Reflection: Advanced Students Reading Log Introduction - Section 1: Introduction to Weekly Independent Reading Log Homework

 

My students get differentiated reading homework.  Some of them are working with texts at the third grade level, some are at a sixth grade level, and some are working with texts above grade level.

If common core is all about working with grade level texts, what in the world am I doing? 

It's about developing students reading skills.  It's about helping students be successful to breed more success.  The rationale is based on the Read Right program, which my co-teacher used for many, many years. The basic idea of Read Right is that comprehension happens when fluency happens and fluency means reading naturally, as naturally as speaking. When a student enters the Read Right program, they start out way below grade level and practice at a level they're comfortable with before moving up.  We've seen results in the Read Right program.  Unfortunately, my district got rid of the program because of monetary issues, but we're using the same basic ideas in these weekly reading logs. 

That's why some students are working with texts below grade level. They're building their fluency to increase their comprehension. A big part of that is reading aloud.  We did an experiment this year.  My two co-taught classes read the texts aloud.  My one English 7 class, with very similar reading levels, did not.  I mentioned it, but didn't stress it.  The students who read aloud improved drastically more when we compared the pretest to the posttest. 

So, how do I keep track of all this data?  How do I keep track of which students are getting which packets?   Once students took the pretest (the Gates MacGinitie test), I compiled lists for each of my classes.  I wrote the names of all the students who were reading at  second or third grade level in one box, the students who were reading at fourth grade level in another box, and so on. You can see my boxes here. I'm only using initials for privacy, but you can see that there are three columns, one column for each class.  (I did not include my honors classes on this because they were all reading at or above grade level, hence there only being three classes).  That's how I kept track of how many students needed which text.

Then, I tracked their improvement (or lack thereof) using a chart like the one in the picture.  I've used initials, again.  I still broke it up by grade levels, and separated the names from each class

with the grey bar.  So, N, E, and C, were all in my third hour, N, S, H, L, and K were in my seventh hour, and F, I, and D were in my eighth hour. I wrote the percentages they scored in the boxes.  Once a student scored 85% or higher for three weeks in a row, they moved up to the next level.

Was this a success?  I believe, overwhelmingly, it was.  I have the data, I shared it with my principal, and I believe she shared it with the superintendent. 

 

  Advanced Students: Assessing Reading Levels and Assigning Diffentiated Reading Homework
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Reading Log Introduction

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

Objective: Students will be able to analyze main ideas, supporting details, and craft and structure by reading nonfiction passages and writing T3C paragraphs.

Big Idea: Students practice reading and writing skills in weekly reading logs.

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