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Anyone else against leveled library?

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Anyone else against leveled library?
Old 09-23-2017, 09:15 AM
 
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Our school wants us to have leveled classroom libraries. I'm, personally, against it - though I understand the viewpoint of those who support it. For one thing, I think it's a waste of my precious time that is already so used in so many different demands of the job. Secondly I don't agree that it's best for the kids. Does anyone else agree? Disagree?

Fontas and Pinnell seem to agree (pg 14 under Providing Variety and Choice heading).

http://www.heinemann.com/fountasandp...cle12_2012.pdf

http://inservice.ascd.org/public-lib...why-should-we/


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I think they are necessary
Old 09-23-2017, 09:59 AM
 
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I think we were told that a third of our classroom books should be leveled. If they are given cart Blanche, many of them will choose all harder books that will do nothing for the skills they need to work on. A combination of just right books at their independent reading level and a couple of non leveled books would be appropriate.

It does take a while to level books, but you shouldn't be required to do it all at once. It's easy to level a few books a day. Or you could be given some release time. I've seen how well reading workshop works, when students all have accessible texts, so I do believe a leveled library is a necessity.
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I also believe they are necessary
Old 09-23-2017, 11:22 AM
 
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I don't level every single book in my library, but I do have a large number of the books leveled, and I'm still working on leveling the rest. I think that the kids are more likely to read books when they are on their level. They can understand what they are reading better, too.
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Old 09-23-2017, 11:32 AM
 
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I agree with you and Fountas and Pinnell.

Levels were never intended to be used by students or parents. They are an instructional tool for teachers.

Classroom libraries should be organized like real libraries or bookstores with books organized by author, genre, or topic.
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I agree with you
Old 09-23-2017, 11:51 AM
 
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My library is not leveled. At first the students don't always choose the right book for themselves, however, I have always found that with practice and gentle suggestions they do choose appropriate books. I've taught first grade for over thirty years. 95% of my students meet their reading goals. I have a masters in reading instruction. Why would you pigeonhole a child into a level for independent reading? I will give you an example. I had a boy who spoke very little English. On all district assessments he placed at barely an A level. I saw that he was interested in trains I got many books about trains at different levels, not for instruction, but for my library. He devoured those books. At first he just looked at pictures. Then I would name some of the things for him. Then he started reading the captions. By the end of first grade he was an above average reader. I feel the same way about my advanced readers. Why can't my advanced readers enjoy an Elephant and Piggie book? Children are not letters of the alphabet. How can you expand their reading if you only let them read certain levels?
I know I have a lot more choice in what I do in my classroom because my kids always do great and I work in a school that allows me to do what is best, so I feel for you. Can you have the kids choose some books at their"level" a and then have 1 or 2 free choices?


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Old 09-23-2017, 01:21 PM
 
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I can understand why some are against leveled libraries, and I agree that some kids will come along just fine, but what about the very low babies with learning disabilities?

I had a low one last year that was determined to read chapter books and she did. She is now in 2nd grade and reads above grade level. I have had some who are still working on sounding out words. If these have a simple book with sight words and CVC words, there are enough words that they can read or sound out that it boosts their confidence and helps them feel like readers. If they kept choosing books way beyond their level, the words would be too complex for them right now and they would not attempt them independently and would just look at the pictures. I know that this is not the case for every student, but I am referring to the ones who do.

I have a leveled library and my kids choose 10 books: 3 at their independent reading level, 3 at the level right above, 3 at the level right below, and 1 "fun" or "challenge" book. For the last one, my kids usually either pick put a chapter book or a picture book.
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Leveled library
Old 09-24-2017, 03:03 AM
 
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I use leveled books for guided reading.

Independent books are presented in 3 kinds of baskets. I label the easiest with a green sticker. Red stickers are on books that are comfortable to about level G/H. Blue labels are on more challenging picture books and beginning chapter books like Henry and Mudge, Junie B., etc.

Kids select about 8 books from these baskets. In the beginning I tell them which color label they should take; after a couple of weeks they know more about good fit books. They also take 2-3 "looking at books" like fly guy or Who Would Win, books I've read to them, big I spy , etc.

