Notice and Note Book Study Part 5

Welcome back for part 5 of the Notice and Note online book study. Today we are looking at the following:

How do I Judge the Complexity of a Text?

My school district recently moved to requiring teachers to level our classroom libraries according to Lexile levels. We were to use those levels to instruct students after testing the kiddos to find their Lexile. I understand matching books to readers, but I had a problem with this idea. The Lexile does not take into consideration the content of the material. The books Monster and Speak deal with very mature issues, yet have Lexile levels of 670 and 690. Those levels are suggested for approximately grades 3-5. If I recommended them for my fourth grade students, parents would be very upset with me and rightly so.

I think it is important for teachers to read the texts we are using with students first to be sure it truly matches what we plan to use it for. We cannot rely simply on a leveling system to make those decisions. It makes me sad when I hear teachers say they don't like to read. If we aren't readers, how can we model a love of reading for students?

Are We Creating Life-Long Learners?

It seems to me that we are not creating life-long learners these days. Instead, we are creating test takers. I tried to fight that trend while I was teaching. I wanted my students to love learning, to be readers, writers, and thinkers. Those are skills that transfer over to real life. But the focus on passing high-stakes tests has killed the love of learning for many teachers and kids. I wish I knew how to make that better.

Go visit Meg at The Teacher Studio and Tammy at Teaching FSL to link up and read more thoughts on these questions!

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