Strategy

Leveled Texts

Leveled Readers

UDL 5.3

Leveled texts belong to various leveling systems and are a common feature in today’s reading programs. Texts are classified and matched to students’ individual reading levels in order to bring a more individual, personalized approach to reading. The purpose of using leveled texts within a reading program is to maximize the time that an individual student spends actually reading, instead of receiving mostly skill instruction. Leveled texts may be used individually or in small group instruction. While reading leveling systems vary in the specificity in which texts are grouped and classified, a student’s independent reading level is usually determined by a benchmark assessment that accounts for reading fluency and comprehension. If a student meets certain parameters on these benchmark assessments, he/she is given or selects texts within his/her leveled text band, which ranges in structural and content complexity. When leveled texts are used in guided reading or with adult support, the text is slightly above a student’s independent reading level, also known as an instructional level text.

Implementation Tips

Leveled Sets for the Whole Class
When working with struggling readers in content specific areas, use students’ reading levels to guide acquisition of new material. Some leveling systems provide content specific materials that could be used as supplementary materials for students who either struggle to grasp difficult content-rich texts that generally accompany content specific subjects.
Student Choice
When having students select independent reading time books, allow them to take a few at a time (particularly for emerging and early readers). Students may book shop in the classroom library and store their weekly selections of leveled books in a book baggie.
Classroom Library with Leveled Sections
Set up a classroom library where part of the library has leveled selections in labeled bins. In such a library, students may still pick from a range of series and genres of their interest, but also have an easy way to select books at their independent, or “just-right” level. Depending on the leveling system used, there are many leveled reading systems with online resources for leveling books such as [[ http://www.fountasandpinnellleveledbooks.com/default.aspx | Fountas and Pinnell]], [[http://www.readinga-z.com/ | Reading A-Z]], and [[http://www.lexile.com/ | Lexile]]

Examples

ELA - Guided Reading
Form small reading groups of 4-6 students based around the level of text they are able to access. Select an instructional text slightly above what the students could understand by themselves and provide scaffolds and supports during your small group instruction to give them an appropriate amount of reading challenge while successfully gaining new reading experience and skills.
ELA - Independent Reading
During independent reading, students read some leveled texts within their level range. Students may choose to have a few “just-right” leveled books and a few choice books to allow flexibility in their reading choices.
ELA - Literacy stations
Arrange various literacy stations that utilize leveled texts depending on the level of independence at each station. For example, during reader’s theater, use leveled scripts in reader’s theater to encourage increased reading fluency and comprehension at the students’ instructional levels.

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