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Literacy for Students K-8: Leveling Books

Literacy resources for students enrolled in CIED 3005.

CIED 3005

Foundations of Literacy. Survey of evaluation, selection and utilization of literature of childhood; introduces cognitive and linguistics foundations of literacy; language conventions needed to compose and comprehend oral and written texts. Work in school setting.

Locate Reading Levels

Do you need help in determining a reading level? Sometimes it is printed on the back cover of a book. Many book reviews suggest a reading and/or interest level. If not, check the public websites listed here.

           Book Wizard by Scholastic Inc.

Search by topic or title or author, select which reading level measurement you use: 

   BookSource by Fountas and Pinnell 

Search by interest levels (preK-2, grades 3-6, middle school, and high school), by reading level, in many specialty lists (e.g. national awards, math, science, social studies); and in featured lists (e.g. World Read-Aloud Day).


Lexile®  The Lexile Framework for Reading


     AR BookFinder (Renaissance Learning)

Now reports ATOS and Lexile measures.

Calculating a Reading Level

Calculating Readability using Microsoft Word© version ????

Anyone can determine the Flesch-Kincaid reading grade level of a text using the software Microsoft Word ©. There is a tool for this that you access from your menu bar. Calculate either an entire document, or highlight a section and then calculate.

1. Go to TOOLS and select OPTIONS and SPELLING & GRAMMAR
3. Select the box SHOW READABILITY STATISTICS and select OKAY
4. To generate the readability statistic, select SPELLING AND GRAMMAR from the tool bar at the top of the page. The tool will go through its recommended changes and provide readability statistics at the end.


Calculating Readability without software

Here is a formula used to hand-calculate a Flesch-Kincaid reading level on your own. This is a good tool to determine whether a book is going to challenge a particular reader.

1. Select a few paragraphs to use as your base.
2. Calculate the average number of words per sentence. Multiply the result by 0.39
3. Calculate the average number of syllables in words (count and divide). Multiply the result by 11.8
4. Add the two results together.
5. Subtract 15.59

The result will be a number that corresponds to a grade level. For example, a 6.5 is a sixth grade reading level.

On the Shelf: Books about Leveling

The Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Book List, K-8, by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

Leveled Books, K-8, by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children, by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

Matching Books to Readers: Using Leveled Books in Guided Reading, K-3, by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

Guiding in the Reading Process, by David Booth

Guided Reading: Making it Work, by Mary Browning Schulman

Creating Readers, by Pam Schiller

Online: Websites about Leveling

More Leveled Book Lists

FREE Dibels Data System
      The DIBELS measures assess the 5 Big Ideas in early literacy identified by the National Reading Panel:

  • Phonemic Awareness
  • Alphabetic Principle
  • Accuracy and Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension

Free Readability Screening