Mixed Ability Inclusive Classroom Case Study
A Teacher’s Perspective on Books That Grow
Katie Owens is an ELA Resource Teacher at Coulwood STEM Academy in Charlotte NC, a school that is 1:1 with Google Chromebooks. Ms Owens was having difficulty engaging students of varied reading levels in the same classroom, so she intergrated Books That Grow into her language arts instruction. Below she describes her experiences with Books That Grow.
Is it difficult to teach ELA in a classroom of students with varied reading abilities, if so, why?
Definitely - I teach EC, so often my students are at many varied levels. Books that Grow allows me to help those students who are ready for something more difficult while still teaching the same story to those students who are still struggling.
How does Books That Grow help you differentiate or individualize instruction?
I can use Google Read and Write with Books that Grow, so my students can listen as the story is read to them, and they can highlight dialogue, main idea or other things and create an annotation document with Google Read and Write. I love that they can read classics that everyone else reads at a level that is understandable to them.
What changes in behavior / engagement from your struggling readers have you observed when using Books That Grow?
I've seen a particular student who never engages read and listen to stories on Books that Grow and really engage with the story. She was giggling and giving expression as she read it on her level on Books That Grow. I didn't even have to explain what was happening in the story.
Can you share an anecdote or story about a specific student (no name needed) who achieved a 'win' or a 'success' because of Books That Grow?
Besides the student mentioned above, all of my students have benefited because they can understand a classic story without me having to stop every sentence and explain it to them.
Has Books That Grow benefited your on-level and advanced students, if so, how?
Yes, definitely! They also love to read classics, and they can change the level to a college level when they feel ready.
Why should more schools, teachers, start using Books That Grow?
This is a great tool to help our students attack the classic stories. They can switch back and forth between levels, and they can grow with the book they're reading. It's beautiful to see a student enjoy reading while having just the right amount of struggle in order to succeed and learn.