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How do you determine reading level?


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You can use something like this: http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/articles/060899.htm

 

Or there's a method in which you get a book with a know reading you think is at your child's level and you have them read a page aloud. You hold up one finger each time they make a mistake. If you get to four (as I recall), the level is too difficult.

 

ETA: This version of the test in the first link is clearer: http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/dwalker/Documents/San%20Diego%20Quick%20Assessment.pdf

Edited by Maus
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You can use something like this: http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/articles/060899.htm

 

Or there's a method in which you get a book with a know reading you think is at your child's level and you have them read a page aloud. You hold up one finger each time they make a mistake. If you get to four (as I recall), the level is too difficult.

 

ETA: This version of the test in the first link is clearer: http://facstaff.bloomu.edu/dwalker/Documents/San%20Diego%20Quick%20Assessment.pdf

 

 

Thank you! That was easy. I also did what you said, but a little differently this morning. I gave him a page to read, and determined his percentage correct.

 

 

Now I just need 6th grade level books for a 5 year old. :lol:

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It depends on what you mean by reading level. You can determine decoding level using one of several word lists. This doesn't tell you anything about comprehension or fluency though. The test that I've found to be most helpful is the DORA.

 

Another way to determine reading level is to look up the reading level of the books your child reads.

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I had mine evaluated by a reading specialist so I would know decoding and comprehension levels. She used a book/program that I then purchased called "Qualitative Reading Inventory-4" by Lauren Leslie and JoAnne Caldwell.

 

I don't need it anymore because dd is beyond 12th grade level. If anyone is interested in it just pm me.

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It depends on what you mean by reading level. You can determine decoding level using one of several word lists. This doesn't tell you anything about comprehension or fluency though. The test that I've found to be most helpful is the DORA.

 

Another way to determine reading level is to look up the reading level of the books your child reads.

 

:iagree::iagree: Dd had a fourth grade "reading level" but still freaked out about too many words on a page with most books (pre vision therapy). Now she can read chapter books but still highly prefers picture books or non-fiction.

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I honestly do not get this thing.

 

In my mind, either you can read or you cannot read. :confused: Most younger children are somewhere in between, but once a child reads well, be it at 4 years old or at 10 years old, they... read. From that point on, we may talk interest or specialized vocabulary or books that are "emotionally" or "socially" appropriate for a certain age, but reading level seems to me like a fuzzy concept.

 

We have no such thing as reading levels where I come from. If you can read, you can read, period. Sure, English is more complex to read, but the whole reading levels thing still puzzles me.

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I like DORA also, but I take it with a grain of salt. The score is based on state standards (... you know, those standards where you can pick your nose and still pass the grade? :glare:) I've tested my kids often with DORA and DOMA just for my own satisfaction, because I can see where the trouble spots are compared to the year before, however, the scores on DORA are higher than the scores on the WJ-III. I think both are great tests, but I think used together, they give you a better picture of overall ability.

 

A lot goes into reading level, actually. It's not just phonics. My kids maxed out the DORA tests of phonics and word recognition by the time they were 4. Maybe I'm naive, but it seems that any kid who "can read" (not sight words, but actually breaking down a word into parts phonetically), will get a higher than grade level score on those sections.

 

Grade level also has a lot to do with reading fluency, depth of vocabulary, comprehension (the "who, what, where, when"), and depth of thought (the "how" and more importantly the "why" or the hidden meanings). I've seen AR books that are listed as 5th grade, but they're obviously written with a kindergartener in mind (based on abundance of pictures, few words, and young content). The writers assumed a parent would be reading to a child. Those books are great for gifted readers who are intimidated by a page full of black & white words. I've seen books that, as an adult, I enjoy (based on the word plays or depth of thought), that are easy enough for a young, gifted reader (Phantom Tollbooth, for example).

 

I guess what I personally consider "reading level" are the level of books my child routinely picks up when challenged to read something new for the purpose of earning x-box time. :lol: They know exactly what I mean when I say that. If you're reading and comprehending books at a 5th-6th-7th grade level, you're not going to earn brownie points for spending 3 hours with Cat in the Hat!

