Tick, tick, tick, tick! It’s all about time, in the classroom, isn’t it? That clock just keeps-a-tickin’ along. Time just seems to rule us. That is true when it comes to reading improvement, too. You all know that we ask parents to have their children read for a certain number of minutes each night at home. Have you ever wondered though, exactly how many minutes total each day a child needs to read to increase reading achievement at least one year’s growth? Did you know that it has been figured out? Yes! People who are far better than I at statistics, have it all worked out for us. So what IS that number, I hear you say?
Yeah right, you say. How do I do that??? Well, start by checking the reading level of everything your students read. For the most part, it should be at their “just right” level, especially for your students who are not at grade level.
Think about it for a moment.
Your on and above grade level students can probably read everything in your class, but your strugglers cannot. That means that your students that can already read well, get more minutes toward increasing their reading simply because they have more to read. Whereas your struggling students have far less available that they can read, so they have less opportunity to get the minutes they need, and potentially fall farther and farther behind.
Sooooo…..take a look around your room, what reading/difficulty level are your charts at? Can your lowest readers read them? What about your math book’s directions? Can ALL of your students read them? Do you use reading passages or articles for students to read? Are they an exact match to your student’s reading levels? If not, find some that are or retype the article into several different levels. What about morning work? Can all of your students read it? Why not meet with your best teacher buddy and brainstorm ways to reach the 80 minutes or more that your students need? Are the books that your students take home to read, at their “just right” level? Once you start looking around with the “80 minute mindset” at what is provided in your classrooms, you will begin to see so many ways to adjust things and to make sure that all the text there is accessible to all students. That alone will increase the opportunity for your students to have more things to read and more minutes spent on reading. Why not give it a try? You and your students will reap the benefits!
Want to read more? Check out this book! This book will tell you about the statistical formula used to figure this all out. Are they experts? You bet! They turned a whole school district around and increased the reading achievement of all of their students….below, on and above grade level!
Need more leveled resources? Here is an Apples, Apples, Apples! freebie of our leveled passage sets for you to try out. If you like it, we have lots more available for you here.