I’ve been listening to my little ones read out loud for a week straight now so we can complete running records. I can probably regurgitate every word of some of the leveled texts. What I have loved most is hearing and witnessing all the growth of my readers! I wish I could take all of the credit – but luckily I have an amazing assistant, supportive parents, and amazing apps on the iPad to help me scaffold my guided reading instruction.
The saying of the Little Engine that Could kept popping up in my mind today while listening to them read. “I think I can! I think I can!” Many of my students are taking risks and pushing themselves because they think they can. Their intrinsic motivation is really paying off! With the leveled readers we have on the iPads, they can explore texts above their level by having it read to them. By listening repeatedly to the same story, they can become more fluent readers and then try these texts on their own.
Our reading series offers an app with the leveled readers loaded on to them. Students can explore all of the kindergarten level texts. There are also a few higher level texts we have access to because they were samples. Using choice, they are able to select books for their own bookshelf – and again listen to books as a preview before reading. They love going to the library to select what interests them.
Using their voice, they are able to tell me when they feel ready to read a text aloud to me. They feel in charge and this has made a great difference! I use all of these observations to impact my guided reading groups and lessons.
More and more I am seeing how voice and choice empower even the youngest learners. We think we can! We know we can!