From the Colorado Reading First information Fact Sheet!! Could this explain why so many gifted kids are currently very bored with the scripted Houghton Mifflin curriculum in use in all Greeley-Evans K-5 classrooms?
See how engaging this "word work" is! This is what kids in all grades in District Six are subjected to each day for 90 minutes straight!
Q: What should teachers do with advanced students during the reading block? Can they be moved to the next grade-level core?
A: We would absolutely not recommend moving students to another grade level of the program.
If that student already reads above grade level (maybe has a DIBELS ORF of 140-170), then he should still be involved with the core instruction (i.e., reading the basal story, doing the word work) that is provided to all students in the classroom.
[Watch a video clip of DIBELS testing for NONSENSE WORDS.]
If teachers are appropriately differentiating instruction as they should in the classroom and are
using a research-based program then there is usually no need to add another program. First of all, remember that DIBELS benchmarks are just baseline skills. In reality, we do want kids above these benchmarks to get ahead of the game, and we need to be challenging and extending them from where they are.
However, rarely will you see a reader in K-3 who would not benefit from explicit teaching of the grade level skills and strategies—what we teach is much more than oral reading fluency, nonsense wordfluency, etc. The grade level curriculum includes standards or information that “every first grader should know and be able to do by the end of the year” and this curriculum generally includes much more than what we expect with benchmark testing.
Take for instance an above level third grader - the base program is to teach the grade level skills and strategies. If that student already reads above grade level (maybe has a DIBELS ORF of 140-170), then he should still be involved with the core instruction (i.e., reading the basal story, doing the word work) that is provided to all students in the classroom. During small group instruction (when others may be receiving scaffolds for grade level support, and below level kids are getting intervention), the above level students would be reading books from the “challenge'’ materials - all of the current research based programs were required to provide reading materials to differentiate instruction for all levels of learners. Teachers could also add chapter books focused on the theme and reinforce the skill and strategy being taught that week in the core lessons.
We would absolutely not recommend moving students to another grade level of the program. This would be teaching an entirely different set of skills and strategies. Instead, you should increase the text level through differentiation or small group instruction and then provide opportunities for students to showcase skills through challenge projects and activities. This is why we need a mix of whole class and small group instruction—the small group component is to focus on differentiating instruction to meet specific needs, which includes challenging kids above the core instruction.
It is also important to remember that just because a student is reading above grade-level does not mean that he/she has learned ALL of the requisite skills in that grade-level. Advanced kids often hit a wall in fourth and fifth grade because they have been considered so "advanced" that they haven't been taught many of the grade-level skills that they need.
For more see Colorado Reading First Facts