Leveled Texts: How and When Teachers Should Use Them By Melanie M. Walski
Introductory Paragraph: Using leveled texts for reading instruction has become a common, and often expected, practice in many elementary classrooms across the United States. Using leveled texts (i.e., those that increase in difficulty on dimensions of word recognition and comprehension demands) is so widely accepted that some teachers and administrators base their reading instruction and assessments around these levels. Leveled texts are not the most important component of reading instruction and reading achievement, however. Leveled texts can be useful tools for teachers, but they should not be the sole guiding force for how reading develops or instruction occurs. This article is organized into three parts: (1) the underlying theory of text leveling and how these levels are aligned to readers will be outlined; (2) the complications of leveling and its implication for classroom instruction will be discussed; and (3) suggestions for how and when leveled texts can be appropriately and productively used in classrooms will be offered.
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