Beginning ReadersIf you have a child who is learning to read, our Beginning Reader collection (R Fiction) is a great resource for you. Generally consisting of controlled vocabulary, supportive illustrations, and clear story lines, this collection of fiction and nonfiction titles is perfect for beginning readers, whether they are just starting out or ready for the challenge of a short chapter book. Within this broad collection, including classics as well as new favorites, each title is categorized into one of five levels, mirroring the stages through which children progress as they become independent readers. The categories are identified by a colored dot attached to the spine of each book:
|Red Dots - Denoting Pre-Emergent Readers, books at this level have a high level of picture support, large print, repetitive patterns/vocabulary, predictable text, wide letter spacing, familiar concepts, and limited text on the page. (Levels A, B, C)|
|Blue Dots - Denoting Pre-Emergent Readers, books at this level have controlled, repeated vocabulary; large print; wide letter spacing; familiar concepts; and longer sentences. (Levels D, E)|
|Green Dots - Denoting Emergent Readers, books at this level have more lines of text and more complex sentences, but they still have repetition of vocabulary and larger print and text spacing. (Levels F, G)|
|Yellow Dots - Denoting Early Fluent Readers, books at this level have smaller print, more lines of print per page, more complex sentence structure, more advanced vocabulary, and familiar topics but greater depth. (Levels H, I, J)|
|Orange Dots - Denoting Fluent Readers, books at this level contain more challenging ideas; extended episodes and actions; greater variation in sentence pattern; and more complex, richer vocabulary and longer sentences. (Levels K, L, M)|
Double Dots indicate a nonfiction book. Due to an increase in subject-specific vocabulary and more complex sentence structure, it is common for children to drop a level or two when they move from reading fiction to nonfiction titles.
These categories of leveled books were modified from the West Bloomfield Township (MI) Public Library's First Grade: Ready, Set, READ! materials (part of its initiative called Grow Up Reading www.growupreading.org), and include Fountas-Pinnell reading levels.
Determining Reading Levels of BooksFive Finger Rule for Independent Reading
- Reading Rockets: Selecting Books for Your Child: Finding 'Just Right' Books
- Scholastic Teacher Book Wizard
- Harcourt Achieve Reading Program Comparison Chart