What is an Initial Literacy Evaluation?
At the Stretch & Catch Reading Center, our goal is to teach each child at their instructional level. In order to create an individual literacy plan for your child's success; we must first evaluate 3 components of your child's literacy: Developmental Spelling Level, Developmental Reading Level, and High Frequency Word Level.
Your child will meet with our director, Amanda McNamara Lowe for a one-on-one individual assessment. This evaluation is approximately 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours long and is done prior to your child beginning at the Stretch & Catch Reading Center.
After our Initial Literacy Evaluation, each parent will receive a report explaining every aspect of where their child's instructional literacy levels are, as well as, the literacy plan for the Stretch & Catch Reading Center.
INDIVIDUAL LITERACY EVALUATION
Developmental Spelling Level:
The DSA is given to students to determine a student’s stage of orthographic development. There is a need for synchrony between orthographic development and reading skills. The relationship between orthographic knowledge and reading fluency has been documented throughout the developmental sequence from emergent through more specialized stages of development. (Templeton & Bear, 1992) Donald Bear attests that orthographic knowledge must develop primarily to build fluent readers. His study fosters oral reading and eventually fluency. He listed several pedagogical implications including the fact that teachers need to differentiate spelling instruction to meet individual needs of students. (Bear 1989) The DSA gives the baseline of where your child’s instructional orthographic development is before beginning the Stretch & Catch method. The Stretch & Catch method will use a tactile approach to teaching orthographic and phonemic awareness at your child’s instructional level.
Developmental Reading Level:
The Developmental Reading Assessment is a standardized reading test used to determine a student’s instructional level in reading. Students read a selection (or selections) and then answer comprehension questions based on the story they read.
As the levels increase, so does the difficulty level for each selection.
What does a student’s DRA level mean?
The DRA level indicated on a student’s Initial Literacy report shows the score attained during the initial testing before beginning at the Stretch & Catch Reading Center. The levels can show a student’s current reading level according to a Developmental Reading Continuum.
High Frequency Word Level
High frequency words, otherwise known as sight words are very important for your child to master because, "high frequency words account for up to 75% of the words used in beginning children’s printed material”, according to Study to Identify High-Frequency Words in Printed Materials, by D.J. Kear & M.A. Gladhart. There are different high frequency words for every grade level. Each set of words builds upon the other, meaning that once your child learns the high frequency words in Kindergarten, he/she will be expected to still recognize those words as he/she learns new words in first grade, and so forth. Many of the over 200 “sight words” do not follow the basic phonics principles, thus they cannot be “sounded out.” Beginning readers need an effective strategy for decoding unknown words, and being familiar with high frequency words is an effective method.