Monday, April 16, 2012

Reading and The Five Finger Rule



I have a five year old who will start kindergarten and a six year old who will start second grade next fall.  Both of them love to read.  I was very lucky to know a wonderful children's librarian (and pretty terrific person) for a couple of years before she moved on to greener pastures (miss you Melanie).  She told me about the Five Finger Rule for helping a child to choose a book appropriate for their individual reading level.  This has been one of the most helpful things I have learned in helping my girl's to succeed in reading.


Please do not pin this picture.  Use the embedded pin it buttons.


I don't know where this rule started, but here is the basic idea.  (You can search for this and find a ton of variations.)
  1. Select a book
  2. Open it book in the middle and find a page that isn’t the first page or the first page of a chapter.  It is helpful if the page also does not have pictures.
  3. Read the page.
  4. For every word that you have trouble reading put a finger up.
0-1 fingers – the book is too easy
2-3 fingers – the book is “just right”
4-5 fingers – the books is too hard


I have adapted this as my oldest daughter started reading better.  I encourage her to read books that are in a higher finger range now.  She picks up new words very quickly and can often figure out what they are by sounding them out and their use in the context of the sentence.  She is currently reading above her grade level and I have more difficulty determining if a book is appropriate for her age than if it is too easy for her.

Edited to add: Please scroll down so you can read comments.  Jenny Melrose left a comment that expands a bit more and is worth looking at.








I also want to announce that Monday will be the day I try to put up book reviews.  Most of the books will be for children, but I will try to throw a few in for Mom, too.



Please check out my Link Parties page to see the blogs where I may have showcased this post.  Thank you to the bloggers who host such wonderful parties.

24 comments:

  1. That's pretty cool, Renonda. I've never heard of that before and I plan to implement it very soon! Thank you so much for sharing. Janelle
    emmalinebags.com

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    1. Thanks Janelle! It has been really helpful for us.

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  2. I think it's fabulous that you're sharing this. The idea behind the five finger rule is accuracy. In order for a child to feel successful and to comprehend what they are reading you want them to read with an accuracy rate of 95%. Children should begin to read more difficult texts like you have your older daughter doing as long as an adult can help with the more difficult words (pronunciation and meaning). We don't want the children to not comprehend what they are reading. Way to go Renonda for sharing this! You're now someone elses Melanie!

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    1. Thank you for adding this Jenny! That part I did not know and it is great insight in to why it is such a helpful tool.

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  3. This is a super idea! I will pass this on
    at school!

    Happy Reading.

    melinda

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    Replies
    1. Please pass it along! That was my reason for posting it.

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  4. Wow I've never heard of that before but that is so smart! Thanks for sharing! :-)

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    1. I hope it helps! Thank you for stopping by.

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  5. New follower from blog hop! Great ideas to teach young kids to read!

    http://naptimeshopper.blogspot.com/

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  6. I can't wait for Monday...I love children's literature almost as much as I love birds!! I use the five finger rule in my classroom. Sometimes it's tricky with emergent readers because the books they read don't have five words on a page. I'm not surprised your daughter is a good reader...You probably started reading to her at a very young age. You're a good momma!!
    Jenny
    Owl Things First

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    1. Thanks Jenny, I did, and do, read to them. Whenever they are reading those short books I was usually right by them so I could help. I hope I don't disappoint with my reviews.

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  7. Thank you for sharing this. The pic of your girls is sweet and a perfect picture for the post. We are book lovers here and really enjoy when other share practical things about reading and helping kids to learn to love reading. Much care.

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    1. Thank you! I hope you stop back by for some of the reviews.

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  8. What a great tip! Wish I had known that when my kids were young. Oh well...I'll save it for when I have grandchildren!

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I love this idea! I think it's a great way to help your kids be a little more independent too, and not just always ask you if they can read something.

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    Replies
    1. I'm glad you like it. I am always for getting kids to be better readers.

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  10. This is a great way to figure out which books are at the right level. I will definitely keep this in mind!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you like it. Come back to see reviews of books for kids and grownups starting Monday.

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  11. I had never heard of this before. I like it! Thanks for sharing your info.

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  12. Great tip, thanks for sharing at Bacon Time.

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