Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills
Institute for the Development of Educational Achievement
District: na
State: OR

Read this sample from the test that is infecting young children across the country.

The tester (probably someone the child does not know)shows a page of pictures and tells the kindergartner:

This is mouse, flowers, pillow, letters.

Mouse begins with the sound/m/. Listen, /m/ mouse. Which one begins with the sound /l/?

There is a picture of scattered envelopes. What if the kindergartner thinks this looks like mail? How many households still get letters delivered by the postal carrier? Do we talk about the letter box–or the mail box? And so on.

Another group of pictures provide more problems: The tester says, This is bump, insect, refrigerator, skate.

The child sees bumper cars, a grasshopper, refrigerator, and a roller skate. So the kid has to sit there trying to remember that what he thought was a grasshopper is really an insect.

This is rooster, mule, fly, soap.

Doesn’t this make you wonder when they will get some items relevant to urban kids?

Here’s Benchmark K-3: DIBELS Nonesense Word Fluency:

Look at this word. It’s a make-believe word. Watch me read the word: /s/ /i/ /m/ “sim”. I can say the sounds of the letters, /s/ /i/ /m/, or I can read the whole word “sim”.

The student practices a make-believe word. Then comes the test.

Here are some more make-believe words. Start here and go across the page. When I say “begin”, read the words the best you can. . . .

hoj rij ad bol em
buv haj en wof loj
tuc rul vab fum han
hol mun yud dav dub
paj jav lak diz nom
vif kon juf miz vuv
zep yac dac jom rej
zuz vum zus tej zub
wob jec oc rit def
neb kif wab ov ruj

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills 6th edition Kindergarten Scoring Booklet DIBELS Benchmark Assessment is available online: