Last week while in Denver, CO, we looked deeply at emergent reading levels. Teachers previewed texts in both English and Spanish and put them in order from easiest to hardest at Levels A-C (DRA 1-4). We examined where most students should be reading at the end of kindergarten. Their data showed that children reading on a Level C/ DRA 4 by the end of kindergarten did very well on their state reading test in 3rd grade as compared to students reading on Level C/ DRA 3 at the end of kindergarten.
We looked at the differences between Level C/ DRA 3 and DRA 4. What do students need to learn to do as readers by the end of kindergarten? These might be interesting conversations to have on your campus. I’d look at daily shared reading, high frequency word work, letter-sound knowledge and applying this in reading and writing (once phonemic awareness is in place), and read aloud for comprehension and vocabulary to start. For more information, you might consult my book, Making the Most of Small Groups. Start by looking at the chart on page 171.