Friday, May 18, 2012

Find a Book online search tool

Secretary of State and State Librarian Jesse White is joining Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch in urging librarians, educators and families to use the free online “Find a Book” search tool to ensure students continue reading while they are out of school this summer.   “Find a Book provides a way for librarians, parents and children to quickly and easily search for books that match a child’s reading level and interests.  “Find a Book also helps locate a local library carrying each book title.  “Our Illinois libraries have long promoted year round reading and the `Find a Book’ search tool complements such efforts,’’ said Secretary White. “I encourage parents to read with their children every day to ensure a lifelong love of reading. When children begin reading independently, they are not only making academic gains but opening themselves to new worlds.”

Many studies have indicated that struggling learners score significantly higher on standardized tests taken at the beginning of the summer than they do on the same tests taken at summer’s end. The academic loss is particularly evident in reading, and most pronounced among students from low socioeconomic families who may not have access to books. Studies also show children who read through the summer months maintain more of their academic skills and are better prepared when school resumes.  “Families can prevent the summer reading slide by checking out the free ‘Find a Book’ site and building a summer reading list today,” said State Superintendent Koch. “The more parents help their children make time for reading, the more likely they’ll see successful students.”

 “Find a Book” uses a student's reading score, reported as a Lexile® measure from state standardized tests, including the ISAT, to provide a Lexile range and corresponding list of texts within that range. The Lexile range for a reader is from 50L above his or her Lexile measure to 100L below. If a student attempts to read material above their Lexile range, the text may challenge the student and his or her ability to construct meaning from the reading, and the experience may decrease. Likewise, material below a reader’s Lexile range will provide him or her with little challenge in comprehension.

Users of the “Find a Book search tool can also find appropriate books without a Lexile measure through a search using the child's grade level and comfort with the typical reading materials at that grade level. The search utility will produce a starting Lexile range that can be further refined. “Find a Book also offers a Spanish option that allows users to search all of the titles with Spanish Lexile measures. 

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