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Home Forums Classroom Management How do you deal with multiple reading levels?

How do you deal with multiple reading levels?

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  • KathyMcM
    Classroom Teacher
    Elementary School
    Teaching since: 1969
    New Jersey
  • July 16, 2016 at 7:57 am

    This past year my class ranged from those reading on a fourth grade level to one still attacking the letter/sound concept. The fine readers were still at a second grade interest level, and so was the child tackling a beginning Kindergarten skill with limited success. The other children were working on the expected second grade levels, worrying me as they limped along on several first grade levels, or achieving fine success in third grade levels. Everyone was fascinated by animals and maps. Few could read the same text independently. Yes, I was able to form interest groups using second grade texts and placing a weak, a strong, and an average reader together. My problem was finding time to meet with all of my seven leveled groups. Seeing everyone each day was out of the question! I had the help of an aide every day. The basic skills staff saw many of the lower level children either daily or several times each week. I relied on the special education teacher to do all of the leveled instruction for the three children of lowest ability. This still left four with me each day, a fifth group that I could work with on two days. I never felt like I saw any of the children in leveled groups enough. They all experienced a great deal of growth, but I still wonder if I could have done more. I wish I knew how others would have dealt with this issue.

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  • Classroom Teacher
    2nd Grade
    Teaching since: 2007
    Rhode Island
  • July 19, 2016 at 4:00 pm

    I have some of the same concerns. I work in an inclusion classroom with varying levels also. My co-teacher and I split groups and I simply could not meet with all groups each day. I think the key is coming up with exciting, yet fun and effective activities for kids to also work on when they are not meeting with you. We provide students with a choice board each week that has activities for them to work on. We typically put stars on 2-3 tasks they must complete and then the students choose the rest. We select activities that groups of students need to work on as well as many Daily 5 activities. Some ideas include: Read to self, read to someone, listen to reading (if you have technology the kids love this), work with parts of speech, sentence building, journal writing, word games. Activities may also overlap with your science and social studies instruction. I know we do the best we can, as I’m sure you do too! The kids really enjoy having choice. I hope this helps. Good luck! I look forward to more great ideas on this post 🙂

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  • Classroom Teacher
    2nd Grade
    Teaching since: 2012
  • July 19, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    I taught special ed LD for three years before switching to second grade, so I feel your frustration. The best thing I’ve seen for differentiated instruction in reading in Gen ed is the Daily 5 concept. It doesn’t have to be by the book, but the basic structure if mini lessons, individual conferences and small group lessons with. CONSISTENT note taking us very effective. The trick is to get over the idea that you have to meet with every kid every day. That isn’t going to happen with any type of instruction and it isn’t necessary. Meet with the at risk kids daily, sure. But let the high flyers go. Meet with them once a week I every 3 days. Set them a goal, provide a way for them to track their progress ( i.e. record 5 new vocabulary words in a writer’s notebook) and then check back in with them later. For the on level kids meet as needed and meet in flexible groups with similar goals.
    I use D5 with Treasures, Triumphs, and in a very few cases Wilson Reading System (as tool kits). Remember that the standards are your content. The curriculum is a tool- and not the only tool. Your structure is what will allow you to be flexible enough to provide the individual needs.

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  • Classroom Teacher
    2nd Grade
    Teaching since: 1988
  • July 19, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I have had the same concerns this past year. I am working in a very low social economical school I had students on all levels. I do Daily 5 with my students,that way I can focus on the different levels at the reading table. The students know what is expected of them while I am working with a group. It has really helped meeting with those real low students every day and my higher students 2 to 3 times a week.

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  • Classroom Teacher
    Elementary School
  • July 20, 2016 at 9:11 am

    I started using Daily 5 with the CAFE menu for my reading, and it has really helped me spend the time needed with my struggling readers while still being able to help my more advanced readers continue to grow. It takes a lot of time to ‘train’ the class at the start of the year, but they make great progress as we go through the year. It allows me to help students individually and also to work on skills they need in small groups even if the children aren’t all on the same reading level (groups change by skills, not reading levels). We do whole group mini lessons, so we are learning new skills each day and practicing them while doing our activities for the day.

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