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  • COURSE INSIDER: Range of Reading Ability
  • Bookmarks
  • Games
  • Book Recommendations
COURSE INSIDER: Range of Reading Ability


The range of reading ability in any given classroom is approximately 2/3 of the students’ chronological age. This means that in a classroom of mostly 15 years old, the range of reading ability, and “inability,” across the class will span 10 years.

In other words, within one seemingly heterogeneous class, some students have a 5th grade reading level while others have a 15th grade reading level.

Combine this with the fact that many students take the summer off from reading thus losing three months of progress every year. By the time a student is in middle school this results in a crucial two-year gap.

Now is the perfect time to encourage and help students maintain and develop their reading skills.

This material is from the Reading Across the Curriculum course.


Lynda Jeffs of is an expert on easy and cheap items that teachers can create with students. She makes all types of paper crafts, on very little money (and gets compliments all the time) by taking basic supplies and a bit of ingenuity.

Bookmarks are a fun and easy way to encourage reading over the summer and make very easy projects for students, not only for themselves, but also as gifts. They can be made in little time if you only have a small amount of time. Let the grade level you teach determine the most appropriate items to use. Most bookmarks can be made with small die cut shapes (or punches if you have them available) and a bit of ribbon on the top!

Supplies needed:

• Background for the base of the bookmark 2” x 5.5”

• Coordinating paper to put on the base of the bookmark 2” x 3”

• Stickers, die cuts or punch shapes to put on the bookmark

• Glue

• Ribbon for the tassels on top of the bookmark


Step 1: Cut the bookmark bottom base shape 2” x 5.5”. Use a hole punch to punch a hole at the top creating a spot for the ribbon to come out.

Step 2: Cut a matching piece of paper 2” x 3” to place in the middle of the base of the bookmark, leaving a bit of color on top and bottom.

Step 3: Select small shapes (such as die cuts, punches, or stickers) for each bookmark. Let the size of the shape determine how many you use for each bookmark. If you have photos of each child, you could even put a photo in here in place of the die cuts or other shapes.

Step 4: Using glue, secure the base paper to the background paper and then attach the shapes last.

Step 5: (optional – leave this step out if you do not have a hole punch or ribbon available) Thread a loop of ribbon through the hole punched at the top, to create the tassels on the end.

Email if you need more ideas!

Book Recommendations calls Conspiracy 365 the new series novel from Usborne Books “…An edge of your seat thriller you won’t be able to put down and will anxiously await the next book in the series!”

And a 14-year-old reviewer rated this book a 10 (scale of 0-10) “Wow.. that’s all I pretty much have to say about this book! …it sure keeps you on the edge of your seat. I definitely think this book is a best seller series in the making, and anyone who likes books with tons of action and a mysterious twist to it will really enjoy Conspiracy 365.”

See what other students and teachers too are reading. Discover new books. And, build a free virtual bookshelf with Shelfari:

What are you planning to read over the summer?

Ellen Paxton

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