Post for the week of April 8, 2013
I'd like to spend some time looking at this What's In/What's Out document. While its look at the Common Core themes might be too simplistic, it does give us ideas to ponder in a quick format.
1. Daily encounters with complex text vs. leveled texts (only).
The writers of the Common Core are calling for all teachers (not just ELA!) to demand more reading. While we can't necessarily control how much students read outside of class, we can increase the amount and quality of student reading in school. Practice at reading consistently demanding texts will help students tackle demanding college and career reading.
So check what you're having your kids read and how often. You can use the new Lexile levels to see if it's appropriately challenging or if it belongs at a different grade level.
Leveled readers are out because they set the bar too low for struggling readers. Our job as educators is to learn how to properly structure reading supports so that all students can access the texts we read. Some might need an audio version, some might need previewed vocabulary or a few images, and many will need to re-read. These supports help all readers get where we need them to go.