My last post was about the reading abilities of 4th grade students. This post is about what we can do as teachers without sacrificing rigor or lowering the expectations.
In order to support the wide range of reading abilities in my multigrade classes it is important that my resources be an appropriate reading level.
So what can you do when your resources don’t have a reading level provided for you and aren’t offered as leveled sets?
Here are the 4 steps I use to turn any single resource into a set of leveled resources.
- Get a good quality PDF Scan of your resource.
- Convert your PDF resource to an editable word document.
- Use Microsoft Word to check the Flesch-Kinckaid Readability level.
- Turn your resource into a leveled set by altering the text up and down to suit your students.
A good quality scan should be readable with few stray markings. The clearer the .pdf you use the more accurate your editable document will be. OCR software tends to interpret lines and stray marks as weird punctuation.
Use an optical character recognition (OCR) software to automatically turn any pdf or image with text into a .docx or .doc filed.
You have two choices.
Paid programs that cost a little extra for an easier and quicker conversion.
Free Online Software that Limits Number of Pages in a Time Span
- I was using Free Online OCR before buying ReadIris Pro. You are limited to 15 Images an Hour in Guest Mode
In Microsoft Office Word there is a built in program to measure the difficulty of text utilizing the Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease Score and Grade Level. In order to utilize this tool you need to enable it.
Enabling Reading Scores in Word for Windows
- Click the File tab, and then click Options.
- Click Proofing.
- Under When correcting spelling and grammar in Word, make sure the Check grammar with spelling check box is selected.
- Select Show readability statistics.
Enabling Reading Scores in Word for Mac
- On the Word menu, click Preferences. Note: To open Word Preferences, you must have a document open.
- Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click Spelling and Grammar.
- Under Grammar, select the Check grammar with spelling check box.
- Select the Show readability statistics check box, and close the Spelling & Grammar dialog box.
- On the Tools menu, point to Spelling and Grammar and click Spelling & Grammar.
After you enable this feature, open a file that you want to check, and check the spelling. When Word finishes checking the spelling and grammar, it displays information about the reading level of the document.
Change the level of your text in order to lower or raise the reading level. I like to use Rewordify.com as a starting place. Reducing the difficulty takes several tries. As you make changes check your updated scores.