Is your child reading "just right" books?
As teachers, we use that expression constantly to refer to books that are at a student's level (not too easy or too challenging), and that will help move them forward and grow as a reader.
How do you know what your child should be reading? Scholastic Canada can help. They have put a great deal of thought and effort into producing a levelled set of books for beginning readers, within an easy to understand system:
Pre-Level 1: First Reader, 30-100 words, ABC's and first words
Level 1: Beginning Reader, 50-250 words, sight words, words to sound out and simple sentences
Level 2: Developing Reader, 250-750 words, new vocabulary and longer sentences
Level 3: Growing Reader, 700-1500 words, reading for inspiration and information
My almost six year old daughter Frannie recently went through a slew of the Level 1 books, so I requested to sample a few from the Level 2 category, which work perfectly for her right now. They are challenging enough that she doesn't know every word (especially proper names of people and places) but accessible enough that she doesn't lose the flow of reading or sacrifice comprehension. The ones we've been working on are:
Perfect for Black History Month:
What little girl doesn't love the Rainbow Fairies?
An off-season selection...but kids don't care!
One of the fantastic things about the Levelled Readers is that they aren't just canned stories meant to hit certain abilities. The Scholastic books feature favourite authors, illustrators and characters (I Spy, Clifford, Lego City, Fly Guy, Scooby Doo, Word Girl) as well as tons of seasonal (St. Patrick's Day, Christmas) and non-fiction choices (proven to be very important, especially for our boy readers).
Overseeing the development of the books is Francie Alexander, Senior Vice President of Scholastic Education and Chief Academic Officer of Scholastic Inc., who has taught students from kindergarten to college...so it's safe to say she knows what she's doing. "Kids should read because they want to," she says. "The best books are the ones that match a child's interest with reading level."
I also appreciate how the Grade Level markings on the back covers are very flexible, so even Grade 1 students reading Level 3 books won't feel at all out of place, because they still fit within the suggested range. There are no true set equivalents when it comes to age and grade levels for reading, and I've seen many students who struggled early catch up and even surpass their peers when the skill finally clicks for them...and the best way to make this happen is to find as many just-right books as possible for your child to enjoy and learn from.
And guess what? Scholastic is giving away a customized set of three books to one lucky This Mom Loves reader. You will be able to specify the Scholastic Reading Level and the gender of your child, and three readers will be chosen especially for you!
Simply fill out the form below and click "Submit" (extra entries for following me through email, GFC or Twitter - see sidebar for links). The contest will run until Thursday February 23rd at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, after which time a winner will be chosen by random number generation. Good luck!
Disclosure: I was provided with the above-named books for review purposes. Opinions are, as always, my own.