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I like DORA also, but I take it with a grain of salt. The score is based on state standards (... you know, those standards where you can pick your nose and still pass the grade? :glare:) I've tested my kids often with DORA and DOMA just for my own satisfaction, because I can see where the trouble spots are compared to the year before, however, the scores on DORA are higher than the scores on the WJ-III. I think both are great tests, but I think used together, they give you a better picture of overall ability.

 

 

 

 

You're absolutely right, of course, that DORA grade levels need to be taken with a grain of salt. It's also important to understand that when a test tells you that your child is at some grade level, it generally means that he or she performed as well as a child at the 50th percentile in whatever grade is reported. Kids at the 50th percentile are *not* mastering grade level material. And as far as I can tell by looking score/percentile charts from a few different standardized tests, kids at the 50th percentile aren't mastering much of anything beyond about 7th grade.

 

But aside from the ever present issues with testing, the DORA is the best reading test I've found that is readily available and relatively inexpensive.

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That's a good explanation of the grade levels. I knew not to take them at face value, but I've never seen it explained like that.

 

 

So, for example, my DS took the WJ-III 15 months ago. He was a week shy of 4. His fluency was grade 3.1, his comprehension was 2.1. So he was scoring as a 50th % student that just started second grade. So at that point if I were HSing, I think I would have started with 1st grade material. Is that right?

 

 

From what I can tell his decoding is about a 5th or 6th grade level according to the levels from the book wizard website. The ones that are rated 5th and 6th, he only missed 1 word on the whole page. So he may test higher on the DORA I'm guessing since they will look for the average student in the grade level. What I'm getting at is, i have no idea what level books to get. :lol:

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I look at test scores as the "working grade level". If you get a score of 3rd grade, that means the average 3rd grader would score that way on the test. For a gifted child, you need to raise the bar a little, so rather than an 8 year old scoring that way, you'd expect a 4-5-6 year old to score that way. You don't want average work, because they'll burn out and get bored. (It's like my parents always told me... they'd rather I get a B in a class I tried hard in and learned a lot than get an A in a class I didn't really participate in or didn't really learn anything.) I like to push just to the point of frustration (to figure out where that level is), and then back off a couple of notches.

 

It doesn't really matter what "level" books you get, because every publisher has their own idea of what a level ___ reader looks like. Go to the library and look at their "dot system" (most libraries put colored dots on their juvenile section books to indicate level). Pick up several books that your child enjoys. Take turns reading back and forth, and then decide which books required the least amount of effort from you (the ones that the child didn't stumble much on). That's the colored dot you should be looking for most of the time for independent reading. The next couple of colors are the "working grade level" that you should be using for instruction and read alouds.

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I also recommend the DORA, since it's cheap and fairly quick to take at home. I also take the grade levels with a grain of salt. IIRC the reading comprehension is multiple choice. Still, it does give some useful info on relative areas of strength, and some school districts even use it for assessment.

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I honestly do not get this thing.

 

In my mind, either you can read or you cannot read. :confused: Most younger children are somewhere in between, but once a child reads well, be it at 4 years old or at 10 years old, they... read. From that point on, we may talk interest or specialized vocabulary or books that are "emotionally" or "socially" appropriate for a certain age, but reading level seems to me like a fuzzy concept.

 

We have no such thing as reading levels where I come from. If you can read, you can read, period. Sure, English is more complex to read, but the whole reading levels thing still puzzles me.

 

:001_smile:

Took me a while, but then again my native language is phonetic. If you know the alphabet, you can read Shakespeare :001_smile:

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That's a good explanation of the grade levels. I knew not to take them at face value, but I've never seen it explained like that.

 

 

So, for example, my DS took the WJ-III 15 months ago. He was a week shy of 4. His fluency was grade 3.1, his comprehension was 2.1. So he was scoring as a 50th % student that just started second grade. So at that point if I were HSing, I think I would have started with 1st grade material. Is that right?

 

 

From what I can tell his decoding is about a 5th or 6th grade level according to the levels from the book wizard website. The ones that are rated 5th and 6th, he only missed 1 word on the whole page. So he may test higher on the DORA I'm guessing since they will look for the average student in the grade level. What I'm getting at is, i have no idea what level books to get. :lol:

 

What gets tricky with a young child who can decode at a high level is that, for the most part, they are still interested in stories meant for their age-level, or maybe a few years ahead. So, though he could read the words in a book meant for a fifth or sixth grader, the books would not be of interest to him. At age 5 my oldest could read pretty much any word but preferred picture books. Chapter books were just too overwhelming with so many words on a page. I would look for books meant to be read aloud to young elementary students. Science and history books make good choices, too, and we borrowed a lot of those when my dd was 5yo. The content is more age-appropriate but the words tend to be more difficult.

