Many kids love to play video games, especially ones that involve trying to “level up,” or move their character further through the game. Players are aware that as the levels increase, so do the complexity and challenges of the game, so they must acquire more tactics and skills to move toward the ultimate objective—winning. A similar dynamic holds true for achieving reading success with leveled readers in education.
Leveled readers are books that are written with different proficiencies in mind and that are designed to meet students at their current reading level while providing them a pathway to increase their reading ability. Leveled readers can include fiction or nonfiction texts and cover a wide range of content areas to address various interest levels of readers. As a result, students in the same class or group can be motivated and engaged to read about the same topic, but at their own level of understanding as they further develop their literacy skills.
Carefully crafted leveled books like Vista’s Get Reading! libraries are ideal resources to help multilingual/English learners and striving readers level up their reading skills. When topics are presented at different readability levels, students at all levels are able to learn similar content and participate in broader discussions where they can learn from each other. Also, exposing students to texts with varied proficiency and language, and using strategies like differentiated instruction and targeted reading support and practice, allow striving readers to continue increasing their vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency while focusing on developing strong literacy skills.
By using leveled readers, students not only level up to become better readers, they also become more confident readers, and therefore choose to read more often.
By Angela Padron