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Irene and Gay

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3/17/2010
Topic:
Trainings and Institutes

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
It is wonderful to hear your excitement and we look forward to hearing about the wonderful progress of your students. We have found that LLI and Reading Recovery work beautifully together serving the lowest achieving children, Thanks for sharing! Our best to you in your work.

Our Best, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Trainings and Institutes

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Elisa
Thank you for your kind comments. We are pleased that you are as excited as we are about the potential of LLI for struggling children. We did check our Continuum of Literacy Learning against the Texas standards as well as many other states but did not create a document. We believe you will find the Continuum exceeds the expectations.

Our best, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) workshops

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Stacy,

It is always wonderful to hear stories from teachers about how well their students are doing and especially when they love reading. Thanks for taking the time to share your progress!

Our best, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Leveling questions

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Wendy ,
The PM levels are the same as the Rigby levels and there is a correlation chart in the LLI Program Guide in Section 2.

Our best, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Leveling questions

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Julie,
We do not have a correlation chart for Lexiles as we have not found that they correlate to our levels. There may be a statistical correlation between Lexile levels and F & P levels. For example, if you run measures on thousands of books and over many levels, there would be a correlation. We have not performed these analyses ourselves. The lower F & P levels, in general, would have lower Lexile scores. The higher F & P levels generally would have higher scores. But this kind of correlation is not the same as a precise matching of levels, for example, a Lexile range of numbers corresponds to a specific A to Z level in a reliable way. The two systems are based on some of the same text factors but not all. Metametrics uses a mathematical formula, which they can explain. The F & P levels are based on the ten text factors named in several of our books. A group of raters reach reliability after independent analysis. We can not say with high prediction that a given book with a certain Lexile score will fall into a category on the F & P gradient. Every time we have looked at Lexile levels for texts that seem highly reliable on our scale, we have found a number of "outliers." Sorry we can’t be of more help.

Our best, Gay & Irene
3/17/2010
Topic:
Leveling questions

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Jennifer,
You might find the Instructional Level Expectations for Reading Charts helpful. In general, levels A–C is Kindergarten, Levels C–L is Grade 1, and Levels J–M is Grade 2.

Our best, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Leveling questions

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Aviva,
Thank you for your question. We are a little puzzled by the question about Accelerated Reader. We have not submitted the Blue System LLI books to any list other than our own booklist. The LLI books were designed specifically for the LLI system, so we do not think it would be appropriate for them to be used as part of another program like AR.

We are working with authors now on the extension of LLI to higher levels. We are aiming to publish an extension in 2011-2012, but right now we do not have an exact publication date. It will depend on how quickly we can get the high quality and engaging texts that we need!

Thanks, Gay and Irene
3/17/2010
Topic:
Leveling questions

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Sheila,
It is always difficult to comment on any specific situation without knowing the entire context but we will try to respond in a way that may be helpful. We do not know the reading levels #1 and #2 you referenced, so we can not respond to that information.
Using text levels is a complex process and isn’t completely explained by percentages. In several publications, we have cautiously specified the following percentages to guide instructional decisions:

1. For levels A to K, a text read at 90%-94% accuracy (with satisfactory or excellent comprehension) is considered an instructional level text. That means that the student can read it effectively with teacher help--a good introduction, prompting, and discussion). Reading successfully at the instructional level helps the child get better at reading!

2. For levels A to K, a text read at 95%-100% accuracy (with satisfactory or excellent comprehension) is considered to be an independent level text. That means that the student can read it without help. Reading at the independent level is extremely valuable because the reader gains fluency, reading “mileage,” new vocabulary, and experience thinking about what texts mean (comprehension).

We wouldn’t want anyone to interpret these percentages in a rigid way, of course. A child might read one text at 91% and then experience a few tricky words in the next book and read it with 89%. Usually, a child reads quite a few books at the instructional level because he needs to experience books that are organized different ways, for example, funny stories, nonfiction, traditional stories, “how to” books, etc. Also, by reading quite a few books, the child can build up vocabulary.

So, we do not have one criterion for moving to the next level. And, much more than “level” would figure into decisions about promotion. Schools and districts, of course, may develop their own policies, but we simply advise being sure that the reader is reading smoothly and easily with satisfactory accuracy and comprehension before moving to the next level.

The level is just one way that the teacher monitors the progress of the reader. Chapter 10 of Guided Reading lists characteristics for each level, so you can see the range of complex mental actions the reader needs to demonstrate. Also, if you look at Chapter 3 of Guided Reading, you can see a summary of abilities that go into assessing any reader.

