Teaching Your Child to “High Five”

While in a bookstore recently, my sweet husband excitedly approached me with a teaching aid explaining the five finger rule for teaching a child to pick a book at his/her in reading level.

Somewhere in my teacher training/time in the classroom/library science training, I had come across this method before.  So the technique was not new to me (much to my husband’s disappointment), but if you’re reading this and NOT familiar with the Five Finger/High Five rule, keep reading. It’s important that children make personal selections, even if that selection occasionally falls above or below the child’s independent reading level.  However, children should also be taught to make good independent reading choices.  Teaching a child to “High Five” is simple and provides a visual aid when considering book selection:

Step 1: Open the book to any page and start reading.

Step 2: Hold up one finger for EVERY word that you don’t know or have trouble pronouncing on that page.

0-1 fingers- book is too easy

2-3 fingers- book is at independent reading level

4 fingers-book is at challenge level and may be too difficult

5 fingers-book is at frustration level and a poor choice at this time


That’s it!  Easy, right?

Any other tips for helping children select appropriate reading materials?  Add them to the comments below so that we can all learn from you!


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