Takoda Prep students start each day by taking time to read, showing an increase in their Lexile scores.
For over two school years, students and faculty at Takoda Prep have taken part in a school-wide initiative called Drop Everything and Read (D.E.A.R.). This program was initially put in place to boost students’ interest in reading, but it has grown to so much more.
At first, students could choose any book they desired to read once per week during a class wide D.E.A.R. session. Students chose poetry, graphic novels, traditional narratives, and everything in between. Fast forward to present day, and D.E.A.R. takes place in a daily credit earning class each morning. It’s a wonderfully calm way to start our day. Students now choose books based on their Lexile number. We find the students’ Lexile numbers by using a helpful program called Renaissance Learning. A short assessment, which we take monthly to progress monitor students, gives us an opportunity to learn more about students’ reading abilities using a research based system. If the students’ Lexile score improves, they earn a reward. This has greatly motivated students to read as often as possible and perform well on the assessment. D.E.A.R. and Renaissance Learning have greatly improved our ability to understand student literacy concerns, build confidence and interest in reading, as well as promote the importance of reading in life.
So far this year, Takoda Prep students have spent 108 hours reading in school. The two students with the most reading—Melena in 11th grade, and Alejandra in 9th grade—have read 11.68 hours and 9.25 hours, respectively. Our student with the highest Lexile score is Santino, 12th grade, with an 1815L. That’s a college level reader!
So far, 64% of students who have tested at least twice have shown improvement in their Lexile scores, and we look forward to seeing our students’ interest in reading continue to grow.
Christy Hicks, Instructor at Takoda Prep