Reflection: Advanced Students Critical Thinking: "Booker T. Washington" - Section 3: Reading: "Booker T. Washington"


The Common Core standards require us to raise the rigor of what we ask students to read, not lower it.  However, if you give students work that is way above their ability, they're likely to shut down or become a behavior problem.  Administrators often say at that point, well, you need to use differentiation.  We know that's true.  However, it can be difficult for teachers to know what kind of differentiation, or scaffolds, a student needs, when we don't really know what their reading level is. 

Enter the Gates MacGinitie reading test. (If you can spell that correctly five times in a row, I'll buy you a piece of pie.) This is a test that my co-teacher, Cheri, has used for many years. There are two arts to the test, vocabulary and comprehension, but we only administered the comprehension part. That data that you get from this test lets you know what grade level each student is reading at. 

Last year was the second year we worked together and we administered the test three times--in August, December, and May. Through the data we got, we were able to give students differentiated reading homework to help them increase their fluency and comprehension. In my two honors classes, 90% of the students tested at a high school or post high school grade level. In my three inclusion classes, students ranged from a second grade level to post high school.  The vast majority were at a fifth or sixth grade level.


  Assessing Student's Reading Levels
  Advanced Students: Assessing Student's Reading Levels
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Critical Thinking: "Booker T. Washington"

Unit 1: Laying the Foundations: Teaching Routines, Procedures, and Expectations through Authentic Activities
Lesson 6 of 11

Objective: Students will be able to develop critical thinking skills by reading an informative text, answering targeted critical thinking questions, citing evidence, and discussing answers with a small group.

Big Idea: Students develop critical thinking skills through reading and authentic student discourse.

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