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I honestly do not get this thing.

 

In my mind, either you can read or you cannot read. :confused: Most younger children are somewhere in between, but once a child reads well, be it at 4 years old or at 10 years old, they... read. From that point on, we may talk interest or specialized vocabulary or books that are "emotionally" or "socially" appropriate for a certain age, but reading level seems to me like a fuzzy concept.

 

We have no such thing as reading levels where I come from. If you can read, you can read, period. Sure, English is more complex to read, but the whole reading levels thing still puzzles me.

 

 

:iagree:

 

The reading level tests given in school placed my DD at "11th grade level" in 3rd grade. What on Earth is that supposed to mean? Even a smart 3rd grader can most definitely not read and comprehend the literature I would expect an 11th grader to deal with.

Because of results like this, I find the whole concept of "reading level" rather useless and would not stress about it at all.

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Well, for one, I'm not just interested in decoding, so it's not just what he can read, but what he can comprehend as well. A student that can read at an 11th grade level, but comprehends at a 6th grade level is much different than a child that can read and comprehend at an 11th grade level.

 

 

ETA: I think a lot of this comes down to what kind of gifted the child is. I'm guessing maybe some of the parents of the "mathy" kids aren't as concerned with reading level, because their kid is probably at least at grade level, most likely above, and they concentrate on math or science. My kid is a language, verbal and reading gifted, so that's where I need to challenge him. The levels aren't the end all be all of course, and for fun he gets to read what ever he wants, but during "school" time, I want something more challenging, and need some bench marks.

Edited by Runningmom80
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ETA: I think a lot of this comes down to what kind of gifted the child is. I'm guessing maybe some of the parents of the "mathy" kids aren't as concerned with reading level, because their kid is probably at least at grade level, most likely above, and they concentrate on math or science. My kid is a language, verbal and reading gifted, so that's where I need to challenge him. The levels aren't the end all be all of course, and for fun he gets to read what ever he wants, but during "school" time, I want something more challenging, and need some bench marks.

 

I do not think you need bench marks to evaluate your child's reading ability. Have him read a book, talk about the book - you'll see if he comprehends everything, or if he did not, despite decoding ability. Then appropriately select a different book, either a harder one, or an easier one. Which YOU can figure out without somebody giving it number ratings.

I do not buy it that one needs a number to judge this (in my home country, numbers for reading levels do not exist at all, only rough age recommendations for books - 9y and up, 12 years and up etc)

My kids do a pretty good job figuring out themselves what they need to read to stay challenged and interested, and were able to discern that in elementary age.

 

ETA: I resent the implication that parents of mathy children do not care about reading and decide early on that their kids are going to go into a math related field. Not true for us, and not true for many other families. Just because I challenge my kid in math does not mean I can't challenge them in reading, or that I do not find it necessary to do so.

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I mean, the age recommendations are the same thing. Maybe a little more vague, but still a classification. If I went and bought him a book for 6-9 year olds, that would be too easy, even though he is 5. I could then move up to ages 9-12, But I don't know how much he is comprehending. Yes I can read the book and ask him questions, but I can also get a test that may give me more insight into his strengths and weaknesses.

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I mean, the age recommendations are the same thing. Maybe a little more vague, but still a classification. If I went and bought him a book for 6-9 year olds, that would be too easy, even though he is 5. I could then move up to ages 9-12, But I don't know how much he is comprehending. Yes I can read the book and ask him questions, but I can also get a test that may give me more insight into his strengths and weaknesses.

 

Do you really think that a test can give you more insight into his strengths and weaknesses than your observations as a parent??? Why? How should something automated, multiple choice be able to tell you more than an in-depth conversation with your child? I am NOT talking about simply questioning the kid like the AR tests do. I am talking about having an actual conversation, not a quiz.

