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#1 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My 8 year old (3rd grade) was just give her Lexile score - 750. It seems so low to me. DD started reading at 3. Read Charlottes Web the weekshe turned five, followed by most of the Dahl books. She's read tons of nonfiction and is currently reading Little Women. She has always seemed to have a solid understanding of what she has read.

I am not worried about the score itself but am wondering if we've missed something in terms of comprehension or some underlying issue since it seems so much lower than I'd expect.

Anyone familiar with the Lexile test? I know it was a test on one of the computers in her classroom.

thanks for any insights.
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#2 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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I don't know much about Lexile scores, but I do give reading assessments (we end up with a guided reading level instead of Lexile).  Obviously I don't know your DD at all, but I can tell you two factors that sometimes contribute to a lower reading level than expected.

 

First of all, some teachers do not go above a certain level for a certain grade.  I know, I know--but you do get those rigid ones who just say, "This is as far as I'm going.  Further will not give me any more information."  Sometimes that is true.  For instance, I have a 10 year old in my classroom who tried to read The Bourne Identity on Friday.  That was a big fat NO.  Regardless of his comprehension, it is inappropriate for the age level.

 

Secondly, comprehension is not just about summary and retell.  A student needs the whole package to really be comprehending what they are reading.  That means the ability to analyze character (what kind of person is this character?  how can you tell?  can you prove each character trait?), the ability to track character change across a whole text, the ability to make inferences about character motivations, etc.  There are many more higher level reading skills--these are just a sampling.

 

Sigh.  Finally, it is possible that your DD is giving answers that are not traditional "correct" answers, and the teacher is not recognizing that your DD's answers are equally valid.  I had a similar thing happen to my DD, when she was tested on a story about a girl and her cat.  When the teacher asked, "What lesson did you learn from this story?", my DD answered with a lesson she had learned from the CAT, not the little girl.  The question didn't specify where the lesson should have come from, and I would have accepted the answer--but it wasn't traditionally "correct."

 

If the reading level doesn't overly limit her choices in the classroom, I wouldn't give it a second thought.  It's just one person's snapshot.

 

Sorry to write a novel.  I just answered a whole bunch of emails from parents of kids in my class, and the explanations were flowing.  smile.gif


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#3 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 09:28 AM
 
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I don't know a ton about Lexile but I wouldn't worry too much. It could be that her reading comprehension isn't up to par with her decoding but 750 is about right for 4th grade and that's advanced for 3rd grade. It's high enough and she's young enough that there should still be material that interests her at that level (if they are requiring she read at that level and only that level in class.) 

 

It could also be that she had a bad day. It could be she over thought the comprehension questions. It could be she's not used to looking for the details they ask for (maybe she's been focusing on plot and not thinking in terms of theme and such.) A little experience with the test and their expectations and the score could rise a good deal next time.


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#4 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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My ds is doing lexile levels in middle school now, too, and 750 is high for a 3rd grader http://www.lexile.com/about-lexile/grade-equivalent/grade-equivalent-chart/  or http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/leveling-resource-guide.  Ds is in 6th grade and tested at grade level with 850; for him this is an achievement we did not expect because he has dyslexia and has always struggled with reading tests.  The number they test at is actually the "sweet spot".  When looking for books, the op's dd should  be able to work in a range of 650-800 and still be both interested and not too difficult for her comprehension.  The books that the OP mentioned are both lower than her dd's lexile level by at least 100 points, so that might in part be why she was able to read those before.  You can get lexile levels for books at both lexile.com and scholastic.  

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#5 of 16 Old 09-29-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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Our school uses Lexile testing on the computer. My DS is also in third grade. From his detailed descriptions, here's what I know -- the test asks you at the beginning what  subjects you're interested in (like, sports, nature and travel). Then they start you with a test based on your grade (at his school, since they've been doing them since first grade, it remembers what you got last time and starts accordingly). You read a passage and then answer questions about it. He's said some of the questions are fill in the blank (like "which word best fits" multiple choice) and some are about what's happening in the passage. It is constantly adjusting based on whether you get questions right or wrong, and keeps going until you're not getting enough right. So some kids might be done in 15 minutes and for others it might be 45.

 

I agree with you, FWIW, based on your description, that her score seems low. DS scored well above 1000, as did several other strong readers in his class. It could be she had an off day or got distracted or something, though. I wouldn't take it too seriously -- like a PP said, her score is above third grade level. Our school does the tests three times a year, so maybe wait for the next one and see what happens.


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#6 of 16 Old 09-30-2012, 06:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the responses.  I am going to just let it go & see what happens next time.  Just too clarify, the books I mentioned are ones she read before even entering K.  I checked the Lexile scores of books she has read in the past year or so & there are plenty 1000 or greater.  I think Little Women is 1300.  I don't think her choices are dictated by the score so I don't think it really matters.  It is just surprising to see something at odds with what I see.

 

LuckyMommaToo - That was very helpful.  This is the first time she has taken the test.  Actually, it is the first time her reading level has been tested at all.  When she was in K, the teacher said that she could only test to a 3rd grade level and that she was beyond that. 

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#7 of 16 Old 10-01-2012, 08:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by rusticity View Post

Thanks for the responses.  I am going to just let it go & see what happens next time.  Just too clarify, the books I mentioned are ones she read before even entering K.  I checked the Lexile scores of books she has read in the past year or so & there are plenty 1000 or greater.  I think Little Women is 1300.  I don't think her choices are dictated by the score so I don't think it really matters.  It is just surprising to see something at odds with what I see.

 

LuckyMommaToo - That was very helpful.  This is the first time she has taken the test.  Actually, it is the first time her reading level has been tested at all.  When she was in K, the teacher said that she could only test to a 3rd grade level and that she was beyond that. 

