Wednesday, October 19, 2005

we've been reading...

Today after lunch Marcus and I settled ourselves for a cozy read together. We do this nearly every day. Often I read to Marcus and Bernie first, and then I help Marcus read while Bernie plays. Over the past couple of weeks, it's been very exciting to watch Marcus transform himself into an independent reader. At first we would alternate pages of the easy readers and I would have to help him with many words. Then he would do all of the reading himself, but I was still helping him a lot. About a week ago he started turning his little back to me so I couldn't see and thus couldn't help him! And about that same time he started reading entire level 2 easy readers in one sitting. He read Frog and Toad books, Owl at Home, Inspector Hopper, and others.

Today he read an entire Henry and Mudge book by himself, only asking me for help with words 3 times. Then he told me that book was too easy. A couple of days ago when we were at the library I had anticipated this moment, so I checked out Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne. It's one from the Magic Tree House series. Marcus stared on the first chapter today, and only asked me for help with 1 word. He is very, very excited about reading a big boy book by himself!

Georgie just took a reading comprehension test at school. I'm supposed to be finding books for her that are in her lexile range, which is 1080-1250. (For info on lexiles go to www.lexile.com.) It's not easy finding books that interest her in that category. I mean, I don't think they even have any in her school library, and few in the children's section of the city library. Little Women, for example, is 1300. Maybe she would read that. She just read The Supernaturalist (650) by Eoin Colfer and is now reading Artemis Fowl (600) by the same author. She enjoys them, which is good. The Harry Potter books are 880-1030 which is better, but Georgie doesn't seem to enjoy those much. She told me something funny about them--she said they "don't give you much to imagine."

Lidia recently read the first two Boxcar Children (490) books. I estimate that her lexile is somewhere in the 700-900 range. The book she is starting today is Little Bo: The Story of Bonnie Boadicea (780) by Julie Andrews Edwards. Of my three older children, Lidia is the one who learned to read at the youngest age, yet she is the one who seems to least enjoy reading on her own. Georgie will read for hours. I can see that Marcus is headed that way. Lidia would rather be drawing or writing her own story than reading on her own. She does very much enjoy having books read to her. She loved the three books from the Anne of Green Gables series I read to them over the summer. She loves hearing books on cd in the car.

Don't think I'm obsessed with this lexile thing. I think it can be a more or less useful tool in finding books for your child, but certainly not the ultimate resource.

This is from the lexile site: Lexile measures are based on two well-established predictors of how difficult a text is to comprehend: semantic difficulty (word frequency) and syntactic complexity (sentence length). In order to Lexile a book or article, text is split into 125-word slices. Each slice is compared to the nearly 600-million word Lexile corpus – taken from a variety of sources and genres – and words in each sentence are counted. These calculations are put into the Lexile equation. Then, each slice’s resulting Lexile measure is applied to the Rasch psychometric model to determine the Lexile measure for the entire text.

1 comment:

Ave said...

Instead of Lexile I prefer "wicked easy,and wicked hard".