 

And not every book for 9 year olds would automatically be too easy for a five year old - because the age designation does not refer to reading mechanics, but also to typical content interest. (What I mean is that, for instance even a book with rather basic vocabulary but on the subject of teen relationships and drug abuse would get a 12+ age designation because the content would not be appropriate for a young child - even one who could read well. In that sense, an age level designation has not much to do with "reading level" at all)

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:iagree:

 

The reading level tests given in school placed my DD at "11th grade level" in 3rd grade. What on Earth is that supposed to mean?

 

Depending on the test this can mean a few things. If it was a test like the ITBS and she was given the 3rd grade test, it means that she did as well on the 3rd grade test as an 11th grader in the 50th percentile would have *on the 3rd grade test*. However, if she was given a test like the MAP, which adapts itself to the student and keeps going until the student can no longer answer any more questions, then it actually means something more because she has reached the same point in the test as the 11th grader in the 50th percentile would have. In this case, she has essentially taken the same test as the 11th grader and done just as well.

 

In fact, if you look at a score/percentile table for the MAP, you'll see that a kid scoring at the 99th percentile on the reading test at the end of 3rd grade has the same score as a kid at approximately the 75th percentile at the end of 11th grade.

 

Frankly, kids scoring at the 50th percentile in 11th grade aren't doing very well. A grade equivalent score from a test like the MAP or the WJ-III doesn't tell you that your kid is as good as a high achieving student at that grade level, just that she scored the same as an *average* student at that grade level. When my son was in 4th grade and scored at the "post high school level" in math on the WJ-III, I always thought that score told me a whole lot more about the math skills of the average adult than it did about my son.

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I honestly do not get this thing.

 

In my mind, either you can read or you cannot read. :confused: Most younger children are somewhere in between, but once a child reads well, be it at 4 years old or at 10 years old, they... read. From that point on, we may talk interest or specialized vocabulary or books that are "emotionally" or "socially" appropriate for a certain age, but reading level seems to me like a fuzzy concept.

 

We have no such thing as reading levels where I come from. If you can read, you can read, period. Sure, English is more complex to read, but the whole reading levels thing still puzzles me.

 

No big deal. It is not bad at all. From my experience with regular reading level tests from when my kids attended ps, I just think it is a completely meaningless number.

 

This is why I prefer to use the scholastic book wizard. I take a book my son reads and understands, enter it and the book wizard tells me what grade it is ranked for in a year.month format. If the book was easy, I can then search for books that are a little harder, if it was easy, I can search down a level. There are so many books to choose from, this helps me find a good fit comprehension and decoding, book length and interest. Then I can buy or find the books at the.library. I find the children's section a little overwhelming!! It helps me to narrow it down a bit.

 

Also, when someone wants to buy him books, I can give them a range in level and a few topics to shop for. It is simply a reference point to help narrow the selection!

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I also don't really buy into the concept of "reading levels", because as others have said there are really two unrelated scales: those of decoding, and those of comprehension/maturity. Any test to determine reading level would have to somehow average those two scales, which doesn't really result in useful information. For instance, my father is a nuclear physicist and there's an "effect" named after him, but despite reading it about his "effect" I have absolutely no idea what sort of "effect" it has, despite my being able to read every word in the description and being quite strong in language arts, because I don't have a physics background. My ability to get any meaningful information from the description has nothing whatsoever to do with my "reading level", and it's similar with kids. My son can read Homer unabridged and enjoy it, but is he getting out of it what an older person with the same "reading level" would? Not remotely.

 

So when choosing books for him, I go by his interests and what we're covering in science or history, perhaps. The books he reads are probably on a variety of "levels" as a result, which is fine with me. I don't think there's anything wrong, as such, with testing but if the purpose is to find material that will challenge him, I'm not sure the results will necessarily help with that. If the results are intended to fend off familial concern about homeschooling, test away! :D I'd just hate to see you turn down a really great book on a "fourth-grade level", for example. I've made a list of truly wonderful, decidedly elementary school level books that I want to make sure my kids read before they decide they're too "babyish". I feel like I'm racing against a clock to get those in, even though they're "below" the level my son can read at, because that doesn't make them less worthy of being read. He also chooses his books, so right now he's reading The Hound of the Baskervilles unabridged and loving it, but his next book will be something from the elementary list. It's a nice balance.

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Okay, there seems to be some misunderstanding. This is purely for schooling, I would never not let him read a book that he wants to based on what level it is. (Unless of course it's inappropriately mature for his age.) And actually most of the books I chose for school this year are well below his level as far as decoding goes, but I thought they would be fun reads.

 

I just wanted to know what others do to determine reading level.

 

Plus, I'm just plain curious. Is that a crime? :tongue_smilie: I also got his IQ tested a couple of years ago, and will do it again in a year or two, so I'm one of "those" moms. :lol::lol::lol::lol:

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...I'm one of "those" moms. :lol::lol::lol::lol:

 

*hitting the like button*

 

This reminds me of the consultation I had after my oldest son took his IQ test. I walked in, and they started saying "we'll talk about this and that and Davidson and (other stuff I've never heard of), but first, tell us what you'd like to get from this consultation." I said point-blank that I didn't care about qualifying for any sort of program or whatever. I wanted results to satisfy my own curiosity, figure out how my child thinks, and in doing so, figure out how to make myself a better teacher. That, of course, was met with a jaw-dropped blank look. ... and yes, we'll be doing a variety of testing again and again in the future, because I'm also one of "those" moms. IQ scores and reading levels and grade levels aren't trophies to me... they're concrete informational tools that allow me to best tailor my children's educations to suit their individual needs.

Edited by 2smartones
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This reminds me of the consultation I had after my oldest son took his IQ test. I walked in, and they started saying "we'll talk about this and that and Davidson and (other stuff I've never heard of), but first, tell us what you'd like to get from this consultation." I said point-blank that I didn't care about qualifying for any sort of program or whatever. I wanted results to satisfy my own curiosity, figure out how my child thinks, and in doing so, figure out how to make myself a better teacher. That, of course, was met with a jaw-dropped blank look. ... and yes, we'll be doing a variety of testing again and again in the future, because I'm also one of "those" moms. IQ scores and reading levels and grade levels aren't trophies to me... they're concrete informational tools that allow me to best tailor my children's educations to suit their individual needs.

 

I am very curious: did the IQ test really tell you anything you had not found out by yourself about your son???

We tested because the school requested it, and there was nothing in the result that we had not known from observing and interacting with our kid... except for a specific point value. Nothing I need to know to be a better parent or teacher. So, I am very curious about this. I knew that DD was gifted, that her greatest strength was in languages, but that she is gifted in math as well and that she is a perfectionist.

 

I can understand testing if a child has obvious difficulties and one has to diagnose whether the child has low IQ or a learning disability or ADHD.. but a normal kid? Not getting it.

As for retesting IQ every few years: that completely boggles my mind.

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I am very curious: did the IQ test really tell you anything you had not found out by yourself about your son???

We tested because the school requested it, and there was nothing in the result that we had not known from observing and interacting with our kid... except for a specific point value. Nothing I need to know to be a better parent or teacher. So, I am very curious about this. I knew that DD was gifted, that her greatest strength was in languages, but that she is gifted in math as well and that she is a perfectionist.

 

I can understand testing if a child has obvious difficulties and one has to diagnose whether the child has low IQ or a learning disability or ADHD.. but a normal kid? Not getting it.

As for retesting IQ every few years: that completely boggles my mind.

 

IQ testing didn't tell me anything I didn't already know and achievement testing...sure it gave me levels but since it didn't test everything in the levels...just a smattering of skills across levels, that wasn't all that helpful either.

 

I had reading level assessed because a friend just finished school with her masters as a reading specialist and was doing kids for practice. She had done my middle ds who I thought had reading problems and was eager to do dd. I liked the test she used because it was very detailed and did not combine decoding scores with comprehension/fluency (comprehension tested much more than whether or not they can spit back the story at you. It went into the higher levels of thinking so to get a certain level the child had to be able to synthesize information, etc...)...they were separate tests and scores so I thought, since I don't have required annual testing, it would be an easy way for me to see how the kids improve year by year with their reading skills. I don't pick books based on the levels. I think the whole "grading" system in reading is fairly arbitrary.

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I am very curious: did the IQ test really tell you anything you had not found out by yourself about your son??

