From time to time in the library I get asked about the reading level of a certain book. Although I can look it up, I don’t place a big emphasis upon a particular book’s reading level. I always hope that kids will choose to read what interests them. However, knowing the reading level of a book does have its place. Maybe a classroom teacher needs to add some books to a leveled classroom library, or maybe a homeschooling parent wants to know for assessment purposes. Perhaps a student is just curious. Here’s my favorite free way to level books quickly and easily.
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Level Books Quickly Step 1:
Go to the Accelerated Reader Bookfinder site and type in the title, author or topic of the book you are trying to find information about. Chances are quite good that your book will be in the vast database of titles. Once you have the result, look for the number to the right of the AR letters. For the book I looked up, Wish, by Barbara O’Connor, the number was 6.0.
What does that number mean? It means that, according to the readability formula used by the Accelerated Reader program, the book would be at an appropriate level for a student at the beginning of sixth grade. Of course, the actual reader may be in a higher or lower grade level. If a book has an AR level of 4.5, the number means the book is at a readability level suitable for someone in the fifth month of fourth grade.
Level Books Quickly Step 2:
If you are just interested in knowing the grade level of a book, you could stop there. However, many school districts use other reading levels to measure progress. One type of leveling model is the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment). Another book leveling model is the Lexile score. Some teachers, homeschool parents or students may want to know the DRA level or Lexile score of a book. In that case, all you need to do is access an AR-DRA-Lexile conversion chart. This is the best one I’ve found. There you go! You just learned my favorite free way to level books quickly and easily.
Have a Ton of Books to Level?
What if you are a brand new classroom teacher and have a whole classroom library of books to level? What if you are a school librarian who has just been asked by your principal to level all of the books in the library? (It has happened before.) There is an app you could use called Level It Books. It’s not free, but it’s only $4.99. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices on their respective app stores. When used with a barcode scanner to scan each book’s ISBN, the leveling process is sped up substantially.
Is Book Leveling in Your Future?
Are you going to have a need to level some books anytime soon? Do you suddenly feel like raiding your bookshelf and visiting the AR website just to satisfy your curiosity? If that’s the case, I hope this post will help you find the book levels you are seeking. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read today, and would like some free printable bookshelf labels for your own personal library, please consider subscribing. Have a fantastic week, and thanks for visiting the Fluxing Well site.