Monthly Archives: January 2020

the five finger test

January 28,2020

When a book is too difficult to read, it can be frustrating. When a book is too easy to read, a child may not be challenged to learn new vocabulary. So how can you help your child find a book at just the right reading level?

Try the “five finger test” as described on the award-winning website, Reading Rockets. Here’s how it works. Open a book to a page in the middle; choose a page that is full of words. Ask your child to read that page out loud and to hold up one finger each time he or she comes across a new, unknown word.

  • If your child holds up one finger (thumb): Thumbs up! This book is a great choice and will be easy for your child to read.
  • Two fingers (thumb and index finger): Makes an L, this book is looking good! Your child should enjoy this book.
  • Three fingers (makes a W): Warning! This book may be best when read with an older sibling or adult.
  • Four or more fingers (whole hand): Stop! This book may be too difficult for your child to enjoy alone.

The five finger test is very helpful for finding a book that is at just the right reading level. We hope you find it “comes in handy”!