 

Yes. My oldest has issues (medical), so initially, we used it as a diagnostic tool (both IQ and achvmt) and found the problem to be nothing like what we'd assumed it was (LD). Now we use it to measure progress. My youngest needs testing to qualify for a gifted summer program. We're not required to test by the state, but personally, I think it's important and feel all states should do it, so we continue to do some form of testing every year.

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I am very curious: did the IQ test really tell you anything you had not found out by yourself about your son???

I've posted about it before, so I won't go on and on, but there was something I wasn't sure about - not difficulties, but quirks - that might have been a well-compensated-for LD or might have been random quirks. "The Number" wasn't what we needed - it was the particular scatter of scores and whether they were characteristic of any problem that needed investigating. What came of it was actually a very simple issue that could be fixed very quickly, and a suggestion of something that might have become a problem if it wasn't addressed. We fixed the problem, we took the suggestion, everything has gone rather well since then, and in retrospect I can see exactly what the psychologist was keying in on, although at the time I was clueless.

 

I've considered retesting (not "every few years", but one more time) because there's a chance that one index was not well tested at that age, and that we'd get a better handle on it now, but since we're really looking at a small difference, not a significant "needs-intervention" kind of issue, and I know what I'm looking for... I'm happy with just keeping an eye on things here. When we went for testing it was because there were a lot of different possibilities we could have been missing.

 

I think of this kind of like vision testing. On the one hand it boggles the mind to think that a parent could miss significant vision issues. On the other hand, I've known too many who did.. and not because they weren't paying attention. If a kid has always been nearly blind in one eye, they don't necessarily realize that it's a problem. Also, there are some very subtle issues that can have far-reaching effects.

 

And then we keep going back every year or two for another eye test... not because we're going to post vision test results on Facebook, but because things change, problems can show up when later developmental benchmarks are missed.... I don't expect DS to suddenly develop a surprise vision problem after four good exams, but what's "good vision" for a 4 year old is not good vision for an 8 year old, and then adolescence can bring about a whole new set of changes... so we go back. I wouldn't recommend that schedule for IQ testing... it would be excessive... but I can see having a retest for a particular issue when there might be important information still to be had.

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I am very curious: did the IQ test really tell you anything you had not found out by yourself about your son???

 

The subtests were the valuable thing for us. We discovered that ds has a significant relative weakness with sequencing and working memory (within normal limits, but frustrating for him). I knew some things were struggles for him, but I didn't see the pattern nor could I guess at the underlying reason. He also has a slower processing speed, while being exceptionally strong with visual memory, expressive language, and problem solving. I *did* need this specific information b/c I really didn't understand why some things were more of a challenge while others came easily.

 

This is just a snippet. We learned a lot more. The IQ tests were very valuable for us... we who thought we had average-bright kids with no learning disabilities. (Absolutely NO whisper of anything in our minds nor had anyone else suggested anything to us.)

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I don't much like the idea of testing children for intelligence, since I (like regentrude from what I gather) don't think that determining ability is such an exact science that the tests are such a great indicator, yet many important decisions may be based on them. Still, such tests are some of the best tools we have for diagnosing LDs, etc.-- and unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a move to a more comprehensive sort of assessment for access to programs for gifted children. I think the best sorts of programs treat test scores as at most a subset of criteria for entry.

 

Regarding reading, I guess I tend to agree with regentrude. I have little faith in Lexile and similar measures of book level, as they tend to be based on statistical analysis of just a few things (sentence length, word length or what have you). I also take a dim view of reading tests when used to measure reading level or readiness. They don't do a good job of really precisely indicating just which books are best for a particular child to read in the near future, where a perceptive parent can do a much better job. They claim to reduce to a science what really cannot be.

 

From what I've read, I believe that reading levels were invented in part with the idea of making sure that children don't try to read material that's too difficult for them. I think that that idea is ludicrous. In picking material for my child to read I make an effort to choose material that's challenging for him, but highly interesting to him. I teach him not to shy away from a challenge, and that things can be worth a stretch. For all children but perhaps especially with gifted children, a high challenge level is necessary for strong growth-- academically and motivationally.

 

I still think quickie tests like the DORA can be interesting and marginally useful. In the grand scheme of things, where IQ and achievement testing often costs well over $1,000, DORA is worth about the $20 you pay for it, a cheap curiosity to satisfy the curious. I wouldn't use it to determine appropriate reading material.

