Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Leveled Library- From the Experts Fountas & Pinnell

What is a leveled book collection? 
A leveled book collection consists of books organized along a gradient of difficulty, from easiest to read to hardest to read. A level indicates a group of books that are similar to one another. The level is described by a cluster of characteristics; no text will have every characteristic listed for the level. In the gradient, we use the letter A to indicate the easiest books to read and the letter Z to identify the most challenging books. To estimate the level of a particular text, we find the cluster of characteristics that most closely represents the text and then study student responses to the text over time. As we discover more about the text through further review and work in the classroom, we determine whether the level designation is reliable or needs to be adjusted.

What features do you look at when you "level" a book?
Leveling is a complex process: one text may be challenging because of certain features, and another text may be challenging for different features. A text with simple words and concepts may be made harder or easier by factors such as length, layout, and print size. On the other hand, a text that "looks easy" because it has few lines of text and big print may be quite challenging because of the vocabulary and the difficulty or number of the concepts included.
The features we evaluate as we level a book include print and layout, vocabulary, sentence complexity, structure, content, language, themes and ideas, and all these characteristics in combination. For a more detailed description of the considerations that go into leveling, visit the Understanding Book Characteristics section

Text quoted from http://www.fountasandpinnellleveledbooks.com/Understanding/characteristics.aspx 

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