The best think you can do to help your child would be to have him do a great deal of reading at his independent level. Don’t worry so much about the level. Get books that are engaging and that he finds relatively easy. If you go to a good children’s bookstore or library, you can have him try a few until you find the easy ones. And, probably, his teacher would be able to let him take home independent level books. When you are helping him, be sure that there are only a few tricky words that he needs to ask you to tell him. In this way, he will have the opportunity to work with “smooth processing.” It is not helpful to a young reader to struggle through a book asking for help every five to ten words.

Help him read in phrases using some expression. (A great way to do this is to take turns reading pages.) Also, rereading is helpful, although you wouldn’t want to go so far that the book becomes boring. Your son may enjoy drawing and talking about the stories he reads, and that will expand comprehension and the ability to talk about books. Above all, make reading fun!

Our best, Gay and Irene
3/17/2010
Topic:
Progress Monitoring for Response to Intervention

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Catherine,

You would not want to use the Benchmark Assessment System as often as every two weeks. You can, however, select Optional Assessments included in BAS which can provide valuable diagnostic information. On this website, you will find Instructional Level Expectation Charts that will be useful for RtI progress monitoring. Another strategy is to take regular reading records using leveled books. You can take these records as a regular, integral part of small group instruction or intervention groups.

The schedule below indicates the way one school district has made this practice operational. Optional assessments could vary by grade level. For example, K and Grade 1 students could use Phonemic Awareness, Letter Knowledge, Word Writing, and High Frequency Word Recognition. Older readers could use assessments like the Word Features Assessment.

Week 1 -- Full Benchmark Assessment system, including text-reading level and selected optional assessments (four selected)
Week 2 -- Text reading level using any leveled book
Week 3 – BAS Optional Assessments #1 and #2
Week 4 -- Text reading level using any leveled book
Week 5 – BAS Optional Assessments #3 and #4
Week 6 -- Text reading level using any leveled book
Week 7 – BAS Optional Assessments #1 and #2
Week 8 -- Text reading level using any leveled book
Week 9 – BAS Optional Assessments #3 and #4
Week 10 -- Text reading level using any leveled book
Week 11 – BAS Optional Assessments #1 and #2
Week 12 -- Text Reading Level using any leveled book
Week 13 – BAS Optional Assessments #3 and #4
Week 14 -- Benchmark Assessment Text Reading Level

Our best, Gay and Irene
3/17/2010
Topic:
Progress Monitoring for Response to Intervention

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Anne,

Thank you for asking. We are in the process of developing LLI Systems for Grades 3-8, which will go from Level L-Z. However, this will take a couple of years, so stay tuned!

Our best, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Progress Monitoring for Response to Intervention

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Carey,

Tools like our Benchmark Assessment System and ongoing progress monitoring (running records) are similar procedures with two different purposes.
Benchmark Assessment is conducted at specific intervals throughout the school year (e.g., beginning, middle, end of year). It is always conducted in a highly standardized way and the results are recorded. These results provide a starting point for instruction and also measure achievement over time. Reading records are taken on a first reading of a previously unseen text, with a highly standardized introduction. This reading provides a very conservative estimate of what a child can do without teaching.

Ongoing running records (or reading records as we use them in LLI) are taken at regular intervals as an integral part of instruction. They provide an assessment of a child’s performance on the second reading of a text. We would expect a child to demonstrate more effective reading on a level after he has experienced teaching and a first reading. This gives us an ongoing check on what we are teaching him to do as a reader. It informs ongoing teaching as well. So, the teacher is getting immediate feedback on the effectiveness of her teaching. She is always working for greater and greater independence so that the student will ultimately demonstrate those effective behaviors on higher levels during Benchmark Assessment.

Both are standardized, and both provide information about reading behaviors and the appropriateness of the level. Ongoing running records have the additional value of showing us what the reader can do with teaching. Often, the teacher is working on the child`s benchmark tested instructional level and finds that on the second reading, the child is demonstrating accuracy and comprehension as if this is the independent level. That, in fact, is what we want. The teaching has made the difference--making it possible for the child to be an extremely proficient reader on a level that would be a little harder without the teaching. We hope this helps.

Our best, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Progress Monitoring for Response to Intervention

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Jennifer,

There are about 40 different Optional Assessments included in the Benchmark Assessment System. They can be found in the Assessment Forms Book or CD-ROM. There is only one version of each assessment. The numbers indicated in the previous post do not refer to specific assessment, the choice of the assessments you use would be up to you, based on the needs of your students.