 

To me, the "appropriateness" of reading materal depends on a combination of factors, including but not limited to:

1. Whether the child is interested in it, thus stimulating a love of reading and written material and/or a particular intellectual interest

2. Whether the child will actually attempt to read it (but not whether the child will read it to a anyone's preconceived notion of level of mastery-- just whether they'll read it and get anything at all out of it besides decoding practice)

3. Whether it's challenging enough (but never whether it's "too challenging", a concept that really has no useful meaning if the child is interested enough to work at it)

4. Redeeming qualities important to academic, artistic, emotional, or social development (so, for instance, one would never yank "The Little Prince" out of a child's hand on the basis that it was below their reading level)

 

I wouldn't yank away any material that my child loves to read on the basis that it's too easy, as that would be discouraging a love of reading in general. On such a basis I've let my son read tons of comic books, which some parents tend to sneer at; I just search out the good ones. I'd also never take away a book on the basis that it's too challenging, since he won't attempt to read something that's truly outside of his challenge range. I strive to pick reading material and strew it about that is challenging but enticing to him-- and it seems to work. I also discuss whatever he's reading lately with interest, which serves to validate his choices and keep him interested, as well as thoughtful about the material.

 

ETA: My kid seems to be "mathy" (if he will be a mathematician, only time will tell, but he does show facility) and he's good at reading. I don't know whether I'd call him more visual-spatial or verbal, and don't much care what he is in terms of learning profile; I just try to keep him challenged and happy. I think it's important for all children to have their language and reading skills challenged.

Edited by Iucounu
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I am very curious: did the IQ test really tell you anything you had not found out by yourself about your son???

We tested because the school requested it, and there was nothing in the result that we had not known from observing and interacting with our kid... except for a specific point value. Nothing I need to know to be a better parent or teacher. So, I am very curious about this. I knew that DD was gifted, that her greatest strength was in languages, but that she is gifted in math as well and that she is a perfectionist.

 

I can understand testing if a child has obvious difficulties and one has to diagnose whether the child has low IQ or a learning disability or ADHD.. but a normal kid? Not getting it.

As for retesting IQ every few years: that completely boggles my mind.

 

I think the IQ testing was helpful for us. I knew ds was gifted, but in our family he seemed fairly "normal." Looking at his numbers made me realize that he really is pretty far outside the norm. And while we knew he had "issues," it was helpful to see which subtests were low for him. His percentiles ranged from something like the 20th to 99th (I don't remember exact numbers) so he had a huge range of abilities. The only reason I could see for testing again would be if he needed it for some school/program.

 

As far as reading levels go, I never really used them for my dc. When they were first learning to read, I could usually tell by scanning the book if they would be able to read it. I did give my oldest some reading level tests just to make sure he was progressing, since he was not an early reader.

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Okay, there seems to be some misunderstanding. This is purely for schooling, I would never not let him read a book that he wants to based on what level it is. (Unless of course it's inappropriately mature for his age.) And actually most of the books I chose for school this year are well below his level as far as decoding goes, but I thought they would be fun reads.

 

I just wanted to know what others do to determine reading level.

 

Plus, I'm just plain curious. Is that a crime? :tongue_smilie: I also got his IQ tested a couple of years ago, and will do it again in a year or two, so I'm one of "those" moms. :lol::lol::lol::lol:

 

I like knowing approximately where my children can read because it makes it easier for me to pull out a stack of books that would have been appropriate read-alouds and are now appropriate free reading. We certainly don't limit access to books in our house, but we are quickly nearing 2000 logged on our Librarything account. I can point my oldest to a shelf with Mrs. Piggle Wiggle and Pippi and Stuart Little that she may not have noticed before. I can show her younger sister where I moved the Dr. Seuss books out of reach of the 18 month old. It isn't that I was preventing my children from taking those books down before. I'm making suggestions for things I think they might like.

