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Choosing DITHOR Book Pack and Student Book Levels

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From Our House to Yours

Choosing DITHOR Book Pack and Student Book Levels

Each of Heart of Dakota’s (HOD’s) Drawn into the Heart of Reading (DITHOR) book packs includes a range of reading levels within each set of books.  Specific reading levels are also noted individually for each book. The Level 2 Book Pack includes books ranging from 3.0-4.1 (third grade through fourth grade first month).  Moving on, the Level 3 Book Pack includes books ranging from 3.5-5.1 (third grade fifth month through fifth grade first month). Progressing on, Level 4/5 Boy Book Pack includes books ranging from 4.0-5.7 (fourth grade through fifth grade seventh month). Similarly, the Level 4/5 Girl Book Pack includes books ranging from 4.0-5.6 (fourth grade through fifth grade sixth month).

Level 2 Book Pack Samples

In general, the Level 2 Book Pack has shorter chapters, a larger font size, and some pictures. The Littles is read for 10 days and is one of the Fantasy book selections. It has a reading level of 3.0, making it one of the easiest books in the Level 2 Book Pack. There are 73 pages in The Littles, so students read about 7 pages a day.

The Secret School is read for 15 days. It is the Realistic Fiction book selection. It has a reading level of 4.1, making it one of the hardest books in the Level 2 Book Pack. There are 153 pages in The Secret School, so students read about 10 pages a day.

Level 3 Book Pack Samples

In general, the Level 3 Book Pack’s chapters begin to get longer. Likewise, the font size begins to get smaller, and there are very few pictures. Louis Braille is read for 5 days and is one of the Biography book selections. It has a reading level of 3.8, making it one of the easiest books in the Level 3 Book Pack. There are 75 pages in Louis Braille, so students read about 15 pages a day.

Owls in the Family is read for 15 days. It is the Humor book selection. It has a reading level of 4.9, making it one of the hardest books in the Level 3 Book Pack. There are 91 pages in Owls in the Family, so students read about 6 pages a day. You can see the font is much smaller, the sentences longer, and the sentence structures more complex. This is why students are assigned to read less pages per day.

Level 4/5 Boy Interest Book Pack Samples

In general, the 4/5 Book Packs have longer reading assignments, very few pictures, smaller font size, and are thicker chapter books with higher vocabulary and more mature topics. For example, in the Level 4/5 Boy Interest Book Pack, Buffalo Bill is read for 15 days. It is the Folk Tales selection. It has a reading level of 4.0, making it one of the easiest books in the Level 4/5 Boy Interest Book Pack. There are 182 pages in Buffalo Bill, so students read about 12 pages a day.

The Black Stallion is read for 15 days. It is the Adventure book selection. It has a reading level of 5.3, making it one of the hardest books in the Level 4/5 Boy Interest Book Pack. There are 197 pages in The Black Stallion, so students read about 13 pages a day.

Level 4/5 Girl Interest Book Pack Samples

In the Level 4/5 Girl Interest Book Pack, Freedom Crossing, for example, is read for 15 days. It is the Historical Fiction selection. It has a reading level of 4.6, making it one of the easiest books in the Level 4/5 Girl Interest Book Pack. There are 148 pages in Freedom Crossing, so students read about 10 pages a day.

Naya Nuki: Shoshoni Girl Who Ran is read for 15 days. It is the Nonfiction book selection. It has a reading level of 5.6, making it one of the hardest books in the Level 4/5 Girl Interest Book Pack. There are 167 pages in Naya Nuki: Shoshoni Girl Who Ran, so students read about 11 pages a day.

Choosing Between Book Pack Levels

In general, we would say err on the side of choosing that which is easier if between two levels.  The DITHOR Teacher’s Guide and Student Books will add challenge; we don’t want the books to be at a challenge level, but rather at a level that the student can read fairly well on his/her own.

Choosing Which Genre Your Student Will Read First

Heart of Dakota lists the reading levels for each book on its website, in its catalog, and on its Optional Book Recommendations paper sent with your order. Genres can be done in any order, so starting with the easiest reading level for a struggling reader makes good sense. Starting with whichever genre or book your student is most excited about for a strong, yet dispassionate reader makes good sense.  If you have an average reader who enjoys reading, starting with the first genre (or any genre) makes good sense. Keep in mind the range of reading levels is intentional – not too big, not too small. Students’ reading and comprehension will gradually improve throughout the year. The range of reading levels Carrie carefully picked accommodates for that growth.

Choosing Which Level of DITHOR Student Book to Use

As far as the DITHOR Student Books, the 2/3 Student Book includes assignments every 2 to 3 out of 5 days, has less writing, and gives students a good foundation in genre study and in story elements.  The 4/5 Student Book includes assignments every 3-4 out of 5 days, has more writing, and is assuming students have had some formal literature study of the genres and the story elements, building upon this foundation.

In general, 2nd and 3rd grade students need to do the 2/3 Student Book.  Fourth grade students who have not had formal literature study of the genres and story elements or who are not accustomed to writing more do one year in the 2/3 Student Book and move to the 4/5 Student Book in fifth grade.  Fourth grade students who have had formal literature study of the genres and story elements and who are able to write more place in the 4/5 Student Book.  Reading levels of book packs do not need to match Student Book levels.  So, for example, a student who is an avid reader who does not write as well or who has not had formal literature study may use the 4/5 Boy or Girl Book Pack with the 2/3 Student Book.

In Closing

I hope this helps you with choosing which level of book pack and which level of student book you’d like to use with your younger student(s). If I look at a book inside and outside, know the total number of pages in the book, and know how many pages my student would need to read each day, I can usually choose what level is best for each of my sons. I hope you find the same to be true for you and find this to be an encouragement!

In Christ,

Julie

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