Reading Assessment is important
On one of the Unschooling email lists, we got to chatting about how a homeschool parent could test the reading level of their children. Below are several online reading level tests that were suggested. I’ve added more reading tests for kids, too, through the years. One quick way of assessing reading grade level is to look at the reading level designation of their favorite books. Usually placed near the list price on the back cover of children’s books you’ll see something like this: RL 3.2. This would indicate that the book was written with the reading vocabulary of a typical child in the second month of the third grade. I’d average the “RL’s” of their favorite books, as homeschooled kids tend to read all over the map. This system, however, tends to stop at about the end of the 6th grade level.
Never Underestimate the Importance of Informal Assessment
Anne-Evan Williams, Let’s Go Learn Director of Educational Development, discusses the importance of being watchful and making informal assessments as children read to you. Consider using a smartphone app for audio recording your child reading. Save the recordings by date so you can more easily assess improvements.
Free Reading Assessment Tests to Determine a Child’s Reading Level
Reading Skills Assessment Tool
Have your child read and pronounce correctly each letter or word starting with “A”, the first 8 “words” are letters, then progress from left to right. When your child misses 5 words in a row, or is frustrated, then stop. Next, add the number of words using the number in brackets to help you, which keeps a tally of how many words your child has read up to that row.
As you can see this scale goes all the way up to college level. This test only assesses decoding (reading words); it does not assess reading comprehension or spelling.
Example: If your child reads all the way up to “quality” but misses the next 5 or 6 words then they would have a score of 44. A score of 44 = 4.4 grade reading level, being typical of 4th grader in their fourth month.
Links lead to dictionary.com pronunciations and definitions. You may test for word comprehension through using the linked definitions. The simpler words sometimes have the more complicated definitions and sometimes several pronunciations.
The San Diego Quick Assessment of Reading Ability
The list in which a student misses no more than one of the ten words is the level at which he/she can read independently.
Two errors indicate his/her instructional level.
Three or more errors identify the level at which reading material will be too difficult for him/her.
More on Reading Level Assessment
Award Winning Children’s Books
100 books that have won the Newbery or Caldecott awards, or other literary awards for the best children’s literature, organized by reading level and title. Resource for finding books once you know your child’s reading level.
Let’s Go Learn Reading Assessment
AN A TO Z AFFILIATE
This online reading assessment gives you immediate feedback on your child’s reading level, as well as his or her strengths and weaknesses in reading–all for less than the cost of most formal assessments.
A three-part assessment process to help you place students in instructionally appropriate level texts. Find out at which level to start a student. Determine when a student is ready to move to the next level. Must sign up as a member to use resources and track reading level records. Has classroom-priced program, but none with family pricing. Families need to use free version. Correlated to Common Core Standards.
The Reading Success Lab
The free reading assessment test is an effective screening device to determine whether there is a need for further testing. Works even with those with dyslexia or other learning disabilities.
Running Records and Benchmark Books
A running record allows you to assess a student’s reading performance as she/he reads from a benchmark book. Benchmark books are books selected for running record assessment purposes. A running record form, with text from the book printed on the form, accompanies each of the benchmark books.
Schonell Reading Test
The child should read the words left to right. When a word that gets a little difficult, ask the child to sound it out. If the child can’t say what the word is, then go on to the next one. Determines reading age, not grade level.
SEDL – RCI Framework of Reading – Reading Assessment
We have created this summary of the different types of assessment that can be used for measuring development in reading skills in the hopes that teachers will better understand how single skills can be assessed by multiple measures.
The SMOG Readability Formula
To calculate the SMOG reading grade level, begin with the entire written work that is being assessed, and follow these four steps. A way to figure out what reading level a particular book is.
By Ann Zeise