Reading Levels: Everything You Need to Know

This stands for how a student can read, comprehend, and interpret a given text. Students should ideally read books they can understand and enjoy and that match their unique reading level. In case the book is too complicated, they’ll struggle and become frustrated. But the book shouldn’t be too easy for them either, because it will make them lose interest since they wouldn’t be adequately challenged. Thus, finding the right reading level is vital in the development of students’ reading skills.

If a student hasn’t had professional leveling, parents can use simple methods and resources to assess their reading level.

The Five-Finger Method: This is a helpful method to judge if a student struggles with reading. Parents can choose a book they feel is suitable for their child’s age and have them read one page. As the child reads, they should hold out their hand with five fingers up. When the child struggles with a word, they’ll fold one finger down. They’ll repeat the action for every word the child struggles with. After their child has finished reading the page, the parents should count how many fingers are folded. The more their folded fingers are, the harder the book is for the child to read. They can repeat the method by picking another book they feel their child can read comfortably.

Running Records: This involves making the children read some text and paying attention to how they pronounce the words. Parents should notice if the children are rereading sentences or skipping words and lines they’re uncomfortable with. Once they have finished reading, the children should be asked to summarize what they have read to figure out their comprehension levels. Parents need to re-evaluate their child’s improved reading level to ensure they adjust the books chosen to meet this level.

San Diego Quick Assessment of Reading Ability: It’s a free online graded reading list that uses 13 graded word lists suitable for the child’s grade. The assessment begins with simple lists that the child will find easy to read and understand. As the list becomes more difficult, errors will be recorded to detect the child’s reading level. If they make one error, they’ll be put at an independent reading level. Two errors correspond to the instructional level, while three or more will place them at the frustration level. If the student reads eight or more words correctly, the list’s numbered grade can help determine their reading level.

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