I have recently completed running Records using the Fountas and Pinnell books to test the reading levels of my Grade 5 students. I am pleased to say that all of my students are reading at Grade level or above at this time. Of the ten students I taught last year in Grade 4, they have all moved two reading levels above where they were in June.
What does this mean?
By using SOLE with my students everyday I have helped push their reading levels to new heights. Students are reading about topics of interest to them therefore they have a stronger connection with the reading material. By working in groups they are able to discuss their findings and ask pertinent questions about it. By presenting their findings to the class they are able to provide explanation and answer questions about their work as well as become less concerned with standing up in front of people to speak. All these things help boost their confidence.
As I am not using a formal reading program with them, they do not have to analyze “boring” texts and write down answers they have no direct connection with. This leads them to follow their instincts as we discuss the topics and I insert the different pieces of the curriculum into what we are doing.
I couldn’t be happier with their improvement.