It’s the middle of the year and it is time for that dreaded MOY (middle of year testing).BUT...what I love about MOY testing in first grade is seeing my students SOAR!!!Each year I am blown away at how far they come on their reading levels.In my district, we use the DRA assessment to find out each student’s reading level (based on letter levels).For instance, an emergent reader who is still reading repetitive text with MANY pictures would be on a level A and progress up the alphabet.Hooray for me because I have WONDERFUL readers this year and so many of my children are reading on a level I or higher ALREADY!Wowie, wow, wow, in the words of Junie B. Jones (one of my most favorite characters).
So...how do I do it?Lots and lots of reading.Whole group reading, guided reading, homework reading, shared reading, partner reading,reading center, reading, reading, reading.
For guided reading, I only put 3 kids in each group.Yes, this means that I must see many groups but I love working with only 3 as I feel that the students get more of what they need.After setting up guided reading groups based on abilities, I put a color to each group.This way they never know who is higher or lower, they are just a group.When I want a particular group, I call that color group over.They know who is in which group by looking at the posters on my cabinet door.
To differentiate my reading center I put leveled books in to baskets marked with the color groups. When my kiddos go to the reading center they select their colored basket and read from those books.