Choosing A Just Right Book


    Choose “easy” books to read sometimes.  These are books where a child can read almost every word without help.  If the book is a year or two below a child’s grade level, he/she will build confidence, smooth reading and expressive reading.  A child can read these books independently or aloud practicing expressive reading and even different voices.


    Choose “hard” books to read sometimes.  As a general rule, if a child reads the first page of a book and misses 5 or more words, that book is difficult for the child to read.  Reading these books aloud to a child will help build vocabulary, a sense of story and excitement for what’s possible.  Plus, it’s just plain enjoyable to listen to someone read and talk about books.  You are never too old for that!


    Choose “just right” books sometimes.  If a child can read 9 out of 10 words on a page, that’s a “just right” book.  By missing one word every so often, a child gets a chance to try the strategies that we are teaching him/her.  Every child needs practice using the strategies.  If she/he is missing more words per page, it will be difficult to get any meaning from the story she/he is reading independently.  When a child comes across an unfamiliar word, it’s a good idea to have him/her run through a variety of strategies to try and figure it out for him/herself.  However, the child should not get to the point of frustration.  Reading should be fun!