Sunday, October 4, 2015

Retrieving: Lexiles in the Classroom

I've just finished up the final article in the series from MetaMetrics.  It's called "Lexiles in the Classroom" and measures 1340L.  Again, it echoes much of the information from the other articles but contains a few new and significant points.

The most notable teacher-focused information is:
"Lexile measures tie day-to-day work in the classroom to critical high-stakes tests, which also report scores in Lexiles.  This commonality allows you to provide interim assessment and feedback while using the same consistent measurement.  Lexiles help you set measurable goals, monitor and evaluate reading programs, and easily track progress without additional testing" (1).

These statements are true, and are definitely a perk of the Lexile system.  Determining a student's lexile does not require any additional testing, which is important to teachers in a time when standardized testing can feel overwhelming.  At my school, students' Lexile scores are determined three times yearly through NWEA testing.  This is a statewide test that the students take anyway.  Because the students take the test in the fall, winter, and spring, the teachers can see how the students' Lexiles change throughout the year.

Under a section entitled "Using Lexiles in your classroom," the article offers several useful suggestions.  These include:

* "Develop individualized reading lists that are tailored to provide appropriately challenging reading" (2).

* "Develop a reading folder that goes home with students and comes back for weekly review.  The folder can contain a reading list of books within the student's Lexile range, reports of recent assessments and a parent form to record reading that occurs at home" (2).

I have never personally known any teacher to develop individualized lists like this.  Of course, the world of education has changed a great deal since this article was published in 2004, and sadly, I doubt that most classroom teachers could find the time to do this.  However, if a teacher were actually to approach the Lexile system as it was originally intended, by creating hand-selected lists of recommended reading for each individual student, then it would be a far better system in actual practice than it is today.

I wonder if any of the teachers at my school even know that these were the expectations, or how they would react if I were to pass this article on to them.

"Lexiles in the Classroom."  MetaMetrics, Inc., 2004.

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