Leveling Guide

Each Capstone Classroom title is labeled with a letter from A to Z+ to indicate the Guided Reading Level (GRL). The books are grouped by reading difficulty, so books at a particular level are similar to one another in terms of the challenges and supports to the reader.  As readers move through the alphabet, the level of the text becomes harder. The progression is not a precise sequence as students become more proficient readers, but instead is a collection of books arranged by difficulty from which educators can choose texts that are suitable for groups or individual students.

The level designation is only an approximation. Within each level there will be some books that are easier and some that are harder. Always remember that the background knowledge students have from experiences at school, at home, and in the community—along with their reading experience—varies widely in your classroom. Having a collection of leveled books along a continuum allows you to select titles that are “just right” for each student.

The system employed by Capstone Classroom of assigning a level to a particular title uses the characteristics identified by Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell. Research indicates that there is a complex range of factors that constitute the difficulty of the text. The cluster of characteristics at each level helps you evaluate the texts and their match to the reader. No matter how interested students are in a topic, the text must be accessible to them. Capstone Classroom is proud to offer a wide selection of books at many levels that support the standards and are engaging to your students.