Monday, November 14, 2005

DRA Testing and Children's Responses

As part of my job as a reading specialist, I administer the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) to many children. At the end of the test there are several items that are used to determine a child's attitude towards reading. One of the items is "Tell me what you like best about reading." As I administer the assessment, my job is to write down exactly what the child says in reply.

I've given this test hundreds of time, and the responses are usually along the lines of: "It's fun," "Some books make me laugh," or "I like the adventures." However, the other day I got responses from two different third grade children that just blew me away. Maybe they made such an impression on me because they're the reasons I enjoy reading so much. Here are their responses - word for word since that's how I had to record them:

"It takes me right into the book and I pretend I'm in the story. Like Alice in Wonderland - that really takes me into the story!"

"It's like I'm in a different world."

Those two children GET what reading is all about.


Joan said...

Those kids said it well; I can identify with their statements. Sometimes finishing a book feels like a loss -- a sort of grief at ending the relationship I have established with the characters. It takes some effort to adjust to life outside the book.

beth said...

Ditto to what Joan says. With a really good book, you don't want it to end.

Anonymous said...

Off subject:

I followed your link to 'Blame Bush'. Could read there all night!

Jane said...

I agree with your students. When I read a good book, I am drawn into the story and feel that I am living in the same town and know the same people and experience the same experiences. When I finish it I find myself saddened because I have to leave those people behind when I close the book. That is one of the reasons that I enjoy reading books by authors that continue characters into subsequent books. I know when I finish one book that soon I will be able to visit there again.

Joan said...

The desire to continue the relationship with characters, as Jane just commented, probably accounts for the success of a lot of very famous writers who continue book after book with the same protagonist (John Sandford, Lawrence Sanders, Janet Evanovitch, James Patterson, to name a few) and even the whole group of characters (Jan Karon for one.)