White (Wt)

What is a Wt Reader?

Notice and Acquire Literary Vocabulary

Wt-level books include “literary” vocabulary, language not normally used in everyday speech (e.g., exclaimed, cautiously). For many students this is truly a foreign language. Students who arrive at the Wt level with a vast background of listening to higher-level books will already have much of this vocabulary. Students who have not been read to will not. Students acquire literary vocabulary through immersion in text, the same way they acquired their speaking vocabulary through immersion in oral language. Wt books have 1–2 literary words per chapter-book size page of text. Wt readers must spend enough time reading at the Wt level to acquire the 1,500 new “literary” vocabulary words expected of proficient 3rd-grade readers. This is entirely different and unrelated to decoding. At the Wt level, the major focus is on noticing these literary words and learning them through immersion in reading.

Finish 1 Chapter Book Each Week

Wt readers continue to develop silent reading fluency, the ability to sustain interest across sittings, and the chapter book reading habit. Students should not leave Wt unless they are successfully reading (and finishing) at least one Wt chapter book a week.

Key Common Core State Standards

Language 6:
Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate conversational, general academic, and domain-specific words and phrases, including those that signal spatial and temporal relationships (e.g., After dinner that night we went looking for them).
Reading 4:
Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases in a text relevant to a Wt topic or subject area.
Language 4c:
Use a known root word as a clue to the meaning of an unknown word with the same root.

Major Characteristics of a Wt Book

First chapter books and complex picture books where one or two words on a full page of text are not familiar to the reader from speech. Assumes basic third grade knowledge of home, school, and community.

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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