Using the theoretical basis of Allington and the many resources available through Fountas and Pinnell, we began leveling our libraries, trying to match books to readers. We became more responsible about not letting students read texts that were too hard for them. Armed with checklists of skills, sometimes we found that our conferences were sounding less and less like readerly conversations and more like scripted lessons. What other impact did this have?
This post is instead meant to be the start of a conversation that many are having. It's not a black-and-white decision of either we know kids' levels or we give them choice. Please join this conversation by commenting here and helping us figure this out. It will help many teachers and leaders shape their values and align them to their practices. It will help many students rekindle their love of reading while they continue to grow the important muscles they need.
It's what we're ready for!