This trend has me thinking about my own journey with a leveled library.
I teach in an Accelerated Reading district, and most of the classroom libraries are leveled. When I first began teaching, my library was leveled too. That's just how it was done, and I didn't know any better.
After reading professional books, especially The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller, I began to see the light and the damage I was doing to my students. I began to slowly add baskets of popular series and authors, as well as baskets of genres and nonfiction topics. Because I taught 4th grade, many of my students did not know how to choose a book other than from the leveled baskets.
We had a learning curve which I continue to fight today. One the of the first discussions I have with my middle schoolers is what they notice about our classroom library. Many immediately notice that the books are not leveled, and I tell them they never will be. I teach them to choose books based on their preferences and how to determine if a book is appropriate for them. This is part of teaching the reader.
I worked with a teacher who had a different philosophy of teaching reading then I did, especially when it came to AR. We often disagreed, and he often quoted, "Programs don't teach readers, teachers do."
He is absolutely correct, and I agree 100%.
But what is a leveled library doing? Many libraries are organized by matching colored baskets, clearly labeled with AR levels. This "program" is teaching our students how to choose books. Not teachers.
I will continue to fight against "programs teaching readers" and limiting their ability to choose books for themselves. I will continue to advocate for choice.
My journey with a leveled library has ended.