Independent Read Level Assessment

     What is IRLA?:

    The IRLA framework facilitates students’ growth along the literacy continuum by providing a guide for strategic, targeted instruction in the areas of emergent reading skills (e.g. tracking, using picture clues, etc.), phonics, sight words (“Power Words”), comprehension, and genre analysis. Within IRLA, children are encouraged to accept more responsibility for their own learning by working to meet their individual “Power Goals”; specific learning objectives selected to promote growth in a certain skill area. Your child will also be expected to participate in daily independent reading, both at school and at home, using leveled texts that he or she has chosen to pursue. This program is designed to not only promote growth across the various domains of reading, but to help ignite children’s interest in reading by employing one of the most powerful tools for motivation: choice. Students will have opportunities on a daily basis to select from a large collection of texts across various genres to use in their own independent reading endeavors, thus building on their natural curiosities and allowing them to engage in reading material that they find personally meaningful.  


    How to incorporate this program at home?:

    As part of our reading program, your child will be expected to engage in 30 minutes of independent reading each day at school, and 15 to 30 minutes per night at home as well. The goal of this initiative is to not only enhance your child’s fluency and word attack skills, but to boost your child’s confidence and help him or her discover the joy and excitement that literature can offer!   


    Recording your child’s home reading steps:  Each 15-minute block of reading amounts to one step. Please note that each book is not considered a step; rather, a child only earns a step when he or she is engaged in independent reading for 15 minutes. To record a step, simply locate your child’s “IRLA Step” chart in his or her IRLA Reading Bag, circle the picture of the home, and write your initials in the box. Please strive for one or two steps per night, which amounts to 15 or 30 minutes. The steps do not need to be completed in a single session. In fact, I recommend having your child complete one step as part of his or her homework and another before bed as a calm-down activity.


    Helping your child select appropriate reading materials:

    Some of the materials your child may use to complete his or her steps include:

    • American Reading Company Books-These texts should be brought home and returned to school on a nightly basis.
    • Stories from our Core Knowledge reading series-These stories can be found most nights in your child’s folder; they are printed out on paper and can be kept at home. A binder works very well for organizing these passages as it makes it easy for your child to locate the stories he or she wishes to read.
    • “Power Word” Flashcards-Flashcards and Power Word games are sent home every Monday.
    • “Silly Words”-Monthly “Silly Words” fuel automaticity with short vowels and consonants.
    • Any books that your child wishes to read and can do so independently!


    Your child can and should read texts multiple times until they are fast, fun, and easy! Repeated reading helps to build fluency and confidence in young readers.


    Please click for the lists of Power Words:

    Power Words