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Home : 2004 : Jan : 3

    How about "LIstening to Kids Read"
    By Connie

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    I do a sort of round robin reading most days in six flexible ability groups. I spend a lot of my time at the beginning of the year giving the lower skill kids a boost and setting a fire under their parents. I have six reading groups but we have mixed,random groups one day a week when we read from the district mandated reader which I don't especially like. I can say that I have used it.

    I spent my first five years worrying a lot about trying to not stigmatize my little ones by not having skill groups in reading. Silly me. The kids already know who can read and who can't. They go home and tell their parents who the best readers in the class are. I like skill based groups because the readers are in their comfort zone and can function proudly with their like-skilled peers. I use an old basal that I have secured for grades 1-3 and most of my kids are in third grade readers by the end of first. I have had consistently good luck with this system for about 8 years now, so it isn't just a good year. The reason I do that is because I simply cannot manage the core of my program using all trade books. My kids know exactly what to expect and we heavily supplement with trade books to this core.

    I have thousands of books for my students that I have secured (not the districts), so my system may not work for everyone, but remember that I started out with nothing once upon a time.


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