Choosing an appropriate book is often a challenge for most people. In school we tend to use a reading leveling system for students to use to help make their selections. You can learn more about Lexile at www.lexile.com where you can create book lists, search for the Lexile of a particular book and much, much more. How many of you are using the Lexile levels to determine books at the right level for students? Do you feel that it accurately measures reading ability of students to provide book choices? Share your thoughts here.
Our school district in northern NJ is using the leveling system along with reader's workshop. All elementary classrooms K-5 have leveled libraries, with books arranged in coded baskets. In addition, our school library has a complete leveled section of books for children to choose from. The children have responded so positively to knowing their level and look forward to selecting books they are comfortable reading.
Also, our town library has leveled their books. Parents appreciate the ability to select from these leveled sections, too. In many ways it saves them time perusing through the shelves, but most importantly the children are pleased with making their own selections.
BTW thanks for the link to lexile.com...it is so helpful!
ReadWriteThink has some resources to help with choosing books. Our lesson plan Choosing the Right Book: Strategies for Beginning Readers argues that lexiles don't work with books for beginning readers:
Lexiles are not an effective tool for beginning readers because emergent texts generally have a sentence structure, overall lower word count, and other qualities that the Lexile formula cannot measure. For emergent readers, readability depends on patterned language, predictability, strong picture support, high frequency words, overall text length, the number of words on each page, and the font size.
The lesson plan shows some other ways to match kids to books, including a simple Is This the Right Book for Me? poster with a technique students can use independently.