Reading level?

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by teachnmom, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. teachnmom

    teachnmom Rookie

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    Mar 26, 2008

    My son, 7 in Dec., is reading level 1 easy reader books with little struggle. He can read some level 2 books as well, but is very overwelmed by how many pages or words there are. Is this on grade level? My dd was reading easy chapter books in first so this is really bothering me. He has mastered most of the dolch words and is working in a 2nd grade phonics book. He truly has shown great improvement this year, but I wonder where he would be in a public school as far as grade level is concerned (we homeschool). I just want to add that it took him several years to learn the alphabet and then learned the sounds first over the letter names. He is one the immature side so I always contributed his lack of interest in reading to this. Is he doing okay? :confused:

    Your opinions and comments are appreciated!
     
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  3. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    I'm not familiar with "level 1" and "level 2." I've seen them on books at the Walmart and Barnes and Noble, but we use either AR levels, DRA levels, or various other levels, but I've never used level 1 and level 2.

    While your daughter was reading easy chapter books in 1st, this is not "typical." Easy chapter books are more often introduced in 2nd grade. So I wouldn't be worried about your son not reading them at this point.

    The piece of information I'd like to offer is simply this... children "bloom" when they are ready. There is no set time for this to happen -- although there are some general "rules". A child doesn't just wake up one day and say "Bing! I'm seven! I'm ready to read level B or 1.4 books today." Some children bloom early, and some children bloom later. It is better not to compare one to another. A rose and a daffodil are very different things -- though they are both beautiful.

    Do you know anyone who is a teacher who could do a DRA or a running record on your son? That would help you to determine exactly where he stands in terms of reading. It isn't just a matter of what he can "read" (what words he can say) it is also a matter of what he comprehends when he reads. You have to take both into consideration to determine if a child is reading on grade-level. Many children are great "word callers" (they can say all the words) but they don't understand what they are reading. A DRA or a running record would let you know exactly where your child stands.
     
  4. teachnmom

    teachnmom Rookie

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    I guess we just need to do a reading placement type test. I do comprehension assessments often and he does well. I have also done some simple reading test found online to show what "level" he is reading at. I guess I don't trust those. I actually was a ps teacher, but I taught K a long time ago. I know things have changed so much since then. I guess I need to look for the right test for him. I simply worry about his progress compared to the average first grader. If we ever go to a different way of schooling it would be nice to know that he is where he should be.

    I know that he is just a late bloomer in reading. Homeschooling him makes that easier in some ways. He's been able to take his time and read when he was ready without a lot of pressure.

    Can you recommend a test online or one to purchase (other than a standardized type test) that would be a good assessment for first grade? Am I worrying about this too much? He is working in a 2nd grade phonics curriculum right now. Is that enough to tell me he doing okay?

    Thanks.
     
  5. deeno

    deeno Rookie

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    Mar 27, 2008

    Reading Level

    Hi Teachnmum,
    Some children in our school are at level one and level two but I think that the numbers give a poor indication of the level that the children can read and comprehend accurately. I have given some of my weaker children a higher level book and they were able to read it perfectly because they had great background information and interest in the topic. The number bands are part of another banding system that is coloured. I find it is best to look at reading in the colour bands as it is broader and less rigid.
    PM benchmark have running records with a retell and comprehension questions. There is a summary sheet and a recommendation section where you can comment on different components of the reading. Also, Rigby have running records. You can actually make your own if need be.
    I could send you some if you were close. I am in Australia.
    I hope that this is helpful.
    Good luck
    Deeno:2up::2up:
     
  6. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    The only reliable way I know of it get a reading level is to do a running record. This requires training...it isn't something you can just pick up and give. You mentioned that you did ps before. Do you know how to give a running record? Have you had running record training?

    I could probably dig up a selection of running record passages, but they won't do you any good if you aren't trained in doing running records. You have to know how to mark and count reading errors and what type of errors they are. You have to time the selection so you can determine WPM (words per minute). You have to know how to have a child retell a story without giving too many prompts, and then determine the appropriate comprehension level for it.
     
  7. teachnmom

    teachnmom Rookie

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    I taught for 6 yrs but it was 10 years ago. :eek: I don't recall ever doing a running record in any class I taught. I know I didn't have to do that with K at my school. Things have really changed in 10 yrs though. I looked up the running record and wouldn't know how to really do one without some instruction. I don't think it's really necessary right now, but I am still curious how he compares to others his age. I have considered having him tested with a tutoring company though (if they even do that).

    Thanks for your help. He has an attention problem so I worry he might have some reading problems since it's a weak point for him. If he's reading 2nd grade (just began recently) phonics instruction/work then he should be on grade level atleast shouldn't he???



    I
     
  8. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    No. Phonics and reading level are two very different things.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Mar 27, 2008

    Phonics is a way of teaching regular, predictable correspondences between letters and sounds - for example, the letter <b> consistently stands for just one sound in English. There's a very great deal more to reading than that.

    Here's a Web site you might find helpful, teachnmom:

    Put Reading First, http://www.nifl.gov/partnershipforreading/publications/reading_first1.html
     
  10. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    He sure sounds to me like he is doing great! My advice is to keep letting him advance at his own rate. The best thing you can do is CELEBRATE his success! Keep reading to him and letting him read to you. Be thrilled that he is right on the track!

    If he knows all the Dolch words and the letter sounds, is reading SOMETHING, he is doing just great. The kids who come into 1st reading so great, by the end of 2nd they are not standouts anymore - everyone else has just about caught up!
     
