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  • Project Purpose

Selecting Books (A Series) Pt. 1

Most of you are probably aware that the books we have available for use in our Resource Room are organized in a deliberate way. But how familiar are you with what that system actually is?

I will be offering a series of posts to help equip you with the information you need to improve books selection, maximize resources for student improvement, and make reading a more enjoyable experience for everyone!

Project Purpose Library

The books in the Project Purpose library are organized by reading level according to the Fountas and Pinnells (F&P) Guided Reading Levels system. F&P system is a highly trusted, recognized, and used system for selecting books appropriate for a child. The system is applauded for its precision in accuracy- each book has been carefully evaluated, including teacher input, with over 18,000 books included in its database.

As you may have already realized, a certain 'grade level' may span over several 'reading levels'. This, of course, is natural, because children will vary in their rate of reading improvement over time. You might have a 2nd grade student reading at a level K with one of their peers reading at a level M or N. Or you might have a student who may have not yet reached any of the reading levels that typically correspond with their grade, or is conversely, reading beyond the level attributed to their grade.

Do you know your student's assigned reading level? Below I have listed out grades and their corresponding reading levels so you have an idea of where your student falls...

Kindergarten: F&P levels: A B C D

1st Grade: F&P levels: E F G H I J (wow! what a range!)

2nd Grade: F&P levels: K L M

3rd Grade: F&P levels: N O P

4th Grade: F&P levels: Q R S

5th Grade: F&P levels: T U V

6th Grade: F&P levels: W X Y

7th Grade: F&P levels: Z

8th Grade: F&P levels: Z

8th + : F&P level: Z

L is typically a 2nd grade level

If you aren't sure of what level your student should be reading at, please ask us!!

As you are selecting books, remember that leveling systems are GUIDES! Observe your unique students, be flexible, and trust your judgment. You may need to go down so your student has a chance to read without resistance or struggle to gain self-confidence. You may need to go up to give your student the push you think he needs to grow.

Consider this insight from Scholastic, "students will read beyond their level when they’re motivated by a topic, like dinosaurs or insects. Let it happen. That’s one way readers grow. My second graders read the entire Iditarod website because they were excited about the Iditarod sled dog race. On the other hand, sixth graders can be encouraged to read nonfiction picture books that are informative and accessible to older students."

And as always, remember, let's show the kids that reading is a fun and rewarding experience!

Look for part 2 of this series, coming soon!

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