Leveled Reading Books

Leveled Reading Books

At the end of this short article I will leave you with a ‘pearler’ from the other night after a discussion about data and going through leveled book systems in the order that they come (without being mindful of challenging students to ascertain ‘real data’).
 
You may be familiar with these book systems as your school will have spent a lot of money on them over the years. 100s of stories that start at a basic reading level (Level 1) and slowly but surely get more difficult. All are often very well illustrated and well thought out. After a few years of teaching you get familiar with the levels and the stories and go to the shelves where they are stored and grab the next set of books on the wrack. No thought required and very comforting to know that children will be incrementally challenged, and to some degree, the challenge of reading practice will be managed for you. But hang on, do students really learn in such a linear fashion, are the books ‘perfectly’ leveled and wouldn’t a whole lot of variables come into play?
 
We know the books are not ‘perfect’ but we need a system and these leveled systems help us immensely. Howe ever, how do we make sure that we are meeting needs and making the reading practices valuable if we are just going to the next book on the shelf and waiting for the mid year or end of year test to let us know how well the student is doing? Well we could spend an hour or two on that discussion – in a workshop maybe – but here is a little tip. From time to time, in your reading group, let your students read a couple of pages without any help from you – NONE. Get them to read aloud. Don’t help them. See what happens!
 
If you are going through the books in the order they come,
There are chances you and they will learn slow, little or none.
If you are monitoring their challenge and pushing them harder,
There is no doubt that you will get much clearer data.
Posted on March 26th, 2017 by