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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DD has been bringing home these Scholastic flyers for a couple of years now.  I ordered from them a few times but guessed wrong as far as the reading level, and the books were much too easy. 

Then I tried ordering ahead for a while  --  buying books that I knew were too hard, so that she could grow into them.  But that's now pretty much a non-issue.  Reading material isn't limited so much by ability now as by her lack of comprehension of more YA or grown-up topics.  And she really wants me to order from these flyers for reading material for NOW.

I can't make sense of the codes that Scholastic uses to identify reading levels, nor what those levels go by.  Is it vocabulary only, or also concepts?  I haven't found anyone who could explain the codes, but when the new flyer arrived I realized there was a great resource for such questions here at KB!

I see codes RL, AR, GRL, and DRA.  Some have numbers, some have letters, some have a range.  How does one make sense of those?  And assuming that some of those are grade level or age, how does one go about determining an individual child's position on that scale, since those numbers are presumably averages?

(And yes, I've asked her teacher, and a friend who is a children's librarian, neither of whom knew.  And the Scholastic website doesn't help either.)

Can anybody explain these, or point me in the right direction to find out more?

 

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I have all the exact levels at work. I can pm you tomorrow. But, for now,  I can only recall off the top of my head that AR is accelarated reader. It is a computer program schools use.  The kids read the books and can take quizzes at schools for grades. RL is the students ability to read and comprehend at this grade level.  GRL is the "guided reading level", meaning it is read to a child or with a child, by an adult, who helps them process the skills to read and progress to that level. If you want more specific info pm me or post here her reading level, both what she can read on her own, and comprhend, and what she can follow someone read to her and comprehend. If you give me some examples of titles I can give you levels where she is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much!  I'll PM you since I imagine this isn't of interest to anyone else.
 

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It can be confusing at times but I found that when I ordered through the Scholastic website, they now label most books with their "reading level" so it would be easier for parents to choose what to order. Your DD's teacher should have told her/you what level she is reading at. My DD's school uses the RL system that goes from A-Z. For me, going by what grade DD is in doesn't work for us as she's an advanced reader so I pretty much go by the RL...sometimes one step up to challenge her and at times one step back just for fun.

Here is a website a teacher friend sent to me that may be helpful or give you an idea...

Leveled Book List

Hope this helps :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
chynared21 said:
It can be confusing at times but I found that when I ordered through the Scholastic website, they now label most books with their "reading level" so it would be easier for parents to choose what to order. Your DD's teacher should have told her/you what level she is reading at. My DD's school uses the RL system that goes from A-Z. For me, going by what grade DD is in doesn't work for us as she's an advanced reader so I pretty much go by the RL...sometimes one step up to challenge her and at times one step back just for fun.

Here is a website a teacher friend sent to me that may be helpful or give you an idea...

Leveled Book List

Hope this helps :)
Thanks, Chynared! Her teacher was fairly vague about the level, just said (about six months ago) that the books DD had been reading were about third or fourth grade level. I'll try to pin it down more. I wouldn't care about measuring it more precisely except for ordering from these catalogs. And going by the grade doesn't work here either. New school in fall though, perhaps they'll use the RL system.

I appreciate the suggestions! :)
 

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Susan, have you checked at the library. . . .maybe some one there can give you an idea of what the levels mean. . .and show specific books so you have something to compare to. . . .

Ann
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ann in Arlington said:
Susan, have you checked at the library. . . .maybe some one there can give you an idea of what the levels mean. . .and show specific books so you have something to compare to. . . .

Ann
I've checked with them for book recommendations to match the current level, unsuccessfully. I took one of the Wizard of Oz books and a science book on marine life that DD had checked out before off the YA shelves and went to the librarian, and explained that much of what I was seeing on the YA shelves was not suitable yet because of the concepts and themes, and asked for recommendations. She asked DD's age, and when I told her steered me to the section with the one-sentence-per page books. When I explained that we'd been through those some time ago, she just shrugged and said that those were the age-appropriate ones. Grrr. I asked a second one, but she just echoed the first. So I don't have much confidence in their ability to tell me a code equivalent of what I'm looking for.

It's a challenge to find new reading material that's at the right reading level but not beyond her maturity level. I certainly don't want to be overprotective, and if she wants to read something specific I let her, but there are a lot of YA books with themes that she just doesn't get yet (she just turned six), and so the books don't make sense to her at all. ("Mama, why does Alison in the book want to use her mom's lipstick when she goes to see a movie with George but not when she goes to see one with Cindy?")

On the bright side, she's at this moment reading the Just So Stories for the third time. Thank goodness for the classics...
 

