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In response to Susan Mackey's question: Do we need Dolch readers in
the library?
I think it is important to separate something like Dolch, most of
which is literature reduced to controlled vocabulary and Wright
(at least the Wright series I was familiar with when I was last in a district,
four years ago), which is material designed for  "whole language."

One might look at the list of books in Appendix A of _Reading
Recovery: Early Intervention for At-Risk First Graders_.  Here,
pre-reading and early reading levels are differentiated finely, with
the intent of assisting youngsters to move up the skills/reading
ladder largely on their own.  These materials (including Wright,
Rigby, and Richard C. Owen publishers) are original pieces.  They are
written to provide support for new readers:  visual context, rhyme,
rhythm, etc.  I would not be averse to having some of these in a
library, although many come only in paperback and may be better
suited for classroom use.

To get a sense of the levels, note that Bill Martin's _Brown Bear,
Brown Bear_ is on level 4, John Langstaff's _Oh, A-Hunting We Will
Go_ is on level 8, Tolstoy's _The Great Big Enormous Turnip_ is on
level 13, and Slobodkina's _Caps for Sale_ is on level 20.  (I am
sure we are all aware that many picture books are written at third-
and fourth-grade reading level; splendid for read-aloud, but not for
independent reading by beginners.)

I should also add that these same books are used in the "whole
language" classroom for all kids, and are not just for Reading
Recovery, which is an intervention program for any child who is not
reading at the end of one year in school.

One must watch some of these reading series, however, as the
vocabulary may be British/Australian/New Zealander, rather than words
and spellings our youngsters would encounter in the U.S.

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