I have a 5 yr old who taught herself to read at age 2 1/2. She will start Kindergarten in a few weeks able to read a book like Charlotte's Web on her own. Would your online DORA assessment be a good one for determining her exact reading level or would the discrepancy between her age and her reading ability cause the results to be less accurate? I would like to get a clear picture of her reading ability before she begins the school year and am wondering if this is the place to start.
It's astounding that your daughter seems so advanced in reading for her age. If you know your daughter can comfortably read Charlotte's Web orally (i.e., generally misses less than 5-10 words on a page - varies depending on difficulty of the page), then you know that your daughter is able to decode a book with a reading level approximately between grades 4 to 6 (give or take a grade level depending on who you talk to). However, reading ability, whether it's measured by 'grade level' or some scaled score on standardized tests, is complicated. Reading ability involves a number of skills like attention to spoken sounds, ability to match sounds to how we represent them in standard American English, recognizing words by sight, fluently reading phrases and sentences, employing different comprehension strategies, ability to understand different genres of text, motivation to read, etc. If you want an assessment that can quantify (and qualify) your daughter's reading skills before she goes into Kindergarten, DORA can do that. Given her age, it'll start off with simpler items, but would quickly progress to harders ones as she correctly answers each item. You may find that she might recognize words correctly with great ease on subtests like the word recognition subtest, but you might also find that on the silent reading comprehension subtest, she might struggle to answers some of the questions as her background knowledge about might be less developed than what would be required for upper grade passages. DORA will help give you a more complete profile of your daughter's reading abilities than just her ability to fluently recognize words. It will examine her phonemic awareness kills, ability to recognize frequently occuring words by sight and how well she can recognize words of increasing difficulty, phonic skills, spelling, vocabulary, and comprehension. It will also take her performance on all these subtests and extrapolate the kinds of strategies she may or may not be using and the kinds of instructional stategies that might help her reading development move forward. If you think that's the kind of information you'd like before she enters Kindergarten, then I think that DORA is a good place to start.
Tags: reading level, advanced reader, kindergarten reading level, reading abilities