Our district uses the Dibels Program and my group of 15 students were all at the strategic level. I began the 15-16 school year by dividing my 4th grade strategic group into two to three groups. I would meet with one group while the other groups were completing a task relating to fluency, comprehension, retell, or reading stories on line. We would rotate groups every 20 minutes.
Fellow teachers will understand the dilemma I faced. The group I was working with stayed totally focused and on task while the other groups would start out strong but then would begin to be unfocused, often to the point of me needing to leave my group to redirect.
Then, I did what any good teacher would do, I searched the web for strategies. My search led me to L2L and I couldn’t be happier. I immediately took advantage of the free trial period and signed up each of my students. We started the next day. I began introducing the program to the entire group and demonstrated to them how to proceed through each lesson. We set a class goal that each student would improve their ORF by 10 words. Our ultimate goal was for each of them to test at the Benchmark Level in May.
Once the students were comfortable with the program, I no longer divided my class into groups but worked with one student at a time targeting his/her needs while the rest worked with L2L. Our classroom transformed. Students were engaged. Not just a few but all of them. Even my reluctant readers, who would read one page or one paragraph and then put down the book, stayed on task.
Within the first month, two of the students moved out of Strategic to Benchmark. I began using the program in March of 2016. I felt so strongly about the program’s value that to keep the program running throughout the rest of the school year and through the summer, I purchased it myself.
May benchmark was an exciting time. Of my 15 students, all but a very few moved up to benchmark. Those who missed the benchmark were less than 10 words away. Remember, my reluctant reader?
He blew that benchmark score out of the water.
Not only did my students improve their ORF (Oral Reading Fluency) but their Retell also greatly improved along with their comprehension and writing skills.
I can not praise this program enough.