Guided Reading - Would a lesson on an M book be the same regardless of the grade?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Mrs Teacher, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. Mrs Teacher

    Mrs Teacher Rookie

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    Oct 6, 2016

    After talking about guided reading strategies with a fellow teacher we started to discuss a concept and now I'm looking for more insight.

    To put it simply, we are curious.... if a 5th grade teacher has a group of students reading a level M book (thus they're well below grade level).... and a 3rd grade teacher has a group of students also reading a level M book (thus they're on grade level).... to what extent will the lessons for that book be the same? In what ways would they differ? Why?

    Here's how the conversation went down...

    5th grade teacher has a group reading level M books. Because they are well below grade level she finds it very important to listen to students read to identify patterns in their accuracy/fluency as well as frequently check for understanding through retells and quick questioning. Her rationale is that they are below grade level so she needs to really be diagnostic and responsive over their strategies so she can move them forward. In the contrary, with her at/above level readers she typically will have them read more chunks of the text on their own... work on a written response to a deep question... meet back together to discuss and dig deep with that question. She's not listening to their reading as often, she's not doing retells as often, she's not asking quick little "check for understanding" questions as often either.

    Now, if you're a 3rd grade teacher.... and you used the same M book as the 5th grade teacher.... would the lesson be approached in the same way? Or does it change because for the 3rd grade, this text is now considered AT reading level?
     
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  3. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Oct 7, 2016

    My initial reaction is this: It changes because, for the 3rd grade, this text is now considered AT reading level. It would be more comprehension and strategy focused, as opposed to working on accuracy and fluency.
     
  4. Bunnie

    Bunnie Devotee

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    Oct 8, 2016

    I disagree. I believe accuracy and fluency is individual to each child not a below grade level thing. I assume you've done running records to know their levels and check for accuracy and fluency. Their are some kids who read beautifully and others who need word attack skills or pacing at the same level.

    I teach 4th and I have 2 kids that struggle with accuracy one is a L the other an M. I have a few that struggle with fluency they range from M to Q. Last year I had 3 struggle with fluency, they were reading on N and O. Kids are not one size fits all within a level.

    The strategies taught should be the same on that level because they are going to all need those strategies to grow as a reader and see those connections in those levels and beyond it doesn't matter what grade they are in. Kids with fluency and accuracy issues should be a separate group or conference depending what their issues are and how many you have.
     
  5. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 8, 2016

    Interesting questions Mrs Teacher - I think there are 2 hypothetical scenarios - one in which both kids are demonstrating the same exact needs, but in 2 different grades, and another in which both kids were reading at a level M, but had different sub skill needs.

    In the second situation, I think the answer is fairly obvious - that instruction would follow skill deficits. In the first, I think you might target the same skills but perhaps adjust the content selection or method of delivery to be slightly more mature.

    Those, of course, are hypotheticals, but I think the reality is that - most times when you have a child with 2 more years of classroom experience - you'll find the child has learned a lot more, even if the skills are patchy and aren't translating into mastery in certain reading levels. For example, I'll often find that older kids that struggle with lower level passage often have memorized a lot more words visually than the younger kids, just through sheer number of hours in the classroom seat. This may affect instruction, for example, by you skipping more material as you progress from a level M onward.

    On the other hand, older kids reading at much lower levels are probably likely to have a particular challenge with reading that may make progress in one or more sub area more challenging, necessitating more instruction and time spent on a more narrow range of skills.

    So, theoretically I could see a 3rd and 5th grader being placed in the same reading group. However, in practicality there may be some real differences that actually emerge, even if they both present with the same reading level.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Oct 8, 2016

    I was not saying that kids are one size fits all at any given level. I was looking at it as "on grade-level" versus "below grade-level" without regard for the actual level they are working on. To me, it doesn't matter if we are talking about level M, K, Q, or W.

    In your particular situation, Bunnie, I agree with what you've done. If you teach fourth grade, then all of those students you mentioned between L and P and reading below grade level. Only your level Q reader is reading on grade level, and only at the very beginning of the grade level expectation, at that. Yes, I'd do a guided reading lesson with focus on accuracy and fluency most likely, as that is probably where their difficulties are arising (since they are below grade level expectations). Of course, I'd do an assessment first to be sure. If the students are reading on grade level, though, then the lesson needs to be less of a "listening to them read and working on accuracy" lesson and more of a "they read independently and then we discuss comprehension strategies" lesson.

    At my new school, we generally only do guided reading at the primary grade levels and for students who are reading below grade level in the intermediate grades. Students reading on grade level are part of strategy groups, and students reading above grade level are part of book clubs. So, all of my on and above level students will have more opportunities for reading and writing independently, and they will have more discussions during our group time. My below level readers will get more time to actually read aloud to me and do quick checks. Again, of course, their assessments will indicate their individual needs. This is just a general overview, as what I've described works well for the majority.
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Oct 8, 2016

    A level M reader most likely needs the same general skills as the next level M reader, regardless of how old they are. The problem with leveled groups is the letter level becomes more important than the actual skills being taught. In any grade, the teacher always needs to ask, "What do these readers need me to teach them today so they can be better readers?" If we keep that at the forefront of our teaching, then grade level and even reading level become less important than the reading skills we are teaching.
     
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