Sunday, June 9, 2013

Do you DIBEL? How do you feel about it?

Do you DIBEL at your school? I was the number one skeptic at my school 10 years ago when we went to learn about the DIBELS Assessment. We used the paper and pencil version for years and now we DIBEL on our iPad. Over the years I have not been fond of data and the many uses of it. Mainly because I felt we had forgotten to actually look at the children and their experiences. Lives do not happen in a vacuum I was known to say. After many years of rebelling and trying to make this work I have finally made peace with the DIBELS assessment. This is mainly due to the recent administrations I have had the pleasure to work with. I have changed the path of my instruction based on the DIBELS but I have found a way to keep the instruction fun and fresh. This year I had a little boy go from red to yellow to green and his parents were pleased as punch. The Mom often said it was due to focused interventions and hard work. This little guy was willing to work. We didn't do something fabulous every day but we kept it fun! We jumped around, we used markers to write sounds, we made up games and we worked on our goal. I did a lot of goal setting with my children this year and it really paid off. One of my favorite resources is the Florida Center for Reading Research. They have focused easy to use interventions for reading from kindergarten to fifth grade. I love to use songs. There are tons on These are good videos for letter sounds.

Check out some of these examples.

I would love to hear your views on DIBELS and DIBELS NEXT and resources you use successfully in your classroom! Please comment below.

Dibels Next
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. I happen to know one little boy that you have worked magic with:) dibels or not to dibels isnt the issue its finding what works with each child and that is a gift my friend that you definitely have:)

  2. It sounds like you were allowed to be creative with your teaching. Lucky you! I used to be allowed to be creative with my teaching, too. Now life is different. They don't trust us to be creative any more.
    I hate DIBELS. It tells me who is struggling, yes. But I already knew who was struggling. Other than that, it is another test that I have to give, but now I have to give it every third week of school. Yeah.....

  3. We used to use DIBELS and while it gave me a lot of useful information, sometimes it felt like it was too narrowly focused to really help me with interventions. Now, we use AIMSweb, which is like DIBELS on steroids... it has all the same components but it also assesses math in 5 different tests. Useful, sure, but it takes so much time to do it 3x a year!

    First Grade Fairytales

    1. Wow! I need to research AIMSweb more. We do use AIMSweb for some interventions activities and periodic screening for children who need extra support! Thanks for commenting.

  4. My school is getting DIBELS this year and I'm scared that my fellow staff is going to hate it and complain! Previously, we only did DRA and Running Records. This new direction is going to be quite different!


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