When I started teaching, I had big dreams of having deep conversations about chapter books like Shiloh, Tuck Everlasting, and The Island of the Blue Dolphin. I’m lucky enough to have some book clubs and those dreamed of conversations. My favorite book being Number the Stars, btw.
What I didn’t dream about and wasn’t prepared for was the number of students who could not read at grade level. They didn’t talk about that in undergrad classes!
This year, I had 4 students who couldn’t pass BAS Level A in August. That’s the most ever in one class. I struggled to find books that were low level but not insulting to the age of my students.
Finally, I decided on rainy days this summer, I would create my own series of nonfiction early readers with real photographs that would be interesting and more importantly, not insulting, to the nine and ten year old who struggle to read even the most basic sight words.