DIBELS Testing

DIBELS measures development of early learning skills

Crete Elementary is committed to helping students become successful readers. The school uses the DIBELS 8th Edition test to examine how well students are learning important reading skills.

DIBELS stands for Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills. It tests five skills that are necessary for learning to read:

  • Phonemic awareness: Hearing and using sounds in spoken words.
  • Alphabetic principle: Knowing the sounds of the letters and sounding out written words.
  • Accurate and fluent reading: Reading stories and other materials easily and quickly with few mistakes.
  • Vocabulary: Understanding and using a variety of words.
  • Comprehension: Understanding what is spoken or read.

Children who learn these skills become good readers.

How DIBELS works

DIBELS is made up of seven short individual tests, called subtests. Each subtest focuses on a different skill and takes about one minute to complete. A student may be given two to five subtests depending on his or her grade level. Much like a child’s temperature is an indicator of overall health, each subtest indicates how well a child is learning a particular early reading skill.

A child’s score on a subtest shows whether he or she is on track for learning to read or whether the student needs additional help. For example, the DIBELS test may show that a child needs more help learning to sound out unknown words. 

DIBELS is also used to check the progress of students receiving extra help. It also may be used to evaluate how well the school’s overall reading program is working.

Combined with parents’ efforts at home, Crete Elementary works hard to ensure that every child is on target for success in reading.