Black (Bk)

What is a Bk Reader?

Acquire a Series Reading Habit

Bk-level readers really get hooked on reading. This is when silent reading takes off and readers will sit and read for long periods of time, reluctant to stop because they want to find out what happens next. Bk is the level where good readers binge on junky series books (e.g., Goosebumps, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Matt Christopher’s sports fiction). This should be encouraged because it builds fluency, silent reading speed, endurance, and the habit of reading. Literary taste will come with experience. Require Bk-level readers to demonstrate their proficiency in both fiction and nonfiction, but otherwise let them indulge their passions. The levels that follow require students to broaden their reading into new genres. Take advantage of page-turners to have students master the narrative form: characters, settings, dialogue, point of view, theme, etc., in both reading and writing.

This is also the first level where students must have already acquired an academic vocabulary of at least 1,500 words. In Bk text, the vocabulary demands are increasing, with 3–5 words and/or phrases on a typical chapter book page not familiar from everyday speech. Be sure readers can define those words either from past reading experience or through the use of context clues. Bk-level readers should finish a Bk chapter book, or its equivalent, each week.

Key Common Core State Standards

Foundational 4:
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
Language 5:
Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

Major Characteristics of a Bk Book

Picture books and short chapter books with 3–5 “literary” words on a full page of text. Simple and compound sentences. Assumes background knowledge of a proficient 4th grader (e.g., sense of historic time and universal space).

Formative Assessment for Teaching and Learning

The IRLA includes every Common Core State Standard for Reading, both in literature and informational text, as well as those Language standards key to reading success

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