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How do you determine a child's reading level?


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#1 3timesblessed

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:04 PM


So I always hear of moms saying their child can read at a first grade level, second grade level, etc...So how do you determine what grade level they are reading at? Is their some set standards for each grade level? My daughter is in kindergarten and we are working on our phonics, she is doing great and really starting to take off with her reading, I have seen a significant change in the past few weeks like it is just staring to click. I don't know how to determine what level she is reading at? Does reading level really matter all that much anyways? I mean I look at the books we rent from the library to determine if I think she can handle them, I know what she is capable of and I pick out books accordingly. I had her read Dr. Seuss's Green Eggs and Ham book, and she read it all to me with no help. I know it is a simple reader with a lot of repetition, but we have only read this book maybe once so I know it wasn't just from memory. These books really help build her confidence, when she has a big smile on her face because she was able to read the book by herself. I think she is doing great for kindergarten, just wanted some input on how to determine what level they are reading at?

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#2 Dielle

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 03:49 AM

A lot of reader books have a level somewhere on or in them. It might be something like 2.3, which I believe basically means that most children in the third month of second grade should be able to read it. Or that's my understanding, anyway. There are also plenty of standardized tests which measure reading comprehension. And there are tests of words, where you have your child read through each list until they miss at least 2 words and that's the one that's the level above where they're at... or something like that. Personally, I don't think it matters too much. It's nice to have an idea of where your child is for choosing curriculum, buying or checking out books they'll enjoy reading and also some to be a little challenged by, etc. But other than that, I don't really see the necessity.

That said, I also found a couple of places online where you could judge the reading level of written passages. The point was mainly for technical writing, to make sure that your pamphlet or manual wasn't written too difficultly for the people for whom it's intended. But I was curious about some of the things I have one of my boys reading (he's almost 12), because he's struggled for so long and is finally really getting it. He's still super slow (he's dyslexic), but his pronunciation and comprehension have really blossomed. So I copied and pasted passages out of some of his online stuff and found that it was rated as 11th-14th grade levels according to that. I think that's partly because it's stuff that was written close to a century ago, so the language and grammar is a bit dated. But I also think that so much of current writing is just dumbed down for the masses, compared to what used to be considered appropriate for children. And I think that's true at about every age/grade level.
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#3 NINI H

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:04 AM

There are decoding tests that you can find online to see where they stand compared to other children their age. I've done those a couple of times, just to make sure they aren't behind. There are so many different aspects of reading to consider. Your daughter sounds like she is doing really well. Keep up the good work. :) You can always talk to the librarian to find the reading level of a particular book. Book Wizard lists "Green Eggs and Ham" at grade 2.2.
I'm not sure how accurate that system is, because they list "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" at 5.3, which seems super high to me....

Edited by NINI H, 10 February 2012 - 09:08 AM.

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#4 sharongl

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:41 PM

Reading levels are generally created on a formula of how big words are, and how many are in the book. Content is also taken into account for some books, making the reading level seem higher than it may seem to be. You can go to Schoolastic.com, and poke around there, and they have a place you can type in a book and it will tell you the level. Most books can be found in their database.
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