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What are DIBELS?


The DIBELS are a set of measures and assessments that are used for Kindergarten through sixth grade. These are very short assessments that are given frequently as a means of observing and monitoring the tested skill areas.


The origin of DIBELS dates back to the 1970s when a group of colleagues, studying at the Institute of Research and Learning Disabilities at the University of Minnesota, were working on measurement procedures for Curriculum-Based Measurement, or CBM. The intent for DIBELS was to have short, efficient testing indicators of periodic student progress that teachers could administer on a regular basis.


DIBELS is not a typical type of assessment because of the short length and lack of all subject areas covered. DIBELS only gives educators an indicator of student progress, while other assessments are much more thorough. DIBELS is known to be in an assessment class of: “General Outcome Measurements” or GOM.


DIBELS measures the following skill areas:


·        Phonological Awareness

·        Measurement of Alphabetic Principle and Phonics

·        Measure of Accuracy and Fluency with Connected Text

·        Measure of Comprehension

·        Measure of Vocabulary and Oral Language


Types of DIBELS assessments:


              ISF: Initial Sounds Fluency

              PSF: Phonemic Segmentation Fluency

              NWF: Nonsense Word Fluency

              ORF: Oral Reading Fluency

              RTF: Retell Fluency

    WUF: Word Use Fluency

    LNF: Letter Naming Fluency