  11. teachnmom

    teachnmom Rookie

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    Thanks for the link. I feared coming on here asking questions would make me look stupid, lol. I understand that reading is composed of many parts. That was not my question. I guess I figure the reading curriculum we are using now is second grade and he is doing well with it, so I shouldn't worry too much, huh? Our curriculum is a combo of phonics, comprehension, fluency practice, various reading skills, and much more. I am just one of those people who need something concrete in front of me saying we're both doing an okay job here. I have never felt comfortable teaching reading. When I taught K it was very basic stuff compared to what is expected of a kindergartener in most states now. I was confident in my reading instruction for kindergarten then. Now, I am responsible for not only K but all the levels of instruction so I don't want to mess up!

    I'll check out that link you gave!
     
  12. teachnmom

    teachnmom Rookie

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    Thank you for your comments! They mean a lot. You understand exactly what I was asking for....just whether he is doing fine or not. I am so thrilled with his progress, but deep down I want him to be more advanced. I have to keep telling myself daily that every child is different and learns at their own pace. It just is SO HARD when it's YOUR child you are teaching.
     
  13. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    You are doing great if he is 7 and doing 2nd grade work. One caution - don't push or expect too much - leave something for the second grade teacher to do!!
     
  14. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Teachn,
    That is one wonderful thing about homeschooling. In a classroom, you have to worry -- who is high and needs enrichment, who is low and needs remediation. With homeschooling you can meet your child exactly where he is, and not be worried about "norms." If your child is happy and enjoying reading, I wouldn't be worried.

    Children bloom when they are ready. It sounds like he already is "blooming."
     
  15. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Yes he is blooming!

    It is also hard when you have a daughter first who is naturally more inclined to be an early reader - being a girl - and then a son who is more average - being a boy - boys just begin reading later as a rule.

    He is doing awesome. I am very protective of my students and I believe if they are learning their sight words, know the letter sounds, and are doing some reading, they are just fine in first grade. Keep him reading things he enjoys over the summer, keep providing things for him to read, provide lots of nonfiction, and keep reading to him. I am reading The Indian in the Cupboard (with a little editing) to my first graders. My boys hardly move a muscle when I get that book out! They are enraptured. Keep supplying books he is interested in, and read to him. He is doing great!
     
  16. deeno

    deeno Rookie

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    I think that you are doing fine too. Reading is a complex KLA. I liked the link given.
    Good luck Deeno
     
  17. amedinaoh

    amedinaoh Companion

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    I hope I have the message wrong. Are you saying he is reading level 1 or 2 books based on the DRA levels? Or do you mean he is reading books such as "I Can Read" books that have a 1 on the cover? If it is a 1 or 2 DRA level, he is WAY behind (these books read: I like my hat, I like my cat, etc.). Kindergartners are supposed to be reading at a level 3-4 before entering first grade. My first graders start at a DRA 3-4 and must be at a level 15-16 at the end of the year.

    If he is reading level 1 books based on the upper right hand cover number, I don't think he is too bad off. These are usually Biscuit books, Danny the Dinosaur, etc.
     
  18. amedinaoh

    amedinaoh Companion

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    One great website to test him on comprehension and make it a fun goal is www.bookadventure.org
    The children take quizzes (kind of like AR) and earn points to buy things with.
     
  19. teacherstudent1

    teacherstudent1 Companion

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    Can I ask what program you are using?

    If you are still concerned and want to compare his progress to a typical public school first grader, I like the idea of trying to find a teacher-friend who could give him a DRA.

    Both of my children began in a small private school that used the ABEKA curriculum. My oldest was already reading chapter books by the end of kindergarten. My second has ADD and dyslexia, so progress was much slower and more labored. But by the end of second grade she also was reading above grade level and in fact took accelerated reading and language arts classes all through public middle and high school.

    Every child learns at their own pace.
     
  20. jenejoy

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    If you are talking about the level 1 and level 2 easy readers like what you would find in scholastic books...there is A LOT of discrepencies. There is a website that gives many titles of books and their leveled reading levels.

    http://home.comcast.net/~ngiansante/index.html

    The levels seem to go pretty well with Fountas and Pinnell which is a fairly acceptable leveling guide. 1st grade levels on this site go from C to I (pretty much the same levels found on reading atoz a leveled reading program that is website based.) If you don't know how to do a running record you can pretty much guesstimate where he is at by having him read a book at a certain level and check for how many mistakes he is making, how fluently he is reading (pace and articulation) and how well he can answer questions about the story when he is done. If it seems to easy or even just about right I'd move him up to a book at the next level until he is able to read a book with a little bit of struggle but not being frustrated.
     
  21. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    Reading A-Z is really great. They have leveled printable books with guided lesson plans and also a benchmark at each level. I think it costs about $20.00 a year? You can download and print a few sample books. I would think this would be the way to go if I were homeschooling. Good luck! :)
     
  22. jenejoy

    jenejoy Companion

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    Readingatoz.com also has a running record book for each of the levels. They give the directions for how to give and assess a running record as well. You may not be able to do all of the analysis but it would give you a good idea. I had to learn using their directions and checking my work with a colleague, so I do know that it is possible to teach yourself if you are interested enough. The cost is a bit more than someone else predicted though, it cost me $80.00 for the year but it has been the best money I've ever spent!
     
  23. deeno

    deeno Rookie

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    If you use the levels that teachnmum gave and select a level that you think the child will be able to read, you can complete an accuracy level. All you have to do is have the child read a hundred or more words and calculate the percentage that are read correctly . If the child reads at an accuracy level of 95% that is at an independent level of reading for that book, 90% is instructional.You seem to have the comprehension under control. PM Benchmark Readers also offer books that are levelled.
    Good luck,
    Deeno
     

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