Do you want to know how to choose “just right” books for your child to read over the summer? Here are a few resources to help you out.
Just Right Books
It is important that your child reads books that are not too easy and not too hard for them. Books that are too easy do not help them grow as a reader, and books that are too hard, will not help them become a better reader either. Your child needs to read books that are “just right” for them. This means they should be able to read/decode almost all the words by themselves (95-100%) and understand the story or information in the book.
As a parent, it is very important to support your child’s development in reading by reading with them, taking them to the library, and buying books for them to read on their own. But, I know when I take my daughter to the library or the bookstore, she isn’t always attracted or interested in “just right” books. Even though it is important to encourage a love of reading and let your child read the books they are the most interested in, it is also important to make sure that some of the books they are reading are at their reading level.
Here is the tricky part: there are a lot of different ways to measure reading levels. Different schools and districts use different measures to report reading levels. This can be a little confusing, but there is a correlation between the different leveling systems. Here are a few resources to help you out.
One great place to start is by glancing at this article on scholastic.com. It has an overview of some of the different leveling systems, and grade level recommendations. I particularly like the table at the bottom of the article which shows the different leveling systems for each grade level.
“Can I get this book, Mom?”
What do you do if your child wants to get a book and you are not sure what level it is?
- Check the back cover. Sometimes you will see a RL with a number next to it. This stands for Reading Level and it correlates to grade levels. For example, RL 2.0 would be a second grade book.
- Check AR BookFinder. You can type in a title and it will report the Accelerated Reader book level for the book. BL stands for Book Level.
- Check Lexile.com. Type in the title in the Quick Book Search box in the upper right hand corner. The Lexile measure will be reported in a green circle.
Once you check one of these websites, you can look back at the correlation chart on scholastic to see if the book seems to match the grade level expectations.
Hope these resources help out this summer!