Our best, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Progress Monitoring for Response to Intervention

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Kate,

LLI is an intervention system. It is designed to be used with readers who need extra help to learn to read up to level N (first part of grade 3). It can be used with any kind of literacy curriculum, but it is certainly compatible with a balanced approach since each 30-minute lesson includes a great deal of reading continuous texts (really good books!), phonics/word study, and writing about reading. There is an intensive focus on teaching comprehension, but you will also find daily phonics lessons. In the guide you will find plans for implementing LLI within a layered, comprehensive literacy curriculum. Teachers use lesson guides with 300 specifically designed lessons to guide teaching. The system has a Data Management CD that makes it easy to track progress. Students` scores on text reading would be taken and record every 6 days (for a group of 3). You will also be advised on "check up" assessment of phonics skills and word knowledge. Please take a look at the RTI Charts we’ve developed for further information on this subject.

Our Best, Gay & Irene
3/17/2010
Topic:
Progress Monitoring for Response to Intervention

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Peter,

LLI can be implemented as a Tier 1, 2, or 3 intervention and various school districts have made their plans in different ways. A classroom teacher can provide more intensive small group instruction with LLI. The most common use is as a supplementary tier two or three intervention as it involves close diagnostic work for the short term. You will find many RTI documents on this website so you can review various options.

Our best, Gay and Irene
3/17/2010
Topic:
Progress Monitoring for Response to Intervention

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Jennifer,

Beginning and ending grade level expectations are based on typical levels at each time period. They are consistent with state standards. If they are met, then student should be assured of making adequate progress across grades. (Note, that text levels are based not only on accuracy but on satisfactory comprehension.) Expectations at time points within grade levels have been created for the purposes of RTI monitoring. They provide a guide for constantly checking to see whether students are making satisfactory progress towards the end-of-year goal. This progress monitoring gives the teacher information on when and how much intervention might be needed. The percentage of students at each tier will vary greatly depending on the overall achievement in the school. We do not have numbers because of this variation. However, your expectation should be that when you have excellent classroom instruction and layers of effective interventions in place, about 80% of the students will fall into tier 1; that is; they will make sufficient progress with good classroom instruction. About 20% would need intervention (possibly a choice of several tier 2 interventions); and only about 5% would need intensive tier 3 interventions. When you are initially developing your literacy program, you may find many more students needing intervention. As you work together over time, you should find that the percentages change.

Our best, Gay & Irene.
3/17/2010
Topic:
Progress Monitoring for Response to Intervention

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Joanne,

The Benchmark Assessment System is designed to be used as interval assessment. You would not want to use it for progress monitoring every two weeks. Generally, a teacher would need only one title at each level, alternating fiction and nonfiction as you move up the levels. In rare cases, a second or alternative book would be needed, so we have provided a second. You would use the Benchmark Assessment at the beginning, maybe middle, and at the end of the year (or maybe even quarterly if required by your district). In between it is best to take running records on the leveled books you are using in instruction to get an objective look at how the child is performing on instructional level text and with what strategic actions. You may want to take a look at the RTI charts on the website to look at the two-week progress monitoring expectations. In any case, a child would likely work at Level R for much longer than two weeks. You might also re-administer some of the diagnostic optional assessments periodically to see if the student has improved in some of that knowledge. In summary, we encourage you to use the Benchmark Assessment, as it has been designed, for interval assessment and your ongoing assessment, every two weeks on the instructional level texts. Let us know if this helps.

Our best, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Progress Monitoring for Response to Intervention

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Tam,

LLI was designed to supplement good classroom teaching. This intervention can serve to close the achievement gap and bring children to grade level because they are getting something extra. Your district can decide how to use it as supplementary, intensive support for the children below grade level. Many schools use it for tier 2 or 3, though some schools have managed to provide coverage for the classroom teacher to provide extra lessons beyond the regular classroom instruction before school, after school, or even during the day while someone else works with the other children. Hope this helps.

Our best, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Assessment and Grouping

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Tova,
Thank you for attending our presentation. When you assess a child’s level you would determine easy, instructional and also what is the hard Level. You would begin instruction at the instructional level.

Our best, Gay and Irene
3/17/2010
Topic:
Assessment and Grouping

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Marcia,

Our Benchmark Assessment System is an interval assessment, meant to be used every several months—two, or three, or four times a year, It is designed to measure change over time. You would not want to use it to determine when children should move to a new level. Rather you should take a running record on a text the student can read at an instructional level to determine his progress.

Hope this helps, Irene and Gay
3/17/2010
Topic:
Student Self-Corrections

Irene and Gay
Irene and Gay
Dear Kellie,
Thank you for your question. Self-correction is a behavior that changes over time. You might find the chapter on self correction in When Readers Struggle very interesting for your discussion. We would not use self-correction rate to determine instructional level. We would use it as one factor in considering a student’s placement level. Be careful not to hold a reader at a lower level unless you have good rationales. When you have determined the instructional level at which you can teach for effective behaviors, you can prioritize teaching for self-monitoring and self-correction behavior at that level.

Our best to you and your team!
Irene and Gay
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