Reading. Some kids still struggle. Our classrooms, by age, are filled with students who read at different levels and for different interests. How do teachers meet those needs, and teach to the high standards of the Common Core State standards?
A Resource for Lessons and Texts: ReadWorks.org
One help for teachers is ReadWorks.org. This free site for K-8 provides thousands of nonfiction passages and literary connections paired with Common Core structured questions. Structured means they are aligned to the Common Core, and are presented to build student understand and gradually release responsibility to the student to be able to answer deeper questions. Kindergarten students provide text/image responses and allow for draw and text responses. The lessons are built on I-We-Me format: teach modeling, guided practice, and student independence.
Lessons are organized according by standards and in units based on Skill and Strategies, Comprehension, Novel Study [5 and 6], and Reading Passages. In Reading Passages, the search allows for specific criteria: key words, grade level, lexile level, domain, text type, and skill/strategy.
The articles are engaging to students, and I am able to find several lessons that allow for differentiation and skill progression as we read through and discuss the passages.
My students read the passage first with partners, and circle any “interesting” words. They write the words on scraps of paper, and I collect them. We discuss each word, first looking at context to figure out what it might mean, and then I fill in information the student need to understand the text. This helps build vocabulary and understanding of the text.
Questioning the Topic for Main Idea Adaptation
Next partners write questions the text will answer in a shared Google Doc. We discuss the questions and choose or revise one to write the best question that the reading passage answers, which becomes our focus for finding the main idea and supporting evidence. We refer to the question throughout the rest of the lesson provided by ReadWorks. It provides a final reflection for students when they discover they are able to write and explain their own questions.
I’m so glad to have discovered this resource: ReadWorks.org. It’s free. It’s all aligned to the Common Core State Standards [and many other state standards]. As I dig deeper into the Common Core, a resource like this is invaluable.
Have you tried ReadWorks.org ? What are your resources?