Creating Accelerated Reading Level for "Walk Two Moons"
Walk Two Moons and AR
The Newbery Award recipient Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech, a novel for fifth graders, has a predetermined accelerated reading (AR) level of 4.9. This point system is a result of a calculation based on the length and difficulty of the book. For teachers using AR in their reading instruction, the challenge here is how to make these numbers meaningful to student learning. To find out more about AR, click on the Accelerated Reader website. Meanwhile, here are some of the activities that you can implement in your reading classroom based on Walk Two Moons accelerated reading level.
Determining ZPD from AR Testing Results
Following the AR procedure, have your students tested on their reading comprehension of Walk Two Moons. Use the test results as your guide on how to find out your student's zone of proximal development (ZPD) and how to hone his/her reading comprehension skills by following these steps:
1. If your student scores a 3, for instance--a score below the AR level of Walk Two Moons (4.9)--subtract one full point from 4.9, arriving at the reading level 3.9. This means that the reading levels of books that you can recommend to this student should have points ranging from 3.9 - 4.9.
2. If your student scores a 5, for instance--a score higher than the AR level of Walk Two Moons, subtract 0.5 from 4.9 to arrive at 4.4, and add 0.5 to 4.9 resulting in 5.4. Therefore, the range of books this student should read is from 4.4 to 5.4.
3. If your student scores a 6, for instance--a score way higher than the AR level of Walk Two Moons, subtract 0.5 from 4.9 to arrive at 4.4, and add a full point (1.0) to 4.9 to arrive at 5.9. Therefore, the books this student should read would have to range from 4.4 to 5.9.
For a more detailed discussion on these steps, click on the link to read about Jeff Hoffart's DRA and AR conversion.
From Numbers to Learning
After testing your students, you will have three distinct groups--the struggling readers, independent readers, and advanced readers. Hand out recommended reading lists that are unique to each of these three groups in order for them to have a wide array of choices of books to read during their free time. For Walk Two Moons, here are some group activities you can try:
Have a differentiated, collaborative group activity using your three reading groups. Give out a task card for each circle of students.
- Task for struggling readers: Passage Party. Each student belonging to this group must select their favorite passage from the book Walk Two Moons. They are to read the passage aloud to the class and share why they like that passage.
- Task for independent readers: Character Control. "If you could change one personality of a character in the book, what would that be? Why do you want to change it? Into what new personality will you change it?" These questions will be answered by the independent readers in front of the class.
- Task for advanced readers: Quotes in Daily Notes. Recall that in the novel, Mrs. Partridge kept on leaving notes will quotations written on them. Have the advanced readers read aloud what these quotes are. Then, they are to explain what each quote means as it was shown in the story and as it is shown in examples from real life--preferably from the everyday encounters of your students.
Meeting All Students' Needs
It is indeed important to be aware of the Walk Two Moons accelerated reading level scores of your students so that lesson activities and classroom instruction may be designed especially to meet the needs of each type of reader--not all your readers will need the same treatment from you in the classroom. In addition, give out reading lists to each group for them to have a wide array of book titles to choose from during their free time.