DRA Goals & Reading Recovery

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DRA Monthly Goals


Here is a guide for minimum DRA Level monthly goals:

Fall (level 4+)

January (Level 8+)

February (Level 10+)

March (Level 12+)

April (Level 14+)

 May (Level 16+)



1st Grade

1st Qtr

2nd Qtr

3rd Qtr

















Below Basic





What is fluency?
Fluency is the ability to read, speak, or write easily, smoothly
and with expression. In reading, fluency skills are the ability to see the
"big picture" rather than reading word for word. Reading fluency is often
associated with smooth and even-paced reading.

Fluent readers can immediately recognize text or frequent clusters of letters. They have a good site word vocabulary and can see phrases as whole thoughts and not individual words.

If a reader struggles over these common letter patterns, their reading becomes choppy.  Students lose the ability to comprehend when they are struggling over words.  Their energy and focus is often spent on just figuring out the word and not understanding the text in front of them. To help these children, we want to identify why they are having difficulty decoding words and include interventions in their daily instruction.

Fluent readers read aloud almost effortlessly and with varied expressions. They sound natural and unrehearsed. Fluent readers are reading and comprehending simultaneously. 

Fluency develops over time with practice.  Young readers inevitably will sound choppy as they are just beginning to understand how language works and how to break the text into natural sounding chunks.  With time and many opportunities to practice reading, young readers develop these skills. Young readers also need to hear stories being read aloud.  Modeling fluent reading by reading aloud is most beneficial.

To increase fluency-


Students need to participate in repetitive readings of the same materials- teacher reads, students read with a partner, choral readings of the same passages...
 Have students tape record their oral reading and listen to their own reading.
 Daily oral and silent reading practice of at least 20 minutes!
 Read to a buddy-  Helps increase reading time because it is fun to read with a buddy.
 Have child read aloud to a parent, sibling, a relative, the dog, anyone who will listen!
 Model reading a passage with expression and fluency to the child and then ask them to read it (Echo Reading). Some children need to hear fluent reading first before attempting to model it themselves.
 Choral reading- everyone reads together.
 Have students read silently at home as part of their weekly homework. Silent reading DOES increase fluency, but it has to be done daily. The more children read the more automatic it becomes.

DRA Levels

Emergent Readers = Levels 0, A,1,2,3,4

Early Readers = Levels 6,8,10,12,14 (This is where we need to be mid-year)

Fluent Readers = Levels 16 + (18,20,22,24,26,28+)


Reading A-Z Correlation Chart

Reading Styles and Strategies

Reading Tips for Parents

DRA = Developmental Reading Assessment.

Students entering 1st grade need to begin on level DRA 3. Our district reading level expectation by May is DRA level 16+ for 1st Grade. Students should be at or above level 18 as they enter 2nd Grade.

Reading Recovery Lesson

If your child is part of this wonderful intervention please be sure to do the daily homework. It is essential for your child's success. The homework consists of a book and reading a sentence the child has created and putting the words back into "reading" sequence order.

Reading Recovery

What is Reading Recovery?

Reading Recovery is a research-based, short-term intervention of one-to-one teaching for the lowest-achieving first graders.

* In Reading Recovery, students received 30-minute lessons each school day for 12 to 20 weeks from a specially trained teacher.

The goal of Reading Recovery® is to help the child develop successful early reading strategies which will lead the child to use more advanced strategies.

