Three Myths About “Reading Levels”

Three Myths About “Reading Levels”

Three Myths About “Reading Levels”

Date posted: March 9, 2017

How do you choose reading material for your students? How do you determine if a text is too easy or too difficult?

Reading levels, for both students and texts, can be a helpful tool. But, sometimes matching reading levels of students and reading material doesn’t work as well as you hope.

Three Myths About “Reading Levels” outlines some of the reasons that reading levels aren’t as precise as you might believe. The following three myths about reading levels are described:

Myth 1: Each text has a discrete, accurately measurable reading level.

Myth 2: Each reader has a discrete, accurately measurable level or reading skill.

Myth 3: Readers should (almost always) read texts very near their reading level.

Here’s one of the take-aways:

Passion, curiosity, and knowledge are at least as important as reading levels in helping children find good things to read. This is especially true because we know that motivation and knowledge can increase effective reading levels, while, conversely, readers can enjoy and gain a lot from texts that interest them, even if they are “too easy.”

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