March 01, 2019

Reading Horizons Review: Nina Stokes

Tags: Correctional Education, Direct Instruction

I have had very positive results using the Reading Horizons Level 1 and Level 2 Reading Library Books.

Students have moved from Book 1 to Book 2 with very little difference. So, I like the transition from one level to the next. 

Students enjoy these books because they are current and interesting. As a teacher, I like the fact that the topics are so varied, there truly is something for everyone in the books. 

My favorite thing about the Level 1/Level 2 books is the fact that they include so much on Social Studies and Science topics. My students prefer the Science. I taught Biology/Anatomy for many years and I found the articles to be well written and correct in their details. 

My students also like the articles on their personal health/medicine. I find that reading the articles leads to great discussion, which increases their level of interest.

I sometimes assign certain articles if we are covering Science/Social Studies, but I also let them choose. This is their favorite assignment from the books; they often don't want to stop. I have found that letting them choose is a better assignment. For struggling readers, just getting them to read at all is often difficult and they find much of the material in the textbooks boring, outdate or juvenile. I let them choose which articles to read, because I think that students that are reading something they are interested in will continue reading.

The greatest problem Reading Horizons Reading Library Books has helped me to solve is the fact that our other ABE/Literacy text are outdated and are not going to be replaced any time soon. They are not about adult topics. Reading Horizons Reading Library Books are the preferred reading text. I have had students almost refuse to reading any of the other reading text that I have for ABE/Literacy. Students tell me that they find them (other texts) offensive because the books make them fell like thy are "stupid" because of the level. But, they do not feel that way about the Reading Horizons Reading Library Books. I have one student who refused to work in other books, but she has moved through most of Reading Level 1 and is seeing progress.

Using Reading Horizons Reading Library Books allows the challenged reader to stay in the class and read out of a book like the rest of the class. Because Level 1 and Level 2 look alike, the students feel more included and are able to sit and not feel so isolated. I hand them out randomly so students sometimes get a 1, sometimes get a 2. But, for the struggling reader, I always make sure that they get a Level 1, yet it is not so noticeable to the other students in the class.

These books have helped me as a teacher because I don't have to be searching for current, relevant material. The books are easy to use, they are well organized, students can navigate to the questions and the answers easily because the informaiton is at the bottom of every page. The Table of Contents helps them to choose their topics.

I would recommend the Reading Horizons Reading Library Books to others for many reasons, but the greatest one is that it gets students reading that didn't want to read before. They don't even realize they are "doing" Science and Social Studies and the articles relate to what we are doing in the classroom in these subjects. 

Grade Level: Adult Ed