Harry Potter in first grade - ProTeacher Community



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Harry Potter in first grade
Old 08-28-2010, 01:00 PM
 
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I have a student who is a high reader. I haven't tested him yet but his K teacher tested him at 28 DRA and said she could have gone higher. I've only had him a week and the mom wants him to bring books from home to read during our leveled reading time. He brought Harry Potter the other day. I said that I needed to test him first. I'm not sure that I think that Harry Potter is appropriate for a 6 year old level wise. There are lots of great books that aren't so long. What do you guys think? I'm afraid it's going to be an issue with the parent, but I also need some control over what my kids read during leveled reading time since I'm responsible for their learning. I have no clue what level Harry Potter is anyway. I don't even like to push the Magic Treehouse books right away. Help!


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Can he comprehend??
Old 08-28-2010, 01:08 PM
 
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Just because he can read extremely well doesn't mean he can comprehend what he reads. I would definitely test him on how well he can comprehend.

Is he a mature first grader? I know parents who read Harry Potter to their kids as read out louds.

Test him first.........I don't how comfortable I would feel about having a first grader read Harry Potter.
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Book Wizard
Old 08-28-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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Harry Potter seems to be leveling on a V-W guided reading level and 44 DRA on Scholastics Book Wizard.

If you want to check the level, you can access the book wizard at scholastic.com.
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:34 PM
 
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My first thought was, never let a parent tell you how to teach. If he wants to read harry potter in his free time, then so be it....but I can not help but feel a little put off by a parent telling you how to teach their child. You are the professional. I have had incredibly intelligent children in my classes. There are ALWAYS areas they need work on regardless of intelligence or reading ability. You teach what you feel comfortable doing. There are certainly tons and tons of great picture and chapter books available to first grade students who read at a high level.
Assess the students lexile and DRA levels, and then choose books in those levels. Wishing you the best!
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Old 08-28-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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I have taught first grade for many years and I am in total agreement with what everyone said. Harry Potter can be for free time or home read alouds. I also find that when reading comes easy for first graders and they are reading higher level books - they do not know strategies simply because they have been left alone to read these books with no discussion or questioningand they become word callers . Also some of the higher leveled books - like Harry Potter - can be beyone their maturity level to fully understand. And I agree that it is your classroom and you can politely and firmly make the calls - you are responsible for the district's curriculum. Good luck


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Old 08-28-2010, 02:39 PM
 
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In first grade, my DD could read difficult books, but she wasn't really ready for them. She read one or two and then chose ones which made more sense.
I'd guess he'd really enjoy something more on his maturity level.
Parents get crazy when they think their child is brilliant.
Do what YOU need to do.
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Old 08-28-2010, 03:45 PM
 
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Harry Potter might be "level" appropriate but it is certainly not "age" appropriate for a 6 year old...at least in my opinion.

I had a hard time even letting my son see the movies until this summer. (we also started reading the books...he entered 3rd this year)

Regardless of his reading "level" he should still be reading age appropriate books. There are plenty of chapter books he can read that are age appropriate. Junie B, Magic Treehouse, Wimpy Kid, Captain Underpants, anything by Beverly Cleary, etc. The list goes on and on.

I think it's great that mom wants him to bring in his own books to read...but I think that is well above his comprehension level and if it's not(ie if he could pass a comprehension test on Harry Potter) than perhaps he needs to be moved to 2nd grade?
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I guess it depends on when he's reading it
Old 08-28-2010, 04:34 PM
 
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I had a student in a previous year bring in a Twilight book (yes, Twilight) for his DEAR reading book during dismissal. He was barely making the benchmark for first grade, but wanted the book because his sister had it. I encouraged him to read other books during dismissal, but let him "read" his book. It was free reading time until his bus was called. I thought it was completely inappropriate for him to have, but I did tell the students they could bring in books from home to read. I would not use that text for first graders during instructional time, even if they were reading at whatever level it would be. Make the choice for your academic instruction and structured reading time that best fits your students' age, reading level and comprehending abilities. During free time or DEAR time, let him have his book.
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Thanks.
Old 08-28-2010, 06:05 PM
 
