The summer break has just barely begun, but faculty and staff members at hundreds of schools around the Houston Independent School District are already getting a head start on the coming school year by setting up something called “leveled bookrooms” on their campuses.
The bookrooms are being stocked with some of the more than $8.5 million worth of reading materials the district purchased from Scholastic, Inc. with approval from the Board of Education. They are sorted by reading level and contain multiple copies of more than 5,000 titles in a wide variety of text types, themes, genres, topics, and content areas. The bookrooms will serve as an integral part of the Literacy By 3 (LX3) initiative by providing materials for teachers to use in guided reading exercises. The goal of LX3 to have all third-grade students reading at or above grade level by the end of the third grade.
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“These libraries will help kids get better at reading right at the level they’re at,” said Bruce Elementary School Principal Trealla Epps. “One of the most effective ways to teach reading is to differentiate instruction and provide small group instruction in the form of guided reading.”
“In my classroom, I’ve always done guided reading [exercises],” said Bruce Elementary School teacher Judy Guerra, “but I’ve had to pull out resources from here and there. Now, we have bins of books that are easily available for us, and that makes our work so much easier and more efficient.”
LX3 is a necessary initiative. Reading is a priority. Materials are a necessary element, but Master Reading teachers should use these materials. As a district, we need to spend money for experts in all areas.