Now used by school systems, individual teachers, and even Barnes & Noble, a score of reading ability known as a Lexile measure aims to improve reading instruction.
This guide for parents covers how to obtain your child’s score and use the Lexile system to track your child’s improvement.
What a Lexile Measure Means: The Lexile measure provides information about either a reader’s ability or a text’s difficulty. Used together, a reader’s Lexile “score” and a text’s Lexile “score” predict the text’s difficulty for the reader. Lexile numbers appear as three or four digits followed by an “L”: 550L, 725L, 1100L, and so on. The lower the score, the easier the text. The higher the score, the harder the text.
What is a Lexile Range? A Lexile range indicates the range of difficulty that provides appropriate challenges for an individual reader. MetaMetrics, the Lexile score’s maker, recommends a range 50L above to 100L below a reader’s Lexile score. Therefore, a typical range for a 900L reader looks like this: 800L-950L.
How Does the Lexile System Help My Child Learn to Read? The Lexile system simplifies the process of selecting reading materials for students, teachers, and parents.
At school, students use Lexile scores marked on book spines to self-select appropriate texts. Students also enjoy tracking their own progress and challenging themselves with progressively harder books and articles.
Teachers use Lexile scores to select passages for reading assignments and to individualize choice reading recommendations. Teachers also track Lexile scores to target students for reading intervention and to evaluate instructional effectiveness.
Parents use the Lexile system to track their child’s progress in reading. Perhaps most importantly, parents use the Lexile system to take an active role in their children’s education. Free, user-friendly tools from MetaMetrics and sites such as Barnes & Noble help parents find and purchase books at the right level for their kids. Barnes & Noble’s site lets parents search books by category and the reader’s interests. MetaMetrics even publishes a Lexile Map of commonly taught texts to help parents understand how Lexile scores equate with age and grade level expectations.
How Do I Get My Child’s Lexile Reader Measure? The standardized tests administered by most public schools usually provide Lexile measures. Contact your child’s language arts teacher or guidance counselor to check for availability. Alternatively, the school psychologist or reading teacher can often administer a quick test to determine your child’s Lexile score.
By exploring the Lexile system and tracking your child’s progress, you can take an active role in improving the quality of your child’s education.