The Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) are a set of procedures and measures for assessing the acquisition of early literacy skills from kindergarten through sixth grade. They are designed to be short (one minute) fluency measures used to regularly monitor the development of early literacy and early reading skills.

DIBELS were developed to measure recognized and empirically validated skills related to reading outcomes. Each measure has been thoroughly researched and demonstrated to be reliable and valid indicators of early literacy development and predictive of later reading proficiency to aid in the early identification of students who are not progressing as expected. When used as recommended, the results can be used to evaluate individual student development as well as provide grade-level feedback toward validated instructional objectives.

DIBELS Next is used to assess the following skills:

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Alphabetic Principle and Basic Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Advanced Phonics and Word Attack
  • Accurate and Fluent Reading of Connected Text

Reading Comprehension using the standardized DIBELS version of maze procedures (DAZE) to assess the student’s ability to construct meaning from text using word recognition skills, background information, prior knowledge, familiarity with linguistic properties such as syntax and morphology, and cause and effect reasoning skills.




Talk to your Literacy Coach if you have a concern about a student prior to testing

Wait until after testing to express a concern

If a student is having a bad day, please request that he/she be tested on make-up day

Re-test -- we have to use the first score

If a student has forgotten his/her glasses, please request that he/she be tested on make-up day.

Change the standardized administration of a test

Use progress monitoring materials to instruct students so they understand what is expected of them on test day

Practice or review Benchmark passages prior to testing

If there is a discrepancy in the student’s performance relative to other information available about the student, or if there is a question about the accuracy of a score, validate the score by retesting the student using alternate forms of the DIBELS measures or additional diagnostic assessments


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