I was scrolling through FB when I came upon a post that has thrown all I know about teaching ELA for a loop. It is so big, so devastatingly heart-breaking that I am still trying to comprehend the information I have discovered.
Shanahan on Literacy wrote an article back in 2011 about his efforts to find evidence to support leveled reading groups. What he found was a long trail of evidence linking back, back, back to a hypothesis for a dissertation. THIS was the "evidence" that was being used to support countless studies,
Leveled Reading Groups Are Working. Correct?
In a word, no.
Leveled reading groups are based upon the teacher providing the least instruction to the student. Common Core is asking us to maximize student learning. The method we have been utilizing provides students with controlled vocabulary decreasing their learning overtime.
In addition, we all know that reading level alone doesn't tell us the whole story about the reader. We cannot tell just from the reading level what areas the student is struggling in or where they need more practice. Every child is unique yet we assume that all of these children in the group have the same needs. Why?
A Surprisingly, there is a lot of information out there about how what we have been doing is wrong. Here is what I have found:
The more I dug into the topic, the more I found. The more I read the more I could see exactly why my students were not better readers. This is why I have always felt I was doing it wrong deep in my gut despite feedback that I was an exceptional teacher.
This new knowledge requires more studying. It will require me to change how I teach reading but the question becomes will administration support my decision?
Until Next Time,
Hi! My name is Misty. I am a 6th Grade ELA Teacher, Mama of 5, and author of The Path to Passionate Teaching.