My district uses only DIBELS as an adopted reading assessment. I have an ancient (12+ year old) DRA kit that I have been using to get more knowledge about my students since starting Daily 5 a few years ago. I plan to ask my principal to purchase either a new DRA or a Fountas and Pinnell BAS kit.
My question is, which should I ask for? Can anyone provide feedback on either system? Have any of you used both and have a clear preference?
Thank you for any insights!
The DRA is a very good tool for diagnosing reading difficulties in struggling readers, but it is time consuming, and the higher levels involve a lot of writing. I have used, and sometimes still used the DRA kit, but only for very specific purposes.
The Sisters talk about the Fountas and Pinnell BAS kit and its value. We started using it at my school last year, and I feel very comfortable with the results I get. It gives important accuracy and comprehension information, as well as a good scale for fluency. I’m not sure what level you teach, but if you’re on “the early end”, the BAS kit also comes with a pre-reading assessment.
I also like the assessment books in the F & P kit over the DRA kit.
Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I currently teach 2nd grade. The old DRA kit I have doesn’t have any writing perhaps because it’s such an old edition.
I have been leaning toward the BAS and you may have pushed me further in that direction. I downloaded the sampler from their site and like how it has multiple books for each level (fiction and nonfiction). It does look very comprehensive. Of course anything looks good compared to only using DIBELS results.
Your’e right–the writing with the DRA doesn’t start until about the 3rd grade level. I think you’d like the F & P for 2nd.
I have used both DRA and F&P and I agree the DRA is very time consuming. I have been using the F&P assessments for quite a few years and I like them much better because they give me good information, but do not take nearly as long as the DRA assessments.
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