I think if you are seeing as much of a difference between what she is interested in and her school lexile level, you should talk to the teacher.  There certainly could be an error.  I asked my ds how he took his test and it was very different from the previous poster.  He said all students were given the same book, read from it, and answered questions after.  All had the same allotted time, too.  It seems according to the lexile.com  that there is no specific test for lexile levels, so it might vary depending on the test the school uses.  

Even if there was not an error on how she tested, talking to the teacher could help explain why she placed where she did.  My dd's school uses a different system (the scholastic letters), and her teacher said that dd could read anything they put in front of her, but that she does not comprehend all of the meaning.  This effects her reading level.  

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#8 of 16 Old 10-03-2012, 09:44 PM
 
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I would ask what the test she took was, and find out if it had a test ceiling.  I know that some of the computerized tests our school does are designed for grades 1-3, and then 4+ uses a different test that incorporates higher levels. 

 

Also?  I've noticed that lexiles aren't the most useful sort of reading score.  Different groups translate them differently, disagreeing on what lexile levels are "normal" for what ages/grades, and there's a huge amount of overlap between grades. 


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#9 of 16 Old 10-19-2012, 03:33 PM
 
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This is OT (sorry for hijacking, OP) ...

 

TinyMama--Do you have any resources that explain guided reading levels in more detail? That's what they're using for my DD's take-home reading in kindy and I'd like to get a better grasp of them and also maybe find lists of books that correspond. Thanks!


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#10 of 16 Old 10-19-2012, 08:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Monkey Keeper View Post

This is OT (sorry for hijacking, OP) ...

 

TinyMama--Do you have any resources that explain guided reading levels in more detail? That's what they're using for my DD's take-home reading in kindy and I'd like to get a better grasp of them and also maybe find lists of books that correspond. Thanks!

 

This tends to be a useful chart for me: http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/guidedreading/leveling_chart.htm


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#11 of 16 Old 10-20-2012, 05:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LitMom View Post

 

This tends to be a useful chart for me: http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/guidedreading/leveling_chart.htm

THANK YOU!  Definitely helpful.


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#12 of 16 Old 10-23-2012, 03:50 AM
 
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Lexile is so limiting, and if your school is rigid about using it, I'd fight that. I occasionally use lexile in my 9th grade English classroom to point lower-ability kids towards a book they can handle, but it's definitely not the be-all-end-all. I have moved away from it, much because of the shock I've found about where some classics lie. Many of my students struggle with To Kill a Mockingbird, because of narrative construction and historical understanding. They eat The Hunger Games trilogy like it's candy. The first lexile is 830, the second is 810. You can't tell me that the difference between can and can't in that case is 20 lexile points. There's a lot more to a book than the lexile.

 

This blog post by an author of young adult novels is great. He points out that Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms is lexile 730. 


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#13 of 16 Old 10-23-2012, 03:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by staceychev View Post

Lexile is so limiting, and if your school is rigid about using it, I'd fight that. I occasionally use lexile in my 9th grade English classroom to point lower-ability kids towards a book they can handle, but it's definitely not the be-all-end-all. I have moved away from it, much because of the shock I've found about where some classics lie. Many of my students struggle with To Kill a Mockingbird, because of narrative construction and historical understanding. They eat The Hunger Games trilogy like it's candy. The first lexile is 830, the second is 810. You can't tell me that the difference between can and can't in that case is 20 lexile points. There's a lot more to a book than the lexile.

 

This blog post by an author of young adult novels is great. He points out that Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms is lexile 730. 

Thanks for this perspective.  My 6th grader checked out Hunger Games, and stopped half way through.  The reading part was fine, but he could not handle the content.  I think ds is pretty young for the subject matter and the lexile levels do not address content from what I can tell.  http://lexile.com/analyzer/   Now, I am somewhat disappointed... but at least there are still a huge number of books that fall in ds range for school and so he is not really limited.   I certainly would not limit what he reads at home.  But it does seem short sighted of teachers to rely to much on lexile levels strictly.

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#14 of 16 Old 10-23-2012, 04:11 PM
 
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I only have a minute (DD is filling the bathtub and planning on giving her stuffed animals a bath--eek) but here's a helpful site too:

http://www.scholastic.com/bookwizard/

You can change the reading system guide with the buttons.  Also, the "find similar books" option is cool--put in a book that the kid likes, and it'll search for similar books based on level.  It's not perfect, though, because if you put in one book of a series, it'll respond with the rest of the series.  

 

Thanks, Stacey, for the blog post.  I loved it and am posting it to my fb for my teacher friends.  :)  I learn again every single day how amorphous book levels are--and how silly it is to use them as a hard-and-fast rule.


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#15 of 16 Old 10-25-2012, 12:00 AM
 
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I just went to check a few books, for kicks, and my son's Howard Pyle retelling of the Arthurian legend--meant for boys--clocks in at 1430, as compared to Idylls of the King at 1260.

 

I'm also going to say that the testing I have seen, from my state's lit tests, does not measure what I think of as higher order reading skills, although I think there's probably quite a lot of overlap.

 

My personal data point DS is tested regularly for reading comprehension by our charter. Although the general trend is up, there's often significant (150+, maybe 200+) variation from one Lexile recommendation to another. The semester his solo reading went from cautious to voracious was the biggest drop.

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#16 of 16 Old 10-25-2012, 04:23 AM
 
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This book serves as one of the most glaring examples of the short-comings of the Lexile system:

http://lexile.com/book/details/9781595143389/

Because it's just a 400, my mom was asked to lead a book group with her teenage ESL students. There's more than the length of a sentence or the number of words on a page that counts. Idioms and cultural knowledge are important aspects to making a book understandable.

Adults on this board, and those with teenage daughters might really enjoy it.
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