Evaluating the reading Level of a book

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by arobins, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Jan 21, 2008

    As a teacher, how do you evaluate the reading level of a children's picture book? Is there a standard in all schools. My doctor, of all people, suggested that I look into this.
     
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  3. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I don't evaluate picture books at all - if I read one to the grade it's because there's a message/writing style, illustrative style, etc. I want to share. But I teach older kids.

    Sometimes I use the Scholastic Lexile Analyzer to check on the level of newspaper/internet/encyclopedia articles that I want the children to use. It's here: http://www.lexile.com/DesktopDefault.aspx?view=ed&tabindex=2&tabid=16&tabpageid=335 (if that doesn't work go to lexile.com and check for the analyzer link). We use Lexiles in our reading at school so this helps me know exactly who the text is suitable for.
     
  4. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2008

    Thank you. I have bookmarked the lexile.com site. I have gained a lot of knowledge at this forum.
     
  5. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    You can also copy paste internet information into word and do a spell check. Your spell check options allow you do find out the reading level. (Flesch readability grade, I think it's called)

    I look at various sites (lexile, AR, and GR leveled sites-- they have one on here) and try to find the book. Sometimes I can't find it and have to guess.
     
  6. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Thank you so much. We have evaluated with word. It is nice to know that you value its recommendations.
     
  7. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I'm sorry I can't immediately tell you the site to go to , but I know there are sites that have HUGE lists of children's books and they are leveled. You can go there and find the title and the level of that book.

    Publishers level books in different ways, and it is very confusing to everyone. I have leveled most of the books in my classroom - the project was begun by a reading specialist and she used the online list for RR - reading recovery. I used the list for a couple of years, then got so I could look at a book and place it close to level.

    Most parents are surprised at my leveling system. Level 1 includes books with one word on a page, like a book with 6-8 pages and a color word on each page. Level 2 is a little more complex - maybe 2 words for the child to read, and a picture "I see ________." Repetitive text.

    Parents are disturbed if their child is reading something called level 5 at the library, then they come to my room and are at level 3. It is just my system.

    Your doctor gave you good adivce! If parents can help their child choose books to read that are at their reading level the child will experience success and become self-motivated. I just love doctors who talk to parents about children and reading!!!!!!!! Think of it - almost every parent has to take their child to the doctor at some point.
     
  8. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2008

    bonneb, where can I find the online list for RR? Also if you have the time, I would appreciate the details on your leveling system.
     
  9. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 22, 2008

    I'll try to find the site. It has been a while. Once you see the level of many of the books you have in your classroom, you will start to be able to level the books pretty closely yourself.

    I'll look and get back to you!
     
  10. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2008

    bonneb, I need the information to help me better write a book that an early reader can read and identify the reading level of books I have already written. I really appreciate your advice.
     
  11. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Ok, here is a pretty good example. Try www.ppp.k12.or.us/curriculum/literacy/leveled_books/

    A bit cumbersome to get at, but it looks like a good list. It is through the Portland Public Schools.

    Fountas and Pinnell have a list, but it looks like you have to join their site to see it. I am pretty sure the list has been published in some of their books, so if you have one check there.

    A lot of times publishers also level by a letter. Level A would correspond with level 1. In my system, there is a very slight change between two levels, so the kids gradually move up the levels and gradually get harder and harder reading, but they don't notice it.

    I am very grateful to the 2 teachers and reading specialist (parents of my students my first year teachint) who so graciously offered to get me a library of used books, level them, set up the bins of books by level, and get my nightly reading system organized so I could step into it. It is the most successful thing I have done as a teacher and it is because of these kind women who so gently got me on the right track!

    At the beginning of the year, I sit with each student and give them a few books to read to me. Once the book gets too hard and the child seems "lost," I back down a level, and that is their starting point. They move up as they are ready. At this point in the year, they are putting together their own bag of books for nightly reading, filling out the reading log themselves, and it is going smoothly. At the beginning of the year, I have to do it all myself, which takes 30-45 min every day!
     
  12. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 22, 2008

  13. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Jan 22, 2008

    Thanks bonneb!
     
  14. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    HOpe it helps! If you want to p.m. I could give you more details of how it all works in my classroom - all the credit goes to those parents/teachers who got me started.
     
  15. MollyT

    MollyT Companion

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    Jan 23, 2008

    There is also the Rix Readability Test - this is particularly helpful for books that you cant find on any lists. This is what you do:

    1. Count the sentences (Use at least 10)
    2. Count the long words (7+ letters)
    3. Divide the number of long words by the number of sentences.
    4. Locate the reading level on the table.



    Figure Reading Level F & P Level*
    7.2 College Level
    6.2 Year 12
    5.3 Year 11
    4.5 Year 10
    3.7 Year 9
    3.0 Year 8
    2.4 Year 7 U +
    1.8 Year 6 S,T
    1.3 Year 5 P,Q,R
    0.8 Year 4 M,N,O
    0.5 Year 3 K,L
    0.2 Year 2 J
    below 0.2 Year 1 I

    ( * I tested this on a couple of books that I had a level for and have tried to equate it to the F & P Levels myself. I have included the F & P levels as a guide for you as I believe this test may be Australian and the grades are slightly different)

    Hope this is some help.
     
  16. arobins

    arobins Rookie

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    Jan 23, 2008

    MollyT, thanks so much. That is very helpful. We want to accurately validate the reading level of our books.
     
  17. Mrs LC

    Mrs LC Comrade

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    Jan 23, 2008

    I've not heard of that test Molly, but it looks easy to do and portable, so very useful. Thanks.
     

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