I could test them NEXT January, and they wouldn't do any better.

MOY assessments are much more involved than the beginning of the year (BOY) assessments. This time, there are five components to the test. It's the same three from the BOY, plus nonsense word fluency (nwf) and phonemic segmentation (ps). For the nwf part, the kids have to look at non-words and either read them, or at least say the sounds the letters in the word make. Some examples would be the word jit or mib. They can either read the word ("jit") or say the sounds individually (/j/, /i/, /t/) They get credit either way, although it's prefered that they actually read the word. The ps component requires the kids to do pretty much the opposite. I say a word, and they tell me all the sounds they hear. For cat, they would say /c/, /a/, /t/.

Needless to say, the babies definitely provided me with some laughs today! It was actually nice to start with the highest kids, since the tests go a little faster. I kept a piece of paper on my desk as I tested to write down the funny things they said. Most of the funny answers came during the word usage fluency (wuf) component. To refresh your memory, I give the kids a word, and they have to use it in a sentence. The words they give are a bit ridiculous, though, for kindergartners. Let's see, aren't meant and path words they use regularly?

I tested C.B. first. He did amazingly well on the first 4 components. I told him he was doing so well, and that he was so smart. He says, "Sometimes, when I stretch, it makes my brain work better!" He's so cute! The last component is the wuf component, so I gave him the first word - fence. He just looked at me with this half-smile/half-confused look that just made me giggle. THEN, he proceeds to bend over and wiggle a bit. You know, to get his brain working! Too funny! Next word - which. Naturally, all but one of the children heard "witch." He said, "A witch is scary." Yay, 4 points! Next word - nobody. "Nobody even cares!"

Next up, A.B. She is one of my top two readers. She scored 100% on the first four components of the test. When she was given the word which, she said, "A witch is for Christmas." Huh?

Number three was my buddy D.J. He also achieved a near-perfect score on the first four components. So smart, that one!! His sentence for which was, "A witch flies in the sky." For nobody, he said, "Nobody plays with me." Aaww, that made me sad! The last word I gave him was woman. He says, "Woman like coffee." Hmm, could that have anything to do with the ever-present Dunkin Donuts cup on my desk or in my hand? He made me giggle, too!

Our next contestant was P.M. He is definitely the brightest of my stars. You may recall, he came to me already reading in September. He was the only child who used which the 'right' way. "Which one should I choose?"

The last one I tested today was D.D. It seems there may be some security issues at his house. "The fence goes all around the yard." "The gate was open." He actually scored the highest of all the babies so far on this component. He has wonderful oral language skills. "The witch is flying on her broom." "The coach is teaching us basketball." "I meant to say 'I love you.'" (that's probably my favorite!) "The woman came through the gate." D.D. transferred in last month, so I didn't give him the BOY assessment. I had no idea that he would score so high on the DIBELS assessment.

So far, so good. All five babies that I tested scored in the Benchmark (green) category. I really hope some of the ones in Intensive (red) move up, at least to Strategic (yellow). Well, I've got two weeks to drill them. Let's hope it does some good!

Maybe I should focus on this:
If life were measured by accomplishments, most of us would die in infancy. ---A.P. Gouthey


Mary Beth said...

I hated testing - the kids got all disrupted and for what? You know where the kids are and how far they've come, just from day to day interaction.

ChiTown Girl said...

Amen to that, Sista!