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Susan in VA said:
Thanks, Chynared! Her teacher was fairly vague about the level, just said (about six months ago) that the books DD had been reading were about third or fourth grade level. I'll try to pin it down more. I wouldn't care about measuring it more precisely except for ordering from these catalogs. And going by the grade doesn't work here either. New school in fall though, perhaps they'll use the RL system.

I appreciate the suggestions! :)
You're welcome :)

Yikes...she's only 6? What books is she capable of reading right now that she enjoys? My DD is in 3rd grade but reading at almost a 5th grade level. While she can read and somewhat comprehend "older" books, it's the content that I have to worry about :-\ Right now she loves the "younger" Judy Blume books like the Fudge series and also Beverly Cleary...there are a whole slew of books that she's written that are about friendships, etc. and she also has a few series going on. Ralph Mouse is a good one that your daughter may like...though you may have to help her a bit as they are advanced chapter books.

If you can give me an idea of what she has been reading, I can ask DD's old teacher for some recommendations :))
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
chynared21 said:
You're welcome :)

Yikes...she's only 6? What books is she capable of reading right now that she enjoys? My DD is in 3rd grade but reading at almost a 5th grade level. While she can read and somewhat comprehend "older" books, it's the content that I have to worry about :-\ Right now she loves the "younger" Judy Blume books like the Fudge series and also Beverly Cleary...there are a whole slew of books that she's written that are about friendships, etc. and she also has a few series going on. Ralph Mouse is a good one that your daughter may like...though you may have to help her a bit as they are advanced chapter books.

If you can give me an idea of what she has been reading, I can ask DD's old teacher for some recommendations :))
Sounds like you're in the same situation, just a few years ahead of me.... The content is the problem.

We do in fact have the other two Ralph books (but not Ralph Mouse) checked out right now from the library! She liked them just fine, so more books along those lines would be good.

I don't know the Fudge series. She's read a bunch of Cleary's Ramona books, and thought those were "pretty cool", in her words. I don't know much about all the other Cleary books, though.

Whenever there's an Usborne book fair, we find a bunch of good ones, but I'd like to be able to order books without looking through them in person every time.

I'm collecting all the recommendations I can... summer will be here soon, and that means I need a stack at the ready!
 

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Susan in VA said:
Sounds like you're in the same situation, just a few years ahead of me.... The content is the problem.

We do in fact have the other two Ralph books (but not Ralph Mouse) checked out right now from the library! She liked them just fine, so more books along those lines would be good.

I don't know the Fudge series. She's read a bunch of Cleary's Ramona books, and thought those were "pretty cool", in her words. I don't know much about all the other Cleary books, though.

Whenever there's an Usborne book fair, we find a bunch of good ones, but I'd like to be able to order books without looking through them in person every time.

I'm collecting all the recommendations I can... summer will be here soon, and that means I need a stack at the ready!
Wow...she really is ahead. DD just told me Beverly Cleary runs along an "O" level. Good starting point...I'll ask DD's old teacher for some recommendations along the lines of Ralph Mouse. DD also said that the Fudge books are about "P or Q" level...nothing bad in it except for sarcasm, etc. Emotionally, I don't know if your DD will understand some of that stuff. I believe some of the other BC books are geared about friendships and such. There is also a series with Ramona and her Mother as well as Ramona and her Father too. There are a lot of Ramona books.

Madonna's English Roses series is a good series...also about friendships. There are 9 so far besides the original one that introduced the friends.

I'll have to put my thinking cap on :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
chynared21 said:
Wow...she really is ahead. DD just told me Beverly Cleary runs along an "O" level. Good starting point...I'll ask DD's old teacher for some recommendations along the lines of Ralph Mouse. DD also said that the Fudge books are about "P or Q" level...nothing bad in it except for sarcasm, etc. Emotionally, I don't know if your DD will understand some of that stuff. I believe some of the other BC books are geared about friendships and such. There is also a series with Ramona and her Mother as well as Ramona and her Father too. There are a lot of Ramona books.

Madonna's English Roses series is a good series...also about friendships. There are 9 so far besides the original one that introduced the friends.

I'll have to put my thinking cap on :p
Then using an "O" level as a starting point, I'll look through the current Scholastic catalogs and see what they have. You're right that sarcasm still goes totally over her head; she takes things completely literally. And I'm taking notes on all the ones you mentioned. :D Thank you!
 

