All teachers understand how important it is to foster a love of reading in our children. But it's equally important we realize kids develop reading skills at different rates. Titles that engage some students may not be a good fit for others. That's why it's vital educators consider a child's reading level before shoving any random book into their hands.
So how can teachers get this done when they already feel stretched so thin? How can we cater specific book recommendations for each student?
That's where a book's lexile score comes in!
The lexile score helps teachers select titles that are suitable for a child's reading level. In this article, we'll take a closer look at Lexile levels and how adults can use them to find the best books for young readers.
- Lexile scores range from 200L-1600L.
- Matching readers to books at their level increase enjoyment and promote the development of improved reading skills.
- Several test are available online to assess a student's current reading level.
- The lexile measure of most books is easy to find online.
What are Lexile Levels?
Lexile levels offer an easy way for adults to determine the difficulty of a children's book.
The Lexile system analyzes titles to determine word frequency, text difficulty, content, and sentence length. Lexile levels for books can range from below 200L to above 1600L. A book with a Lexile score of 200L is intended for beginning readers. A book with a Lexile measure of 1600L is more appropriate for readers with advanced fluency and comprehension skills.
But how do we know which Lexile levels are appropriate?
A book's score is useless if we don't measure the lexile level of our students. Luckily, there are several ways to help schools determine the reading level of children...
Scholastic Reading Inventory
SRI provides a web-based reading test to quickly determine a student's lexile score. The site also offers an analysis of the child's fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary skills.
After assigning a reading level, SRI features resources that are specifically catered to each child. It's an invaluable tool to help educators looking to support young readers and help them to reach their fullest potential.
Renaissance Learning's Accelerated Reader Program
While they have an online test to help determine a reader's lexile score, it's the plethora of resources to help teachers develop lesson plans and craft reading activities that make Renaissance a platform worthy of attention. Expect to find printable charts, goal-setting worksheets, and a list of hints to help you pair the right books with students.
The Benefits of Using Lexile Levels
Matching students to books at their reading levels ensure that a title is neither too easy nor too hard. When we can provide books that fall in that sweet spot between the two, children are much more likely to enjoy what they're reading.
However, by gradually increasing the complexity of the books they are reading, we can help our kids to improve their vocabulary and reading comprehension without getting frustrated along the way, greatly improving the odds that they'll build a love of reading to take with them through the rest of their academic careers.
Finding Books at Your Child's Lexile Level
Once you have a child's assigned lexile score, it's time to find some book titles that match their reading level and interests.
The good news is this isn't as difficult as it sounds. The lexile measure of most popular books can be found with a simple Google search. For those that don't have a specific title in mind, the Lexile Framework for Reading website is an invaluable resource. The LFR has a giant database of books sorted by their lexile measures and level. Additionally, most online retailers now provide a book's lexile measure on its product page so buyers know what to expect before the book is in hand. Finally, the majority of libraries now have catalogs that allow teachers to search by lexile level. This ensures that educators can stock their shelves with a wide range of material for kids reading at any grade level.
Tips to Encouraging Reading at Your Child's Lexile Level
Using lexile ranges to find the right books for children is only the first step in fostering a love for reading in our students. Be sure to read our thoughts on classroom reading nooks, reader's theater, and audiobooks for even more ideas on how to inspire the most reluctant readers in class.
And be sure to visit Ghoul School again, as we will be adding a wide variety of tween books as we expand our list of titles published.