Many of the first grade students that were in my class this year did not read with anyone at home. Oh, there were parents and siblings, some grandparents, babysitters and even nannies at these houses, but still no one read with these children. Many of these people mistakenly believed that if a child could read that he/she no longer needed any adult interaction while reading. Mistake! Big mistake! My school system uses the Developmental Reading Assessment (normally called the DRA) as a tool for assessing a child’s reading level. In order to take the test the child must read a book out loud to the teacher. This IS the test. The book. Reading it aloud and then answering comprehension questions on their own without help from an adult. Parents, PLEASE take some time each and EVERY day to listen to your young reader when he/she is reading. You will be surprised at what you do and don’t hear. By practicing reading aloud, your child will learn to read for others to hear, will learn to adhere to proper punctuation, will learn to answer comprehension questions that you have asked and will learn to read ONLY the words that are printed in the text and not the words that he/she thinks should be written there. Try listening to your child read today….and then continue tomorrow and the next day and the next…….
Here is a site that gives you a list of books and their DRA level. If you know what level your child is reading, this site will help you find books for that level and more challenging books on the next level. If you do not know what level your child is reading at, look for books that your child can read and match the DRA level to the book.