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Reading Charts

Reading Charts - Road Maps for Readers

Simon has moved beyond BOB Books. And I had a panicky where-do-we-go-from-here? moment. You see, Reading Round 1 (with my first son, Elijah) was easy. By 6 years old, he could read anything he wanted to read. All I had to do was supply the books.

Insert child #2. Very insightful. Very curious. And very much wanting to read big books. But it's not coming naturally for him like it did big brother. This is a new land for me, and I need a map to navigate my way through.

I will admit: I am not a reading expert. I will also admit: I am a mom who wants the best for her boy who is begging, "I want to read, Mom, so badly." I don't think I need to buy reading curriculum for him. He is already reading. He just needs more practice. You may think I'm simplifying things here, but I know one {and only one} way to become a better reader: READ. 

Based on my belief, I set out to assemble a list of books to take Simon from beyond BOB books to beginning chapter books. I quickly learned there are different systems to organize readers and reading levels: Grade Level Equivalent, Guided Reading, DRA, and Lexile Measure–and probably more. It's madness. I wanted to shout, "Can the perfect reading list please step forward?" But nothing came.

I decided to cram four years of reading specialist education into one Saturday afternoon. I'm not sure I succeeded, but I got the basics. I continued to spend hours filtering through hundreds and hundreds of books in order to find quality and variety. At the end of my search, I put the titles in order based on my own combination of the reading level systems since they are based on different criteria and often conflicting.

I want Simon to read and re-read a book in order to develop stamina and to become fluid, confident, and ready to move up to the next level. How could I convince him to read Hop on Pop more than twice? A chart. A chart with incentives. 

Insert Reading Charts. Books in a sequential order based on difficulty and length. They are listed on charts which, when completed, can (and should!) be awarded. 

It's simpleness.

I keep the current chart's books in a basket.

Simon looks at the chart and chooses a title to read.

He reads (to me, to Jason, or to Elijah). He puts a sticker on the chart.

When the chart is completed, he earns 25 points. He can save the points or redeem them for a prize based on our prize list. 

You can make your own custom prize list by typing on the form below. Just click on the picture!

He moves on to the next chart. 

It's working. He is gaining speed, accuracy, confidence, and he's even reading with inflection in his voice. It's pretty darn cute.  

Starting next week, I will be sharing my charts with you.

I hope they will benefit another mom who has a reader needing one thing: practice. 

I will link the charts below as they are released.

Chart 1

Chart 2

Chart 3

Chart 4

Chart 5

Chart 6

Chart 7

Chart 8

After Chart 8

20 Responses to Reading Charts

  • Corina says:

    Wow – so cool!!  It is always so hard to know which books are ready "easy reader" enough to be read easily!  I look forward to your lists.  Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Carisa says:

    Love this Ami!

  • Donna in OKC says:

    This is wonderful! My daughter is 11 and I pulled her out of school a little over a year ago, because I realized that she could not read even the most basic of sight words. I knew she was a special needs child and I fault myself for being to busy with work and life that I let her slip through the cracks. After I decided to homeschool her and the other kids I noticed a huge change in her desire to learn. I think alot of it had to do with the fact that what she was learning actually had begun to stick. I did not know what reading program to use when we first started and tried several programs that did not work out. Then one sleepless night I ran across your sight with the printables for the BoB books. I went to our library the next day to check it out. I ended up using those with her and it has taken some time but she is proud to say "I can read!" We are now on level 2 readers and your printables with the repetition being not so upfront is what makes reading easier and fun for her and I both. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into what you have shared with us and we look forward to your next ideas!

  • Lynn says:

    I have the same problem as you!!  My 1st son never needed to be taught to read- he just did!!  He was reading chapter books by 4- my 2nd and 3rd sons were- well normal- they needed to learn and this was uncharted territory for me!!  Thanks for this- I think it's a great idea- looking forward to your lists!!






  • Kori says:

    This is fabulous! As someone who does happen to have a masters degree in teaching reading – I have often thought the same thing! But I'm also just getting to my first child that is needing to move more slowly with more repetition. I know these charts will bless many! And, even with my kids who could read anything – for a year after knowing how to read, our homeschool reading plan has simply been to choose a book and read for a set time each day. At the end of a year they have learned to read more, improved confidence and gained desire to read. Nothing better than simply time in books!

    thanks for sharing your hard work!


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  • Wendy says:

    This is a fantastic idea and I can’t wait to see which books you will choose. Your Bob book
    Printables are one of my son’s favorite activities – thanks for sharing!!

  • This is absolutely perfect for us and could t have come out at a better time- right as I'm planning our lessons for next year!  Thank you SO much!!

  • Julie says:

    I have the same problem! My DD now 5 reads anything and never really needed much reading instruction. She started reading at 2.  My son picked up letter sounds rather quickly but not reading.  He's still reading Bob books and gaining fluency, but I have floundered at what to do next.  These lists are exactly what we need.  Thank you.

  • I kept meaning to come back to this post. I read it first through my RSS reader on my Kindle Fire and it was without images, maybe too big? Who knows. Either way, I'm glad I got back here! 

  • Betsy Brown says:

    Thank you for this wonderful idea.  As a kindergarten teacher, we are pressed to 'fidelity' of the reading series.  Even though I have a huge library for my classroom, I did not have a way to track independent reading.  This chart system will be perfect for my readers of all levels, especially my transitional ones, as they grow towards lifelong readers.

  • Bethany says:

     I was wondering if you could give your 'criteria' for how you leveled your books. I love this idea and I think my daughter will too, but if we don't have some of the books you use in your chart, I would like to know what I could replace them with that would be on an equivalent level. Just wondering!  Thanks!

  • Ami says:

    Hi Bethany,

    I spent a day learning about lexile measure. I looked for my favorite books and authors. Once I found about 120 books, I organized them in an Excel chart listing their lexile measure and grade level equivalent. Then I balanced the books because some may have a really low Lexile (20L) but a really high grade level (2.4). Others may have a high LM but a low grade level. (I also kept my eye on guiding reading level A-Z, especially when a book didn’t have a listed LM.)

    I put a variety of books/authors on each chart, including some “real” books (Simon calls them real books because he knows they weren’t created for kids just starting to read. He wants to read “real” books, too. I also made sure there weren’t two Elephant & Piggie or Dr. Suess books on the same chart. 

    I hope this makes sense! I’m not very scientific, but I knew what I wanted! 😉

  • Bethany says:

    Thanks for your insight! :) I am excited to have my daughter use this format to build fluency!

  • Kari says:

    Thank you for this! My 5 year old has been reading easily since he had just turned 4 and I am struggling to keep up with him. He read 128 pg book yesterday and could explain the stories within it to me, so I know he's grasping it. This is such a great idea for him and he will love it!! Thank you!.

  • alissa says:

    seriously, thank you. i have a son like Simon, these lists are soooo helpful. TY!!

  • alissa says:

    oh, a question — Do you have him read the same book all 5 times before moving on to the next title, or does it really matter? thanks!!

  • Ami says:

    He can pick any title he wants; he just has to read every book on the chart before moving to the next CHART. :) Hope that helps!

  • Ami says:

    You are so welcome! :)

  • Lindsey says:

    I wanted to thank you again for sharing all your hard work. We are still working on the first chart. This summer has been hit & miss. My son actually reads the books vountarily. I asked him why he liked reading these books over and over. He said it was because they are easier each time so they are fun to read. I could never get him to read a book again before these charts. I am going to reserve books for the next chart this week.

    Thanks again!!!


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