When teaching reading, it is essential to know a student’s reading level. Knowing whether a student is reading on an independent level (95%), an instructional level (90%-94% accuracy), or reading below level (89% accuracy or below) guides my instruction accordingly so that I can appropriately challenge a student to move toward their next reading level. This way I avoid crossing over that fine line of challenging a student to defeating a student.
Also, a student knowing their reading level guides the student in their book choice. For example, if they are reading on level G, then a “just right” book for that specific student to choose may be a book that is leveled F, G, or H.
If you need help to know how to level a reading text, Scholastic offers a great resource called Book Wizard, http://www.scholastic.com/bookwizard/. Just click the link, and then choose the one of the four options on leveling a book.