How to Level Books in 2 Easy Steps

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Learn how to level books the easy way for your classroom library, home library, or school library. The simple system I use as a school librarian works for a variety of different book leveling systems. This article will show you how to level books for Fountas and Pinnell, how to level books by Lexile score, and how to level books by DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment) level. If you need to level books for guided reading, you’re in the right place. How do you level a children’s book? Read on to learn how to level books quickly and easily for free.

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My Book Leveling Backstory

In the library, I sometimes get asked about the reading level of a certain book. Although I can look it up, I don’t place a big emphasis upon a particular book’s reading level. I always hope that kids will choose to read what interests them. However, knowing the reading level of a book does have its place. Maybe a classroom teacher needs to add some books to a leveled classroom library, or maybe a homeschooling parent wants to know for assessment purposes. Perhaps a student is just curious. Here’s my favorite free way to level books quickly and easily.

***Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.*** Already know what you’d like to get from Amazon? Here’s a handy way to get to the website, linked to one of my favorite books for teachers to get kids excited about reading. Just click on the link, then browse around and do your shopping.

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Level Books Quickly Step 1:

You may be asking, “How classroom library?” Here’s the first step. Go to the Accelerated Reader Bookfinder site and type in the title, author or topic of the book you are trying to find information about. Chances are quite good that your book will be in the vast database of titles. Once you have the result, look for the number to the right of the AR letters. For the book I looked up, Wish, by Barbara O’Connor, the number was 6.0.

What does that number mean? It means that, according to the readability formula used by the Accelerated Reader program, the book would be at an appropriate level for a student at the beginning of sixth grade. Of course, the actual reader may be in a higher or lower grade level. If a book has an AR level of 4.5, the number means the book is at a readability level suitable for someone in the fifth month of fourth grade.

Level Books Quickly Step 2:

If you are just interested in knowing the grade level of a book, you could stop there. However, many school districts use other reading levels to measure progress. One type of leveling model is the DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment). Another book leveling model is the Lexile score. Some teachers, homeschool parents or students may want to know the DRA level or Lexile score of a book. What if you want to level books for Fountas and Pinnell? How do you find a book’s guided reading level? For each of these queries, all you need to do is access a conversion chart, or book level chart. This is the best one I’ve found. Use the chart to convert the AR level to your desired book system level. There you go! You just learned my favorite free way to level books quickly and easily. Using these two free book leveling websites or tools, you can level many books in a short amount of time.

Have a Ton of Books to Level?

What if you are a brand new classroom teacher and have a whole classroom library of books to level? What if you are a school librarian who has just been asked by your principal to level all of the books in the library? (It has happened before.) Is there an app to level books? Good news! There is a free app called QuickScan Book Leveler. The downside is that it’s only available right now for an iPhone or iPad. It also only provides the AR level and Lexile score. If that is all you need, then you’re set.

There is another app you could use called Level It Books. It’s not free, but it’s only $4.99. The app is available for both iOS and Android devices on their respective app stores. This app allows the user to quickly view a book’s Lexile, guided reading level, grade level equivalent, and DRA level, if desired. When used with a barcode scanner to scan each book’s ISBN, the leveling process is sped up substantially.

level books quickly app

Is Book Leveling in Your Future?

Are you going to have a need to level some books anytime soon? Do you suddenly feel like raiding your bookshelf and visiting the AR website just to satisfy your curiosity? If that’s the case, I hope this post will help you find the book levels you are seeking. Have a fantastic week, and thanks for visiting the BookAndTechTips site.

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Lisa Mitchell is a school librarian who likes to use her job as an excuse to stay up far too late reading books and noodling around with tech tools. To learn more about what this website has to offer, click on over to the About page or the Book Tips page..

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