The Five Finger Test…And What I Do With My Fingers

If you find your kid sitting quietly in a corner, with a copy of Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment in hand, don’t be too quick to celebrate that your son- who previously couldn’t be unglued from his Nintendo DS- has suddenly become a voracious reader. It would be good to assess if a particular book is “just right” for your kid’s reading level.

If you’ll notice, some books which are more popularly known as “leveled readers” have the reading level indicated on the book cover. The truth is reading levels do vary among kids of different ages, so that’s not a reliable indicator if a certain book is just right for your kid. A more effective gauge would be the Five Finger Test. This is how it’s done:

  1. Turn your book to a page which has all text and no illustrations.
  2. Hold up 5 fingers on one hand.
  3. Start reading at the top of the page.
  4. If you stumble upon a word that you don’t know, put one finger down. Hold down one finger for every word you don’t understand.
  5. If you get all the way to the bottom of the page with at least one finger still up, that means the book is just right for your reading level.

As for what I do with my fingers, I’ll save that for another post… soon!

About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. What a great concept! I haven’t heard about this before, but it’s really cool :) And definitely creates a challenge for us reading lovers! Happy hump day!

  2. I have never heard of this before! I’ll have to test this out :)

  3. Optimistic Mom says

    Thanks for sharing this. Very interesting and actually a good goal to set for a new reader. My son is just starting to read and I think this would be good for him to try once he progresses a bit more.

  4. Huh, that’s pretty interesting! I may try that on myself.

    P.S. Crime and Punishment is SO overrated. Ugh. I hated that book in high school.

  5. Mrs. Pancakes says

    I think your son is a genius because I’ve never heard of the author or the book…for some reason I thought the post was about stealing but that would be sticky fingers:-) heehee…I work with some delinquent sad!

  6. thoughts of a sahm says

    hi, a filipina singlemom here..thanks for sharing this article. i will surely try it..happy weekend

  7. cool! i’d try this, too. happy weekend!

  8. I’ll test this one out as well … thanks!

  9. this is very cool! i did not know this :) i’ll try this out to my youngest son who is a bookworm hehe

  10. Interesting test. Oppsss.. looks like I won’t be able to pass this. Haha!

  11. Hmm, new ito ha ..Will try this one nga. Thanks for sharing =)

  12. wow, this is interesting … I should try this test pepper.. though my kids were already readers when they’re still at level 2, now they’re sucking up all the geronimos on the shelf… it makes me poor…

    thanks for the comment :)

  13. kaka intriga :) ma try nga :)

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