Is listening to a child read a story/passage the only way to determine his/her reading level?Is listening to a child read a story/passage the only way to determine his/her reading level? I am...

Is listening to a child read a story/passage the only way to determine his/her reading level?

Is listening to a child read a story/passage the only way to determine his/her reading level? I am looking for elementary teachers' personal "favorites" as far as number/types of assessments to determine reading levels.

Asked on by mrsp2011

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litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It's definitely the easiest way. The Five Finger rule, for all its simplicity, is actually pretty useful. Kids can be taught to use it themselves. Just tell them if there are five words on a random page they don't know, the book is to hard for them. Parents can listen to the child read and count the errors to see if a book is too hard. If the child reads quickly, the book is too easy.
literaturenerd's profile pic

literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I would not say that only hearing a student allows a teacher to gauge what level of reading they are capable of. Some students are simply terrified to read aloud. Many times, their ability to read silently far surpasses their ability to read aloud.

mrsp2011's profile pic

mrsp2011 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

Thanks :-)

There are many types of reading/language assessments. I was looking for elementary teachers' personal "favorites" as far as number/types of assessments to determine reading levels.

Might try rephrasing my question and posting again.

 

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Most states consider that reading ability is determined through a number of different skills, including phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension.  Though Fry's readability formula (or one of the many others patterned after this approach) is the most widely used method of reading level assessment, I think most elementary school teachers would agree that there are certainly more informal methods outside of listening to the child read and counting syllables.

First, take into account that ability to read aloud does not necessarily demonstrate how much a child is actually comprehending in the reading.  Students who may be able to sight read words with fluency or even perform at an above-average level while reading aloud, may or may not be internalizing any content from a passage.

The exact opposite issue comes from students who may have a very high level of comprehension and retention of written material, but are not very good at reading out loud.

Ideas may vary from teacher to teacher, but some informal methods of determining reading level could include:

  • noting the suggested reading level of several books the child enjoys reading (on his or her own).
  • informal or formal comprehension assessment of various written material.
  • comprehensive assessment of a child's ability to speak, write, and read.

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