Today I was in a second grade class. The kids were in between activities and the teachers was giving them time to read. For the first time in a long time, I had a student call me over because he wanted to read to me. As I knelt down next to him, he started reading his book, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, with such ease. He was pointing out aspects of the story that he thought might interest me. Since the book has some cartoons embedded, he read them with the inflection that the author intended. 2nd grade! He was so excited to share his learning with me. It was really cool.
After I left the class I Googled the book to see the level (I think my son started reading the series in 3rd grade). Turns out it has a grade equivalency of 5.3, a Lexile measure of 970L, and a guided reading level T. I know there is always a range with students, but I have to say I was more impressed after realizing level of the book. I think what impressed me even more is that over the last two years I have seen that student grow and mature.
My point with all of this is that learning is a process. In schools, we have to build the climate and culture to support growth. We can’t always get so tied up in the minutia of the standardized movement. Excitement for reading is exactly what we need!