Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Best Practices and Recommendations for Using Leveled Texts

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 Best Practices and Recommendations for Using Leveled Texts

by Tina Winkle

Reading is not one-size-fits-all. Our students read at various levels. This is why leveled texts help to tailor reading instruction to fit the needs of the students. Leveled texts are books similar to basal readers, except the vocabulary is controlled, the language features are leveled and sentence length and complexity differ depending on reading levels.

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Leveled texts make it easier for teachers to select texts based on a student's needs. This also allows for guided reading grouping to take place. There are many companies that make leveled books--Story Box, Wright Group, Rigby Books, Fountas and Pinnell, Rosen, and BOB books among many more. Leveled readers help build confidence, independent reading skills, and fluency.

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Books are often stored and sorted by levels making it easy for teachers to select texts. Below is a text correlation chart of the various programs and their leveled readers compared to the grade levels. (Click below to see).

(Saint Paul Public Schools, 2007)

Best Practices in Using Leveled Texts

A good way to introduce the text is to talk about the cover and make guesses about what the book may be about based on the cover and title.Encourage younger students to take a picture walk and discuss what they think the story is about. The teacher can read the story and have the students echo read, or the students can read a page at a time, or they can partner read. Throughout the story the teacher should have the students stop and reflect. This can be done by questioning the students about the story. 

Then after the reading, there should be a discussion on plot points, setting, author's purpose, cause and effect, and any new vocabulary words. The teacher usually has the students complete a mini-lesson in reading/writing or a short activity related to the book. For example, the students could sequence the story. 

good practice is to let the students keep the books in a book bag or basket and read the leveled books during DEAR time.

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