Each student undergoing reading remediation should have a private reading time. As discussed in a previous blog post, the student should read aloud for a minimum of twenty minutes at home from a book chosen based upon their independent reading level, and this reading should take place within earshot of the parent. Having parents within earshot is important because students with reading difficulty frequently will look at the first few letters of a word and say the first word that comes to their minds with a close letter sequence (e.g., “prerogative” may be pronounced “program”, and the student will just keep going). If the parent is within earshot, they will know whether the pronounced words actually fits in the sentence based upon context.
In order for parents and other specialists to accurately determine the reading level of their students, I highly recommend the Degree of Reading Power (DRP), a highly effective, yet relatively inexpensive, program by Questar Assessment, Inc. (www.questarai.com). The DRP Program offers a diagnostic test that may be administered by parents at home or by teachers in a classroom setting. Based upon the performance on the test, students earn two scores:
- an Instructional DRP score
- an Independent DRP score
The Instructional DRP Score indicates the most difficult text a student can read and understand with teachers’ or parents’ help. The Independent DRP Score indicates the most difficult text a student can read and understand without teachers’ or parents’ help. Our interests lie with the Independent DRP Score.
Questar Assessment, Inc. has a database containing over 36,000 titles that have been organized based upon text difficulty and assigned a number that corresponds to the Independent DRP Scores. Simply type in your Independent DRP Score, and you are presented with a detailed and comprehensive list of titles of books on your child’s independent reading level. Parents and other specialists will have no difficulty in finding these books at your local public library or online at Amazon.