Knowing a child’s reading level is an invaluable tool. A level can be a first step in assessing readers and planning instruction. But a level can also quickly become an anchor that limits thinking about where children are as readers and what might be next. Rely on levels too much, and you might miss gaps in reading skills and strategies necessary for continued growth.

This course will help you understand how levels can help and hinder teachers, and show you alternatives for assessing needs and grouping even the youngest learners.

The Deep Dive course is divided into five sections. Each section begins with a 10–20-minute keynote, followed by “You Try It” suggestions to help you think through how to balance levels with other means of assessing readers’ needs.

What You’ll Learn

  • how to integrate observations into assessments
  • grouping for instruction
  • understanding the youngest learners and their needs
  • troubleshooting when guided groups aren’t working
  • developing classroom libraries without using levels as an organizing principle

What You’ll Get

  • five keynote lesson presentations
  • access to 30+ site articles and videos to deepen your learning
  • Strength and Stretch Individual Conference Form download
  • lifetime access if purchased
  • free access for Literacy Leader members
  • a Certificate of Completion indicating six hours of professional learning


Contributors of print and video features are literacy coaches from across the country, including Stephanie Affinito, Ruth Ayres, Tara Barnett, Katie DiCesare, Katrina Edwards, Heather Fisher, Shari Frost, Clare Landrigan, Melanie Meehan, Kate Mills, Kathy Provost, Heather Rader, Franki Sibberson, and Stella Villalba.

More Details

You’ll leave the course with planning templates, guiding questions, and a lot of good-humored advice for keeping levels in perspective as a valuable but limited tool.

This course is included with Literacy Leadership and Literacy Team memberships.

Course Curriculum

Introduction to the Limits of Levels
Data Beyond Numbers
Be Careful How You Group
When Groups Aren’t Working
Rethinking the Classroom Library

Meet Your Instructor

Cathy Mere

Enrollment Options

Course Only

$59.00 Purchase Access

Get access to all book guides and Choice Literacy courses with membership.

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