What is a DRA?

What is a DRA?

In January and in May all kindergarten students are tested using a DRA.  Parents often have questions about this evaluation.  Hopefully you will find some answers below.  If you have further questions, do not hesitate to contact your child's teacher.

What do the letters DRA stand for?
    DRA stands for “Directed Reading Assessment”.   This assessment  is based on a standardized reading experience.

How is a DRA administered?
    A.  The student is given a book which he has not read before.
    B.  The teacher asks the student to do a ‘picture walk’—that is, to tell what is happening in each picture.
    C.  Then the student is asked to read the text without teacher assistance.  As he reads, the teacher keeps track of which words are read incorrectly..  The teacher also checks to make sure the student is using one to one correspondence—reading each word but not adding any extra words.
    D.  After reading, the teacher asks the student to re-tell the story sharing beginning, middle and end.  Students are expected to include names of characters and other details about the reading.
    E.  At the end, a level is obtained by using the data collected and putting it into the standardized grading rubric.

What DRA level is expected in the middle of Kindergarten?
    Level 2 or 3 is considered proficient by the middle of Kindergarten.  By the end of the school year, level 4 is proficient. Any score above 4 is considered advanced.  Students scoring below level 4 at the end of kindergarten will be tagged for intervention strategies at the beginning of first grade.

What can I do to help my child raise his DRA level?
    A,  Encourage your child to look at pictures in books and predict what he thinks the book is about, and what will happen in the story.  Then read the story to see if the predictions were true.
    B.  Do the WEB homework every evening—emphasize reading each word.    C. After your child had read a WEB book or listened to you read a story, ask your child to re-tell the story including as many details as possible.
     D.  Practice sequencing stories.  Use simple pictures and have your child order them telling what happened first, what happened next, what happened last.
    E.  Practice the anchor words.  Work toward ‘automaticity’.  Being able to recognize the anchor words quickly without taking time to sound them out will help with fluency as well as comprehension skills.
    F.  Read to your child daily.  Pick a variety of books both fiction and non-fiction.  Use this time to help make your child excited about reading.  After reading you can discuss the story but don't make every book into a question and answer time.  Make sure your child understands that while we read to gain information, we also are doing it because it is fun.  This experience will help create an interest and excitement about learning to read on his own.
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