Are We Having Fun Yet?

A Fight For Our Below Level Readers

Alison Levine
5 min readJun 22, 2022
My friends gave me these books. One, a conscientious parent, the other, a once-upon-a-time elementary school teacher. The books inspired an idea.

Each week, on my outside bulletin board, I will display a paragraph, sprinkled with a few missing letters, and ask the question, What do you think the title of the book could be?

The following week, I will display the answer (the title) and hang up a new paragraph.

I am very excited about this.

An interactive bulletin board with a focus on main idea and phonics — just what administration ordered.

My last week of work. I received an email from my principal asking me to join him and our two assistant principals to discuss the language arts special, the class I will be teaching during the 2022–2023 school year.

Third grade reading scores were back. It showed that many of our students are not proficient readers. I wasn’t surprised. I worked with second graders and substituted in other grade levels. I knew.

After reviewing the data, administration concluded that next year’s language arts special needed to focus on main idea and phonics.

I listened.

I was ready to start reading and thinking and brainstorming ideas to make this thirty minute special meaningful. I will see each class, kindergarten through grade five, for three…



Alison Levine

Mom. Educator. This year I provide academic support to our second grade team. I talk about teaching with kindness and authenticity.