A tool that many authors use comes built in with Microsoft Word and gives you the Readability Statistics of your text. If you highlight a portion of text and run the spellcheck feature, after it is done checking the spelling, a small box pops up listing the Readability Statistics. Under Readability, it lists the Flesch Reading Ease and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level. Basically, this shows the reading level of that portion of text. For instance, if it scores a 6.2 on the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, students reading at grade level in the second month of sixth grade should be able to read it successfully.
Just a word of caution when using the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: It should not be your definitive measuring tool when working with reading levels in the elementary grades. It does not work entirely accurately when analyzing very short sentences, as most sentences are that can be found in the earliest beginning readers. Even though I will use this tool as a reference, especially when evaluating long portions of text for the intermediate or high school leveled readers, I refer mainly to the Children’s Writer’s Word Book when writing beginning readers and chapter books for elementary students.
-excerpt from Yes! You Can Learn How to Write Beginning Readers and Chapter Books, pages 47-48
And an extra note:
If you run your spellcheck and the Readability Statistics box does NOT show up after it is done, you need to change your preferences.
With your document open in Word,
On your top toolbar, click on “Word”
From the dropbox, click on “Preferences.”
This window pops open:
Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click on SPELLING AND GRAMMAR.
Another window pops open:
Be sure you have a check mark under GRAMMAR next to:
SHOW READABILITY STATISTICS.