Thursday, July 07, 2005

A plug

As hard as J fought to get his reading skills, I did not want him to lose them over the summer. As I mentioned before, a kid gets to level 16 for a successful 1st grade around here. J made it to level 20, so 1/4 of the way into 2nd grade. For a non-reader to progress so well in such a short time was phenomenal.

Several months ago when I asked about J's teacher about choosing books at home that conform to his reading needs (too easy wasn't worth it and too hard or long frustrated him), she told me about Reading A-Z, a website geared toward guided reading, level by level. They go by a letter system, rather than a number system like above, but the conversion chart is here.

Each level has many books you can print at home. They also have worksheets (2-4/book at J's levels) which correlate. If you want to get fancy, you can use the lesson plans that go into greater depth for each book. The questions they ask remind me a lot of the stuff I do with Jr Great Books, wonderful for giving a higher order of understanding to the books and making kids think.

Or you can download them all for later use. The subscription is $30 and lasts 6 months. I plan to download all the books and workbooks for each upcoming grade before the subscription is up. Their system goes through grade 5.

If nothing else, they are reasonable length books that J can use for his summer reading lists. He'll be set for several more summers, too. Per his teacher's instructions, we are working on levels 16-20, so seeking maintenance of where he was, not progression. Second grade runs 18-30, third 30-38, fourth 40-44, and fifth 44+. This is so cool knowing the proper progress for reading and not operating in the dark. I plan to use them during the school year, too, to supplement the classroom.

As vigilant mom with an academically uncooperative (but highly structure-oriented) kid, this system feels close enough to the routines of school and is presented at appropriate levels of difficulty. He's shown decent levels of cooperation in return. His brain won't turn to mush this summer!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very very cool.