To engage in the effective practice of guided reading, teachers divide students into ability-based reading groups and provide them with books at their levels. The practice is effective in promoting academic growth. Students are more capable of practicing reading without frustration if they practice with books at their level. To begin a guided reading program, teachers must group students into reading groups and select ability-appropriate reading levels. Teachers can determine the reading level of books in a number of ways, allowing them to effectively assign appropriate books.
- Skill level:
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Check the bar code. Publishers often print the reading level of the book in the white box that surrounds the bar code. Search around the vicinity of the bar code, looking for a numerical value labelled RL. RL stands for reading level, and the number that follows the distinction tells you the intended grade level of the text. The first number indicates the grade, and the number that follows the decimal indicates the month. For example, 1.4 indicates that the book is intended for students in the first grade, fourth month.
Look for an age listing on the back of the book. If there is no reading level indicated next to the bar code, check the area surrounding the publishers mark on the back of the book. You may be able to find an intended age, for example, "ages 7 and up." This indication can also be used to determine how difficult the text is, but it is not as effective in determining the difficulty of the text as the reading level indication that may be found by the bar code, since content appropriateness as well as difficulty are both taken into account to arrive at this suggested age.
Use words to check readability statistics if no reading level is given. Type a selection of the intended text into a Word document. Go to the Tools menu. Select options, and click on the spelling and grammar tab. Check the "Display readability" box. To see the readability of the text, run spell check. Once the check is finished, a box including the passage's reading level will appear, allowing you to determine the readability of the passage of text.
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