We always start independent reading with their guided reading books and then read the others.


Seasonal books, math and science related books are in other bins and kids can "read" them with a partner when there is a lull.

I can't imagine telling kids they can only have leveled books.
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Old 09-24-2017, 07:45 AM
 
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I can see the merits of both leveling books and not leveling books. Currently my kindergarten classroom is not leveled or really even organized but this is due to the fact I was hired late. I eventually plan to level them but I may do it discreetly so that I know the level but the kids don't. My issue with leveling is that if you use it to tell a kid "You're at a level B, you may only read level B books" you make low kids stand out even more than they do. Later in the year when they may still be at a B and other students are at a G they are going to feel like they can never get there and they may stop trying.

I typically teach students the finger trick where they read a page in the middle of the book and put a finger up for each word they can't read. I usually encourage students to only read the book if they make 2-3 errors. It depends the kid though and what sort of errors they are making. I always tell them not to count proper nouns and if they really want to read it I let them try it.

My kindergarteners aren't really ready to read independently at all yet. However they spend plenty of time each day independently looking at books. They have access to all of the books we've already read this year, they have a book box in their cubbie with about 6 books (2 are decodable readers, 2 alphabet books we've made, and 2 free choice books), and they have access to a wide range of picture books. At guided reading they listen to reading, "read" big books, and/or read out of their book boxes. At guided math one of my rotations is math books where they browse math centered books I've selected in put in a tub. As the year goes on more and more of these books will be ones we've already read several times.

When I work with guided reading groups that's when I have students work at their level otherwise I let them self select reading materials most of the day. One of my girls actually read one of her decodable readers independently the other day. I'd never introduced it to her it was just in her book box and she picked it up and sounded out the words herself.
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agree
Old 09-26-2017, 05:50 PM
 
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I agree with teacherpk6. My kids got books at their level as they finished those books during guided reading. Books they chose were their choice. I did lessons on finding just right books. I remember being at the daily 5 workshop and Joan talking about a student who got a library card and was so excited to go to the public library. When she came to school the next day she hadn't gotten any books because there were no "red basket" books there. According to what Joan said, that was when she stopped leveling the books her students chose from.

I've also had students who really pushed themselves because of having a book they were dying to read in their book box. One little boy would practice one page at a time during read to someone until he'd completely mastered the book and from then on was pretty much ready to read almost anything else in my library. (Retired 1st grade teacher)
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:04 PM
 
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I think the answer is balance. I allow my kids to read both above and below their level depending on interests. However, I expect most of their reading to come from their just right level. Too many easy books and they won't grow as readers, too many challenging books and they become frustrated and develop a negative self-concept of their reading ability.


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Old 09-30-2017, 08:53 PM
 
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I have not leveled my classroom book bins. I have mine sorted by author or genre. I have collected the books for my classroom library for years now and I could never get them all leveled. I have leveled readers for guided reading and I feel that works fine. By the way, my students love my classroom library just the way it is.
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Class Library
Old 10-01-2017, 06:00 AM
 
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I have half of my library leveled. I want my students to be able to read books at their level during independent reading. Otherwise, in first grade, they all want chapter books, or books that they can't read independently. I do have books sorted by author and genre as well. My kids are great independent readers.
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Leveling
Old 10-18-2017, 03:56 AM
 
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I have my library leveled, but I have a very good aide that does it for me. She is a treasure.
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Since it's being required
Old 10-19-2017, 12:24 PM
 
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by the school/principal ask that the school pay for a school wide subscription to the Fountas and Pinnell website with has thousands of books expertly leveled. Also ask for some release time to look up and label the books. Perhaps the prince could put out a call for parent volunteers to take a pile of books at a time from a classroom and level them in another location with drinks and snacks provided as a perk.

Publishers of the "little books" have their levels on the websites and often printed on the book somewhere. Scholastic has levels for their offerings of more kid lit books.

Leveled books are for instructional use and can be used as a guide for free reading choices by the students. I'd put the level on the back cover, accessible easily to the teacher and likely unnoticed by the students if you want them to choose and read widely.

Many publishers have non-fiction leveled little books which are wonderful and offer curricular support.
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