Reading is a very important skill in a child’s development and plays a huge role in their learning opportunities and life experiences. Help your kids establish a love for learning by encouraging them to read books at the proper reading level. Dra levels greatly improve the spoken language and help develop the mind.
Understanding the Testing Methods
Find out which reading level system is used in your area. There are a variety of reading level systems; some are more popular in certain regions than others.
- To test your child’s reading level, it is helpful to know which system is used in your area—ask the local school district or school to find out and to provide you with more information.
- Reading levels can be converted from one program to another, so check with your local librarian or your child’s teacher to see how their skills correlate to another program.
- Find out more about the Accelerated Reader system. AR is a popular program in public schools and comes in a desktop or web-based version. Children take a test through the program, which then recommends books at or slightly above their reading levels. AR levels are arranged by numbers, such as 2.0, 2.1, etc.
- The first number correlates with your child’s grade level and the second number with what month in the school year is standard for that book. For example, a book labeled level 2.3 would be at the level of a typical second grader in their third month of school.
See if your child’s school follows the Guided Reading Levels. GRL is arranged on an alphabetical scale, with level A being the easiest and level Z the most advanced.
- GRL tests are typically administered at the beginning of each school year by having the child read individually to his teacher from a book considered standard for the grade.
- The teacher may ask follow-up questions to test for vocabulary and comprehension, and then uses her judgment and the GRL Reading Record to calculate a reading level.
Determine if your child’s school follows the Developmental Reading Assessment. DRA is tested in a similar way to GRL, with a child reading a book aloud to their teacher at the beginning of the school year.
- The child will then retell the story to their teacher and be scored on a variety of skills, ranging from accuracy to fluency.
- DRA books start with level A, and then switch to numbers 1-80 for more difficult books.
Look into Lexile. Lexile measures are given from a Scholastic Reading Inventory assessment given by the school, or taken from standardized tests.
- Using a child’s standardized test reading scores, an educator or parent can covert the scores into a Lexile measure.
- Lexile uses more quantitative measures, such as sentence length and number of syllables in a word, instead of qualitative measures, such as analysis or comprehension. The scale runs from 0L to 2000L.
Examine your child’s favorite books. A simple way to find your child’s reading level is to look at the back of their favorite books. Towards the bottom of the back cover, near the price and barcode, there should be a number such as RL:1.2, which means that book is an average book for a first grader.[
- Take a handful of your child’s current favorites and average the reading levels to give you a fairly good idea of his actual reading level.
- This system isn’t foolproof, as children sometimes choose books on their own that are below their reading level, but it will give you a good starting point.
Have your child participate in an online test. There are a variety of online tests that can be done with your child at home to further understand their reading level.
- Many free tests involve lists of words—have your child read each word in the list out loud. When they get to a point where they can’t read 4 or 5 words in a row or they get too frustrated to continue, stop and use that stopping spot to measure the reading level.
- These lists can be found on websites like sonlight.com and mindsprinting.com. Note that these online word tests are fairly accurate for determining reading level, but don’t test comprehension or contextual reading.
Encourage your child to read books at home. Once you know your child’s reading level, you can continue their progress by encouraging them to read books at their correct level at home, either to themselves or aloud to parents or siblings. Dra reading levels help your child develop vocabulary and speech.