Reading Counts and Lexile.

Reading Counts is a reading motivation program created by Scholastic, one of the leading textbook publishers in the United States. Through this program, students choose and read approved books and then take a computer-based comprehension test on the book. This test is used to determine if they understood and retained information about the book. If the student passes the test, then s/he earns the number of points that are associated with the book.

Each book in the BCA library that is part of the program is labeled with the book’s Lexile level, and number of points the student will earn by reading and passing the quiz for the book. The labels are color coded so that the students can easily identify the books on the program. Each student’s Lexile level is determined by the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) test administered at the beginning of each school year.

The Reading Counts program calculates each student’s quiz results and keeps track of their ongoing progress. Each grade is assigned a Reading Counts goal for the school year. Students who reach or exceed their grade level goal earn a Reading Counts ribbon or trophy for their accomplishment. As an added incentive, students may also redeem their earned points in the library store throughout the school year.

The Lexile Framework

The Lexile Framework is a measuring system that is used to determine the reading demand of the text in terms of the semantic difficulty (vocabulary) and syntactic complexity (sentence length). All of the books we have on the Reading Counts program are assigned a Lexile Level.

Instead of identifying a book as a first grade or second grade reading level (which is very subjective), we use this system to rate and rank our books. The Lexile scales ranges from 200 to 1700 Lexiles. It is possible to have a variation of up to 300 points in a particular grade level, and still be considered on grade level.

The students who have taken the SRI Reading test have been given a Lexile measure or number. The beginning number isn’t as important as watching to make sure the number improves over time. (Although this score can also be used to alert parents and teachers to those students who may be having difficulty with reading comprehension skills.)

Most First Graders will initially score a “BR”, instead of a number, which just means that they are Beginning Readers. They should read books up to about a 200 Lexile initially.

Students should choose books in a range of 100 points below, to 50 points above their number. There are also other considerations to take in account, such as the length of the book. The student may be able to read a harder (higher Lexile) book that is short, but may become too frustrated with a harder one that is very long.