I’m going to give you two tools you can use today to get started picking Just Right books.
If the book is:
—>Too easy the student won’t need any help and can finish quickly. The words in the book are all easy to read. You might notice that your child will get bored easily.
—> In Just Right books the student can understand what’s going on in the book, and knows most of the words but might need a little help. When a book is Just Right it makes you want to keep reading, the student feels confident reading them, and they can make connections and retell the story. Have them read as many as they can to become a strong reader!
—->If the book is too hard then the words are difficult for the student to read and they need a lot of help to decode the words and understand the story. Usually, their comprehension is impacted. They might have to keep rereading and find that their mind wanders when they’re reading. They won’t be able to explain or talk about the story.
It’s okay to let your child read easy books sometimes. We all do it, right?! Sometimes we read a blog post or a magazine just for the fun of it.
Reading easy books can help a child build reading fluency and confidence. Reading Fluency is the ability to read with speed, accuracy, and proper expression. When students read an easy book they can focus on the other parts of fluency. Kids can also practice their skills by reading a book that is too easy for a younger sibling.
Another thing that might happen is that your child might want to read books that are too hard. My son wanted to read difficult books right away. His interests were always more advanced than his reading skills.
You always want to encourage reading excitement! So what can you do if you KNOW the book is too hard? This is a great opportunity to have your child listen to the audiobook and either follow along in the physical copy or enjoy the experience of just listening. This totally counts as reading!
Finally, I’m always an advocate for reading WITH your child. The more difficult books can be read together and shared. I often pause when there are words I know my son can read and let him help with that sentence.