Reading good-fit books is absolutely imperative if students are to progress as readers. Children must spend the majority of their independent reading time engaged in books which they can decode and comprehend at very high levels. In her book, Reading Essentials, Regie Routman states that reading books which are too difficult does not help children, but in fact has an adverse effect on their growth and development as readers (page 93).
At the Illinois State Reading Council Conference in March of 2005, Richard Allington stated that current research defines a just right or a good-fit book for independent reading as one which children can read with 99% accuracy, and that thinking hasn't changed in the last twelve years.
This is a shift from prior thinking that identified a book as a good-fit when students could read it with 95% or greater accuracy. Given what the research and leaders in our field are saying, it is imperative that we teach children to choose books that are a good fit for them. The challenge is how? How do we impart the urgency and know-how so students can successfully self-select books they have a purpose for reading, are interested in, and can read as well as understand?
Below you will find an article explaining how we introduce choosing Good Fit Books with our students as well as a pdf of the I PICK form for you to use in your classrooms.