Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Learning about a Student's Reading Engagement

I often tell people I was born and raised on the DRA - Developmental Reading Assessment.  I am very fortunate to have started my career in the district that created the DRA.  I was using it way before Pearson Education took it to the global scale it is today.  I've used the primary and intermediate versions.  I love the writing component which is now part of the intermediate version, even though it takes much more time to score.

I never expected this scenario to happen last week while conducting the DRA with one of my kindergarteners.  I asked him to tell me about his favorite book.  This is tricky for young children.  The last two years I did the DRA in September and they just shrug their shoulders as a response, for the most part.  I just learned last year our district said K had from August to January.  So, I just did them.  In January my students could all give me the title of their favorite book and that was that.

Except for one.  This little boy told me about Ben Ten which is on his Dad's Ipad.  I thought this was going to be his response but there was more.  He told me, "It can read by itself and flip the pages by itself.  You can flip the pages and you can read it.  You flip the pages and it reads it for you."  I really know nothing about the actual story, Ben Ten from talking to this student but I do know my student could tell me some specific details about how he reads this text and it was very obvious how excited he is being a reader on the Ipad.  Excitement is motivation and that's all we need to get started with guided reading.


  1. Times are changing. Makes me wonder what the kindergarteners will be like in a few years, or five, or ten? My 2 1/2 year old granddaughter can find photos & music on an IPad, & is reading stories there all the time too. Thanks for the story.

  2. Great post Mandy and Ilove the fact that the tool might be the motivator but the excitement for reading will lead into so many different areas. Love this post!

  3. That's very interesting. I can hear my three year old having that conversation with his teacher in a few years too. He loves digital books and print books-- they've been part of his life for all that he can remember of it and I think to him, they are both just ways to enjoy on of the things he loves most!
    I'm in awe that you were around for the "birth" of the DRA. That's awesome!