This post from 123homeschool4me.com is a great "cheat sheet" for people who are trying to get their heads around reading levels. It can be tough because there are several different systems out there to try to understand. Plus, just because a certain system says that a third grader should be reading a certain level doesn't mean it will necessarily be right for your child. Read their post here. Hope this helps!
What a thorough guide to help you understand the basic concepts of teaching a child to read! You can read the whole thing or just skip to the part of reading or pre-reading that you're most curious about right now. Love that Malia Hollowell at playdoughtoplato.com mentions starting with a child's favorite word - their name! Click to read the whole post here.