If you teach K-2, it is probably safe to say that you are tracking your students' reading levels throughout the year in some way. At my school we teach balanced literacy, so we use the Dominie benchmarking assessments (running records). If you are familiar with DRA reading assessments, they are very similar to Dominie, they just use a different scale for the reading levels. But whether you track your students reading levels with the reading scales from Dominie, DRA, Fountas & Pinnell, Reading A-Z, etc.....it is a very good idea to keep a chart that is visible to you as the teacher so you can group students and make informed decisions about student instruction at a glance. In the Dominie benchmarking system, students are supposed enter first grade on a level 2 -3 and leave on a level 7. So for this chart, I divided the levels that students must go through in our entire first grade group into 4 different color bands on my chart. The Red is Levels 1-2B, Yellow is Levels 3 - 4B, Green is levels 5 - 6B, and Blue is Levels 7 - 9 (because 9 is the highest we can test students before 2nd grade).
At the beginning of the year, I put students names on a little crayon cut out matching the color of the level they started on. So for instance if "Lily" comes in to my class in first grade on a level 2B, she would have a red crayon. But if "Tim" comes in on a Level 3A, he would get a yellow crayon. Then, as I assess students throughout the school year, I move their crayon up as they move to a different band of reading levels. So basically, the purpose in not using all the same colors for the little crayon name movers is so I can see who has made the most growth over time. So if at the end of the year I have a student who had a redor yellow crayon but is now in the blue band, I can see that he or she made a TON of growth!
Some teachers feel differently about whether or not students should be aware of their own reading levels. If you don't want them to know, then put the chart somewhere where only you can see it. If you want to use the chart for student goal setting, etc. you can display it out in the open. Or another idea is to not put student names on the chart, but use numbers instead so you can keep it out in the open, but no one knows whose number is whose. - Beth
scales for 1st Grade to make your own Dominie OR DRA tracking chart.