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Collin’s Story: Using the Pioneer Valley Books Leveled Reading Assessment

Collin, a kindergartner, and literacy expert Michèle Dufresne read and write together one or two times a week. We hope that as we share Collin’s progress with you, you are able to take bits of learning to use with your own students.


Pioneer Valley Books has been hard at work this year on a new project. We have created an online Leveled Reading Assessment for parents to use. The goal of the assessment is to help parents make good choices about what levels of books to select for their children to read. The easy-to-use assessment will be soon found at a new Pioneer Valley Books website just for parents. The website will include video, news, and tips about how parents can help their children with learning to read. There will also be packages of leveled books parents can purchase for the home.

I decided it would be a good time to try out the Leveled Reading Assessment with Collin. I have been tutoring Collin one or two times a week for several months. (See earlier blogs about his progress). I used the assessment with Collin when I first began to work with him. Just a few months ago, the assessment placed him at Level A (Intervention Level 1). He had very few words he could recognize in print and did not have one-to-one established. Last week we began reading level G books (Intervention Level 12) and I am very pleased with his progress. I wanted to find out what the assessment would show now.

First, Collin was asked to read some words. This part of the assessment helps decide where the text reading should begin. The first word Collin missed was the word "opened."

Next, Collin was asked to read. The first story was Little Knight Makes a Friend. Collin read the story and then I tallied how many errors Collin made. He read the word kitten for knight several times but made very few other errors and did some great problem solving and self-correcting at difficulty. Because he read the text at a greater than 90% accuracy, the assessment took us to the next story. At this level, it became quite slow and very hard and I stopped the assessment. I recorded that Collin had “struggled” with the text. You can watch him reading here.

According to the assessment results Collin is reading at level G, which confirms the progress I have been making with him throughout the school year.

When the assessment becomes public and parents begin to use this assessment, I know they will get a similar accurate level for their children. Parents should use the assessment to select appropriate books for their children to read.


Michèle Dufresne is author of many Pioneer Valley Books  early readers (including the Bella and Rosie series), Word Solvers (Heinemann), and an early literacy and literacy intervention consultant.

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