Early strategies (searching)

Directional movement

One-to-one matching

Locating known words

Locating an unknown word

Needs to learn to (monitor) ----- using -----(the initial visual information in the word)




More Advanced Strategies (monitoring)

Checking on oneself or self-monitoring

Cross-checking on information

Searching for cues



Cue Sources

Meaning - gleaned through pictures and story line

Structure - syntactically appropriate

Visual - letter sounds, chunks, word families, prefixes and suffixes

Phonological Information



Teaching for Strategies:
Teacher attention to error provides her with an opportunity either to direct the child to her way of thinking about the sequence required by the reader, or to help the child become more independent at solving such difficulties. Emphasize the error, or the opportunity to problem-solve. (BL, Marie Clay)
  • Emphasis is on a process
  • Generative to other situations
  • The intervention will be useful tomorrow vs. next month
  • The child has the necessary strengths to carry this out on his own
Teacher Support Levels
Teach: Show, demonstrate, tell "how" within the context of the action. "This is what you could do to help yourself."
Prompt: Call for action, question, prompt
Orchestrate: Provide opportunities through book selection, introductions, and staying quieit.
Watch Your Language
Child is reading and says airplane/plane.
Teacher: Does that match?
TP: Teacher: On this page, something didn't look right. It made sense, but check the first letters.
Praise: Good Job, you make it make sense and look right!
Child is reading up to a word and stops.
Teacher: "Check the first letter."





The Observation Survey is the instrument administered to students prior to program selection. Children needing the most help are selected for Reading Recovery. The six measures of a child's attempts on reading and writing provide useful information about what the child knows and what he/she needs to know.

1. Letter Identification - a list of 54 different characters including upper and lower case letters as well as alternate forms of a and g.

2. Word Test - a list of 20 words most frequently used in early reading materials.

3. Concepts About Print - a variety of tasks related to book reading, familiarity with specific concepts about printed language.

4. Writing Vocabulary - children are given an opportunity to write all of the words they know in 10 minutes.

5. Dictation Test - a sentence is read with 37 sounds embedded in words and the child is asked to record the sounds they hear.

6. Text Reading Level - a determination of reading level based on actual books organized on a gradient of difficulty.

Roaming Around the Known refers to the first two weeks of a child's program in which the teacher explores the child's known set of information and helps establish a working relationship, boost the child's confidence, and share reading and writing opportunities.

Running Records are a systematic notation system of the teachers observations of how a child processes new text.

Discontinued refers to the decision to exit a child from the program based upon the re-administered Observation Survey scores. Also observations of the strategies used during reading and writing . Regular classroom performance is also taken into account.


Where can I find out more about Reading Recovery and early literacy? The Reading Recovery Council of North America

Center for Early Literacy Information

Basic Facts


Measuring Success


30 Minute Lesson

1. Reading Familiar Books: The child rereads several familiar books to practice making their reading sound like natural speech.

2. Rereading the New Book from Yesterday: The teacher writes notes to record what the child reads. This helps with lesson planning and knowing if the level of difficulty is a good fit. Following the reading, the teacher points out something the child did well, then reinforces a reading strategy that the child needs to use in becoming a more fluent reader.

3. Letter and /or Word Work: The child does letter and word work to help him or her become a better problem-solver when reading and writing.

4. Composing and Writing a Story: This is when a child may talk about and write a story sentence about something of interest. As the child moves through their individualized program, they receive less and less teacher assistance as they become able to write the story on their own.

5. Cut -Up Story Sentence: The teacher writes the child s story on sentence strip and cuts apart the phrases, words, or possibly letters, that the teacher wants to call attention to. The child assembles the story and reads it.

6. The teacher introduces a new book carefully selected for its learning opportunities.

7. Reading a New Book: The teacher has picked a new book that the student should be able to read without much difficulty, and a bit of problem-solving. The teacher first introduces the book with the pictures and any new text or language. The child reads, with the teacher providing guidance as needed. Afterwards, a teaching point is selected to help the child use their strengths to sort out a confusion, or to reinforce good problem-solving.

  • Directional movement
  • One-to-one matching
  • Locating known words
  • Locating an unknown word

    More Advanced Literacy Processing
  • Checking on oneself or self-monitoring
  • Cross-checking on information
  • Searching for cues
  • Self-correction

    Sources of Information
  • Meaning - gleaned through pictures and story line
  • Structure - syntactically appropriate
  • Visual - letter sounds, chunks (word families), prefixes & suffixes