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Susan in VA said:
Then using an "O" level as a starting point, I'll look through the current Scholastic catalogs and see what they have. You're right that sarcasm still goes totally over her head; she takes things completely literally. And I'm taking notes on all the ones you mentioned. :D Thank you!
LOL...sarcasm used to go over DD's head up until the beginning of 2nd grade. She used to ask me questions about things she didn't understand and now she "gets" it ;-p

DD also mentioned Meg Cabot...she hasn't read some of her books yet but the main character is 9, so I don't think it would be too bad for her. Also, has she read The Tales of Desperaux? If not, it's a wonderful story.

I also found that the people in the Children's dept at B&N were sometimes helpful. Not all the time but occasionally we'd come across someone who was enthusiastic about children's books :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
chynared21 said:
LOL...sarcasm used to go over DD's head up until the beginning of 2nd grade. She used to ask me questions about things she didn't understand and now she "gets" it ;-p

DD also mentioned Meg Cabot...she hasn't read some of her books yet but the main character is 9, so I don't think it would be too bad for her. Also, has she read The Tales of Desperaux? If not, it's a wonderful story.

I also found that the people in the Children's dept at B&N were sometimes helpful. Not all the time but occasionally we'd come across someone who was enthusiastic about children's books :)
Meg Cabot, and Tales of Desperaux. Taking notes.... And my local B&N doesn't have a very big children's section. The Borders does, but the staff there doesn't know anything about that field.

The irony is that I used to be co-owner of a children's bookstore. But that was long before I had DD, and I was the business person rather than the books person anyway. (We closed down when the second superstore within five miles opened....)
 

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My daughter and I read The American Girl series.  I don't recall what age she was, but I'm thinking about 3rd grade.  It was when they first came out.  They were very good.  Had great lessons.
deb
 

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All Beverly Cleary's books would be appropriate for a first grader, I think. Besides Ramona, there is also a series about a boy named Henry (it's Beezus's friend Henry), plus some onesies, I think. Ellen Tebbits is a good one about a little girl. Another author you might look for is Carolyn Haywood, the Eddie series. Her books are also pretty old and about a grade school kid and wouldn't have anything inappropriate. I also second the recommendations for Judy Blume's Fudge books (as well as Sheila the Great, which is about a minor character from Fudge). Some of her other books are for teens, though, so don't get everything of hers. The American Girls books might be good, too. I think the girls in the stories are 9-10, so no boy problems or anything, just friendships and parents and things, plus they're educational, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh, this is great!  I have a nice long list now.  Thanks, all!

I did check the current Scholastic catalogs for O's but there are only two or three in there.  We got them through her school which has only two pre-K levels and kindergarten, so they probably don't send out all the available catalogs, just the early-reader ones.  The ones they have are a couple of mysteries, which I'll probably order, and a Captain Underpants book.

If only there were a Kid Kindle available...  nice hard-plastic cover (preferably in purple of course!), and a shatterproof screen....  I could stock it with everything on the list right now and we'd be all set for summer!
 

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Scholastic uses Lexile measures to level reading books for their Reading Counts program. Lexiles are very widely used now. You can go to www.lexile.com to read more about Lexile measures. They also have a really neat "find a book" feature on the site. You can put in your student's Lexile and the type of books that she likes to read and they will give you a customized book list. There is even a "book bag" feature that you can use to buy the book or locate it at your local library.
 

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Susan in VA said:
Oh, this is great! I have a nice long list now. Thanks, all!

I did check the current Scholastic catalogs for O's but there are only two or three in there. We got them through her school which has only two pre-K levels and kindergarten, so they probably don't send out all the available catalogs, just the early-reader ones. The ones they have are a couple of mysteries, which I'll probably order, and a Captain Underpants book.

If only there were a Kid Kindle available... nice hard-plastic cover (preferably in purple of course!), and a shatterproof screen.... I could stock it with everything on the list right now and we'd be all set for summer!
Maybe you could ask her teacher to grab an order form from the next grade up. DD's teacher gives her the 4/5th grade order form even though she's in 3rd. I research the books that she wants to make sure that the content is appropriate for her.

LOL...the Captain Underpants books are fun but revolting. But hey, my kid was reading them at your daughter's age and had fun with them.

I really wish they had a Kid Kindle. DD would love one. She handles mine with care when passing it to me but I still won't let her read on it just yet...she's a bit clumsy like her mom :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Aravis60 said:
Scholastic uses Lexile measures to level reading books for their Reading Counts program. Lexiles are very widely used now. You can go to www.lexile.com to read more about Lexile measures. They also have a really neat "find a book" feature on the site. You can put in your student's Lexile and the type of books that she likes to read and they will give you a customized book list. There is even a "book bag" feature that you can use to buy the book or locate it at your local library.
That looks really neat. I never knew measures like that existed. Now I just need to figure out how to determine HER lexile level, instead of a given book's!
 
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