 

I'm a little surprised at the response you've gotten here. I don't think there's anything wrong with being curious either. :001_smile:

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I suspect some of the attitude is very cultural. I have never heard of intelligence testing, IQs, reading level testing, or anything of the sort prior to my life in the U.S. In the little corner of the world where I come from, you are talented if you play music exceptionally well, or paint jaw dropping pictures. Academically talented people are referred to as "very smart" (Newton would have been called by people as "that genius" :001_smile:) and usually demonstrate their gift by acing school, exams etc. The idea that somehow giftedness is tied to emotional issues or learning disabilities or what not is also a very strange one for me (I am not disputing anything here since obviously I am not an expert. I am trying to outline different cultural attitudes). Basically a 7 year old kid reading Robinson Crusoe back home would have been admired by relatives as "oh, look, what a wonderfully smart, intelligent child." It would never occur to anybody to go test or treat a child differently just because he can read a thick dense book at 7. Granted, the school growing up for challenging, so you didn't deal with dumb down curriculum... Again, I am not arguing that one attitude is superior to another or somehow anybody is at fault and wanting a test, but merely trying to point out that attitudes about those things can be very cultural.

Edited by Roadrunner
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The school used Lexile for DS8. His score suggests that he reads at High School level. To me it seems like its of not much use because it doesent seem to really measure comprehension. For example DS read The Little Prince 2 days ago. We spoke about it at dinner time and his understanding of the book was vastly different from mine. He understood it as an elementary school kid would, (very interested in the yellow snake that tried to attack the prince ;-)). It was a good discussion tho we both enjoyed it but what I am trying to say it tho he read it he didnt really grasp all that the book had to offer. Maybe he will re read it again in a few years and understand it better.

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Well you all will find this hilarious. I had to g grocery shopping, so I left DH in charge of the DORA this morning.(he works from home) I took my twins out of the house so it would be quite for DS to concentrate. When I got home, dh told me, "he skipped some of the stories at the end because he was bored. I tried to make him do them but the test wouldn't let me go back."

 

 

That's what I get. :lol::lol::lol:

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I suspect some of the attitude is very cultural. I have never heard of intelligence testing, IQs, reading level testing, or anything of the sort prior to my life in the U.S. In the little corner of the world where I come from, you are talented if you play music exceptionally well, or paint jaw dropping pictures. Academically talented people are referred to as "very smart" (Newton would have been called by people as "that genius" :001_smile:) and usually demonstrate their gift by acing school, exams etc. The idea that somehow giftedness is tied to emotional issues or learning disabilities or what not is also a very strange one for me (I am not disputing anything here since obviously I am not an expert. I am trying to outline different cultural attitudes). Basically a 7 year old kid reading Robinson Crusoe back home would have been admired by relatives as "oh, look, what a wonderfully smart, intelligent child." It would never occur to anybody to go test or treat a child differently just because he can read a thick dense book at 7. Granted, the school growing up for challenging, so you didn't deal with dumb down curriculum... Again, I am not arguing that one attitude is superior to another or somehow anybody is at fault and wanting a test, but merely trying to point out that attitudes about those things can be very cultural.

:iagree:

Thanks for verbalizing it, I often marvel at those cultural differences too.

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I suspect some of the attitude is very cultural. I have never heard of intelligence testing, IQs, reading level testing, or anything of the sort prior to my life in the U.S. In the little corner of the world where I come from, you are talented if you play music exceptionally well, or paint jaw dropping pictures. Academically talented people are referred to as "very smart" (Newton would have been called by people as "that genius" :001_smile:) and usually demonstrate their gift by acing school, exams etc. The idea that somehow giftedness is tied to emotional issues or learning disabilities or what not is also a very strange one for me (I am not disputing anything here since obviously I am not an expert. I am trying to outline different cultural attitudes). Basically a 7 year old kid reading Robinson Crusoe back home would have been admired by relatives as "oh, look, what a wonderfully smart, intelligent child." It would never occur to anybody to go test or treat a child differently just because he can read a thick dense book at 7. Granted, the school growing up for challenging, so you didn't deal with dumb down curriculum... Again, I am not arguing that one attitude is superior to another or somehow anybody is at fault and wanting a test, but merely trying to point out that attitudes about those things can be very cultural.

 

:iagree:

Agree completely. This is an accurate reflection of the culture in which I grew up.

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:lol: Well, the stuff at the end is comprehension, correct? And it's multiple choice, so more of an exercise in pattern matching and vocabulary than true reading comprehension.

 

How is it an exercise in pattern matching if the kid can't see the passage when answering the questions?

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