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SOESD / Learning Matters / Newsletter Archive / February 2007 / Lexiles

Lexiles: Helping Students Access Text

“If I could...
just get the students to where they could read the text…
THEN I could teach!”

                           — 7th grade Science Teacher

This is a frustration shared by many teachers throughout the country.  The SOESD Curriculum department has been busy training teachers in our three-county region how to use Lexiles to differentiate the reading text in their classrooms. A Lexile is a standard unit for measuring the comprehensibility of text, looking at semantics and syntax.  The Lexile measure or range can also be assigned to a student. The most widely adopted reading measure today, Lexiles give educators the knowledge they need to choose materials that will improve student reading skills across the curriculum. Tens of thousands of books and tens of millions of articles have Lexile measures, hundreds of publishers Lexile their materials, and all major standardized tests can report student reading scores in Lexiles.  The goals in the Lexile training are:

  1. Teachers will understand the relationship between Lexiles and student comprehension.
  2. Teachers will understand how Lexiles help match readers to texts.
  3. Teachers will use the Lexile measure of each student to access appropriate reading materials for meeting the content standards.
  4. Teachers will learn that the Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS) is the portal for Lexiled research databases.

These are free resources that support literacy instruction and help increase student performance.

After the training, teachers are able to answer two important questions that directly impact literacy instruction in their own classroom.

  • Where can I find my students’ range of reading ability (Lexile measure)?
  • Where can I find reading materials my students can read?

Teachers learn that all students who take Oregon’s Reading/Literature Assessment will receive a Lexile measure from 200L (developing reader) to 1700L (advanced, highly proficient reader).  All students in grades 3-8 and 10 will have Lexile measures that measure both text difficulty and the current reading ability of students.  Because Lexiles measure students and text on the same scale, they can be used to match students to appropriate text inside the classroom, at the library and at home.   Students are appropriately matched with books that can be both engaging and challenging. Implementation of Lexiles is useful in managing instructional programs and resources for individual student success, which is what teaching is all about. (ODE Lexile webpage)

Please feel free to contact Rea Snyder, Literacy Specialist, at the SOESD (541) 776-6771 or rea_snyder@soesd.k12.or.us with any questions or requests for Lexile training.




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