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I just needed to hear it from others. I'd really rather he'd read the wonderful books that I have in the class and read Harry Potter at home. Parents don't always understand how important comprehension is. I think the parent will think I'm holding her child back. I'll test him in a week or two and see where he really is.
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High reader
Old 08-28-2010, 06:38 PM
 
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You could also explain to mom that you have a plan for enriching his reading experiences at school.. such as studying a variety of genres (mysteries, biographies, non-fiction). He can choose from a set of books that you provide, keep a notebook of new vocabulary from the books, and learn how to find the books in the library. A creative writing, research, or project can be associated with each book. He can read a few from the genre and do compare and contrast activities, too. I would also explain to mom that some children do learn to read fluently well above the grade level expectations, but that some of the books above second grade level have content that is not suitable for first graders, and continue to let the parents know that there are many wonderful books that we don't want the child to miss out on.
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Old 08-29-2010, 05:17 AM
 
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My son read Harry Potter in 2nd grade and loved it as did a couple of his friends! I actually had 2 first graders last year that read above level 40 (I did not test them any further) and I was fine with them choosing books to read during choice time. I still picked books for them during guided reading and tried to pick things that would be of interest to them that I could work on strategies with them. Every child is different and I don't know if it is up to us to decide what books are appropriate for them and what they "should" be interested in (unless it is something that is never appropriate to read at school). If the child's parent is ok with them reading Harry Potter, and they are able to read at that level, I think it is ok for them to do it during the time they can choose what they read. My son is now a sophomore and reads all kinds of historical fiction and nonfiction books (like The Pacific) and I am thrilled that he is still reading for enjoyment...I don't think he would have been happy reading Captain Underpants books at that age.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:23 AM
 
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I get your point. I guess I just need to be able to breathe. I've had them five days and really don't know enough about them. Things need to settle down a bit before I can make decisions. I don't think parents realize how hectic it is the first few weeks of school. After I test him I will have a better idea of what to do. I really don't want to hold him back, but at our school we have a lot of parents that encourage or push their kids into reading books way too high for them. Once I spend more time with him I can tell. Thanks for all input.
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Old 08-29-2010, 01:05 PM
 
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austeach--it is up to you what he reads during leveled reading time...I tell my parents that the books I choose during that time might not be at their reading level, but I am responsible for "teaching" strategies and I am choosing books that will help stretch their learning rather than just push them through levels...with a kid reading at that level, you can do lots of fun extensions with books...
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Old 08-29-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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My daughter read Harry Potter voraciously in 1st grade. I didn't think she was really understanding it until she saw the movie. She kept telling me how the book was different than the movie. Her teacher wisely encouraged my daughter to read other books during guided reading time and then asked her to bring books from home to read when she had extra time (since she often finished her work early and had some wait time). I stayed out of it but appreciated the fact that her teacher recognized my daughter's enthusiasm for reading. Maybe this would be a good solution for you and this child's parent. Good luck!
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Captin Underpants?
Old 10-21-2011, 06:59 AM
 
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If a first grader wants to read Harry Potter and enjoys the complexity of the text, how can you then go on to suggestion Captin Underpants. Personally, I am glad those books exist for the kids who won't read anything else. Some kids really are gifted readers, and parents are statisically more accurate at identifying giftedness than teachers. Its not fair to hold a child back, if Harry Potter truly is at their level. Junie B. Jones is horrible. What is wrong with exposing children to good writing?
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Let him choose
Old 10-29-2013, 12:42 PM
 
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There's nothing wrong with a child trying something new. If the child wants to read Harry Potter, let him. Regardless of his age, he should be able to choose what he reads (while keeping it appropriate for school.) Harry Potter is an amazing story written with kids in mind. It might seem like too high of a level, but let the child help make his own decisions. If you want him to read certain books during guided reading, great. But let him read Harry Potter during free time. He may find that it is too challenging, and choose something different, or he may decide that its just right for him. No one ever improved their reading skills by only reading books with words they already know. So he doesn't know what peculiar means? That's when you teach them that if they struggle with a word, they can use context clues and a dictionary if they are really stuck. If a child shows an interest in developing better language skills than his peers, who are you to hold him back?
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