Once a kid enters kindergarten (and sometimes before that), parents will start to worry about whether the kids is reading up to the level of his or her peers.  The good news is, there are quite a few reading levels that can be used to assess how well a child is reading. The most popular ones are below:

  • Fountas & Pinnell
  • Basal Level
  • DRP (Degrees of Reading Power)
  • Reading Recovery
  • DRA Level
  • Lexile Level

You may be thinking, “this is great. I know my kid is reading at DRA level 12. But how is he doing against his peers?” Fortunately, there are reading level-grade mapping charts such as this that what reading level a student at each grade should be at.

One challenge I’ve found with trying to get books that are just above my children’s comfort zone (so they can keep improving) is that most of the books do not have any type of reading level assigned to it. There are reading lists by level available that I’ve found online, but I find those to be pretty random. For example, I have seen DRA level 8 books that are more difficult than DRA level 12 books. The best thing for a parent to do is not to rely on any list; rather, a parent should understand what each level looks like and use that as a guideline to select books.

The Common Core, a standard that many states in the US are starting to adapt for math and English language arts, does provide a reading list for each grade level.  That list can be viewed in this PDF.

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