Deep thinking around a new topic can only happen if a student is able to comprehend the text. Imagine trying to do close reading of the history of the Mayans written in their native language or attempting to summarize Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time without any knowledge of physics! You simply can’t ask anyone to comprehend something they can’t read! That is basically what we’re asking students to do if we give them text that is way above their reading level. This chart from Reading Rockets helps us understand that in order for our students to comprehend new information they need to be able to read text with a least 90% accuracy.
INDEPENDENT LEVEL: Relatively easy for the student to read (95% word accuracy).
INSTRUCTIONAL LEVEL: Challenging but manageable for the reader (90% word accuracy).
FRUSTRATION LEVEL: Difficult text for the student to read (less than 90% word accuracy).
If we want our students to learn to think deeply about text, then they need to have access to text at their independent or instructional level. In Infinte Horizons language, we are differentiating the CHUNK by students' readiness level.
So this month Kathleen’s Infinite Horizons presents you with Kathleen’s Top 5 Online Websites for Leveled Text:
1) NewsELA (Grades 2-12) *FREE
2) ReadWorks (Grades K-12) *FREE
3) Scholastic Magazine (Grades K-12) *Price varies depending on grade and subscription type
4) ReWordify (Grades 6-12) *FREE
5) News-O-Matic (Grades 1-5+ can be used for K as well) *4.99/device (50% discount for 20 or more) or site licensing (price varies according to school size)
Download a more detailed chart of the top attributes here
Technology is making it easier and easier to give students engaging, relevant text at their reading level. The leveled text on the following websites will help you differentiate the CHUNK in your lessons so that all students can access text successfully. When students are able to access a text at their level, it opens the door to close reading and more complex student thinking and questioning.
For tips on how to use these resources in your classroom, check out our free resource, “Awesome Leveled Reading Activities.” We'd love to hear how you are using technology in your classroom to differentiate instruction on our facebook or twitter sites.
Written by: Michelle Leip with Kathleen Kryza