Reading level question - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 08-30-2010, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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How can you tell what grade level your children are reading at? The book I'm trying to figure out is "Are You My Mother?".
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#2 of 8 Old 08-30-2010, 10:59 PM
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Hoagie's has a whole page devoted to finding reading levels of various books:

I don't know that a book like the one you list is likely to be found on a reading level search, though, b/c it is an early reader. I'd probably consider it to be "pre-primer" level which would be about kindergarten level for an average kid.

Is there some reason you need to know about the reading level of early reader books?
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#3 of 8 Old 08-30-2010, 10:59 PM
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Scholastic lists it as 1.5. They have a great reading level resource called the book wizard. You can look up the level of any book (grade or other level system) and then look up a great range of other books that are a similar level. I love it because when the kids tell me what book they are reading at school, I can look it up and then have an idea of where to guide them at the public library. Saves me a ton of frustration (theirs) over choosing books that are way too tough! Also allows me to look up books I adored as a child and gives me an idea of when to introduce them.
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#4 of 8 Old 08-30-2010, 11:56 PM
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You also have to keep in mind that the older early readers tend to be more whole-word oriented, whereas the newer ones tend to be more phonics oriented. I remember Are You My Mother being a good one for DD when she was first starting to read because she started out reading by sight. She could read it and books like it well before she could read the simplest of Bob books, so it's not first-grade level by that standard. But some of the words are definitely not K level for kids who sound words out. HTH.
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#5 of 8 Old 08-31-2010, 12:19 AM
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The link for the scholastic book wizard is:

Take it with a grain of salt. It listed Gabriella the Snow Kingdom Fairy that my 6 yo read easily as grade 4.8. While I agree it's a higher level than some of the Rainbow Magic series, I'm having a hard time saying it's 4.8.

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#6 of 8 Old 08-31-2010, 09:53 AM
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I've been really surprised by some of the levels accorded the books my kids read. I don't completely understand the leveling process, but I have heard that it is related to pieces of text, as opposed to the whole text, genre, subject matter, etc.

The book referenced by the OP wouldn't be a first grade book here, except w/lower level readers, despite the leveling system.
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#7 of 8 Old 08-31-2010, 09:53 AM
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There's also the Lexile website:

These are vague general grade equivalents:

I kind of like Lexile better than the Scholastic grade levels, which seem both too specific and kind of inflated to me.

grateful mother to DD, 1/04, and DS, 2/08

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#8 of 8 Old 09-02-2010, 06:52 AM
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I've done DRA's for my kids (I'm a K-4 teacher) but have also found just doing a running record is as accurate for reading level.

What I've done is take the reading level listing (Scholastic is fine but I would recommend Matching Books to Readers, K-3) and do a 100 word read aloud as a gauge. So if my kids can read it through 95-100%, it's an independent reading book. If they can get through 90-95% without error, we read together b/c it's their instructional level. Any errors over 89% it's their frustration level and we put it aside.

Comprehension is a bit trickier, but comes with time and discussion about what they're reading.

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