- The Reading Paradigm: Quality vs. Quantity in Reading Instruction - December 8, 2015
- Guided Reading With Early Readers - January 4, 2013
- Back to School Must Have's: Bulletin Boards - August 20, 2012
- The Biggest "No-No" in Reading Instruction - August 13, 2012
- The Reading Paradigm: Equity Does Not Mean Equal in Reading Instruction - August 6, 2012
When you first started teaching reading, did you think your students had to read all those books that come with the reading program? I did. I opened my box, pulled out the teacher’s manual, organized the basals, decodable readers, and leveled readers. We would read the story in the reading book (basal), then break off into small groups and read the decodable readers and the next day read the leveled readers.
While that method is fine and good, there are many of us teachers that have to fit reading into a specified amount of time dictated by your principal or district. In my case, it’s a 90-minute block. So reading everything a reading program has prescribed for you to read in one week is quite a feat. A feat that I could sometimes accomplish, but felt rushed while doing so.
What I have found is that quality is greater than quantity. It is more effective for your students to read one text well than many texts poorly. Simplify by focusing on fewer texts. Pick texts that will best cover the skills you must teach for that week. On occasion, I find myself not liking any of the texts. In this case, I will pull from other resources other than my reading program. I am not afraid to go to the library and ask for multiple copies of the same text for a small group. Follow your instincts. If you know a book that is perfect to teach the skills, forego the teacher’s manual and use it.
What's the most effective way for teachers to choose quality texts when your reading instruction is not ideal?