Monday, May 3, 2010

Reading Level Woes

What to do when a teacher or student comes to you looking for a book based on their reading levels??? When did our educational system manage to convince people that reading a book based on one's intelligence level rather than reading interests would make someone more successful? How can we explain the inadequacy of attempting to apply the science of "reading levels" to the art of writing? I've tried, but I can tell you what happens most often: I become seen as someone who can't effectively do her job. They need a book and I can't just hand one over that will continue to promote readicide in America. And what's worse is the higher reading level a student attains, the fewer books are "on their reading level". Why can't we admit that if they are reading on an 8th grade reading level, or higher, they are more than competent to read 90% of the world's writing? Can't they just pick whatever they want at that point? Read for pleasure?
Ultimately, I have no answer. I want to support the teacher. I know I can't try to convince them of this in the 5 minutes they have to devote to this task. So what do I do? What are the odds I'm going to find "The Right Book for the Right Student at the Right Time" on the right reading level? Not good. Not good at all.


telemunda said...

You guide them to the Lexile site. The site will give a grade level and let the teachers decide how to incorporate the Lexile information. Or you do a few of the most frequently checked out books by Lexile and let them see how successful it is for them.

Ed Darrell said...

Here, you need to remember this -- and maybe repost it on your blog: