The halfway mark of the school year has just passed and report cards have been issued to students throughout Philadelphia Public Schools. With a little more than six months left until summer starts, it’s never too early to be aware of your child’s reading level and how to ensure they are on track for the upcoming school years.
A study done by the Annie E. Casey Foundation reports that students who can’t read on grade level by the 3rd grade will be in danger of graduating later than students who can.
So how do school districts determine reading levels? Some districts and children’s publications use two categories: Grade Level Equivalent and Guided Reading Level. The guided reading level is an alphabetic system placing reading levels on books. The Philadelphia School District uses this same system. The Scholastic Guided Reading Level chart helps you choose helpful books that focus on different reading abilities for your child’s development in the coming grades. For example, according to the chart, a kindergartner at the end of the school year should be reading “D” level books.
Another helpful tool is the free Book Wizard app by Scholastic Books that lets you discover the levels of books with a simple search. You can either type the name of the book in the app or scan the barcode of the book to get all the information you need. This app can help give you a better sense of what books are already in your house or local neighborhood library and what books you may still need to seek out.
Although the Philadelphia School District progress reports don’t show exact readings levels, there’s still a way to discover what your child is reading in the classroom. Teachers can be a great source of evaluation and progress monitoring. Use feedback from an educator at parent-teacher conferences to build effective learning methods at home.
Get Ready to Read! is another amazing resource! This website features a transition to kindergarten toolkit, which is a test to make sure your child will be ready to read on the first day of school. This aid also includes skill-building games, free webinars, and literacy checklists to easily keep track of how well your child is reading.
Though wonderful resources exist online, a computer isn’t necessary to keep your child on track. Sometimes the little things make all the difference. Activities such as reading aloud and along with your child, discovering favorite book series together, and taking weekly trips to the library can ensure a year-long focus that will create a love for reading.
For more information on the importance of literacy at an early age, visit us at readby4th.org.