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Beyond Leveled Books

Supporting Transitional Readers in Grades 2-5

Beyond Leveled Books by Karen Szymusiak; Franki Sibberson
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Leveled books are now recognized as an essential tool in helping beginning readers learn to read. But once students have mastered many basic decoding and comprehension strategies, they move into a period of transition as readers. Transitional readers, with their diverse needs, have always challenged and delighted teachers in the upper-elementary grades. These readers have mastered many skills but are not yet able to choose books and sustain reading independently in a wide variety of genres. This book takes a close look at the way classroom routines, small-group instruction, mini-lessons, and conversations can help students move toward independence.

Text levels are an effective tool for helping teachers match books with readers, but transitional readers can also benefit from the additional perspective that enables teachers to recognize the supports that texts have to offer. Beyond Leveled Books asks teachers to explore beyond levels and to look closely at the "supports" in the books they are reading with their students. These text supports include the way chapters are organized, text layout, dialogue, and more. Series books, chapter books, and picture books will take on new roles in upper-elementary reading instruction. Organized in charts and bibliographies, Beyond Leveled Books includes many examples of text supports from books commonly used by grades 2-5 teachers.

This book provides teachers with: examples of classroom instruction for transitional readers; sample mini-lessons; strategies for grouping students for small-group instruction; assessment techniques; samples of student work; resources for working with parents; lists of suggested books for instruction. Beyond Leveled Books invites teachers to examine the characteristics and needs of transitional readers and provides instructional tools that will help students become strategic, independent readers.

Stenhouse Publishers; December 2005
145 pages; ISBN 9781571104441
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Title: Beyond Leveled Books
Author: Karen Szymusiak; Franki Sibberson