Reflection: Diverse Entry Points Impact of Climate Change - Section 2: Explore


As science teachers, we don't always get the opportunity to assess our students reading skills in order to select texts that are appropriate for them. With an already limited amount of time to teach our own curriculum, adding reading to the already heavy workload can be an overwhelming task. However, I think we can all agree that reading ability is just as important to students' science  grades and scores on state-level science tests as the amount of science knowledge they have. If we as teachers are not able to accurately match reading levels with appropriate science texts, then any content-based reading we assign to the students may just be a waste of time. Texts that are too difficult will lose students and they won't engage in the reading task. Texts that are too easy will bore students, and they won't engage in the reading task. You have to find the "Goldilocks" of texts - the one that is "just right"!

First and foremost, the ELA teacher can be a great resource. By speaking with him/her, as well as your other colleagues with whom you share these students, I have been able to gain a great deal of insight into their reading habits, strengths, and areas of refinement.I can find out more about the students' current reading levels, either according to a grade level equivalency or according to another fancy professional measure. 

But we are science teachers - what if we've never heard of these fancy measures! ( I know that is what your thinking!) Don't worry - there are plenty of tools for that! One of the tools I use to match a text to a student is the Readability Analyzer. With this site, I can enter a URL or copy/paste text into the site to get a pretty comprehensive analysis of the reading level based on a variety of factors.

When I choose texts for my students, I enter them into the site and try to get a variety of reading levels so that i can provide a passage or article that is appropriate not only to the topic, but also to the level of the student.



  Determining your students' reading levels
  Diverse Entry Points: Determining your students' reading levels
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Impact of Climate Change

Unit 4: Enivronmental Science
Lesson 11 of 15

Objective: SWBAT describe the potential impacts of climate change on living things in a variety of ecosystems.

Big Idea: Now that we have learned about the causes of climate change, we will learn how it affects living things around the world.

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