The Common Core Standards mention Lexile numbers for different grade levels, as a way to measure the complexity level of the texts given to students. As explained on the Lexile Measures website, "[a] Lexile measure is a valuable piece of information about either an individual's reading ability or the difficulty of a text, like a book or magazine article."* They are computer-generated numbers, after the text is analyzed for sentence length and vocabulary.
A word of caution: the content of the book is not taken into account in the Lexile measure. Moreover, missing punctuations in the text submitted to the Analyzer can greatly influence results.
It means that we get measures like these, at the 500-750 range, which is designed to cover students from 3rd to 5th grades:
500 Judy Moody saves the world (McDonald)
550 Thirteen Reasons Why (Asher) --- book about high school, rape and suicide.
560 The Lorax (Dr. Seuss)
600 The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Alexie) --- book mentions racist points of view, offensive language, violence and sexual content.
630 Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck) --- includes profanity, racial slurs, and violence.
680 Charlotte’s Web (White)
So the Lexile measures are not without fault; they can be a good starting point to assess a book or match books to a particular student’s level, but, as always, common sense and flexibility are necessary to make a good match.
Lexile thus allows you to assess both books and students to match one with the others.
To assess students:"The California Reading List (CRL) number denotes a reader's Lexile zone. For example, a CRL number 8 means that books in the Lexile zone of 800L to 890L are well-targeted for independent reading." Look for the California Reading List number on their STAR report or on Illuminate. I have created a Google Doc spreadsheet with current students' CRL numbers for the past three years, so that you can see their progression. I can share it with you if you would like it, on Google Doc and/or as an Excel document.
You can thus use the California Reading Lists and the Lexile measures for struggling readers as well as for advanced readers, to quickly assess their reading level and find materials that will be a better match for them.
California Reading List Number / Lexile Range correspondance*:
|CRL Number||Underlying Lexile Range|
|01||199 or below|
|02||200 - 299|
|03||300 - 399|
|04||400 - 499|
|05||500 - 599|
|06||600 - 699|
|07||700 - 799|
|08||800 - 899|
|09||900 - 999|
|10||1000 - 1099|
|11||1100 - 1199|
|12||1200 - 1299|
|13||1300 - above|
These are the measures that most students should be at, at mid-year, and the measures of texts that can be given to each grade*:
|Grade||Reader Measures, Mid-Year|
25th percentile to 75th percentile (IQR)
|2012 CCSS Text Measures*|
|1||Up to 300L||190L to 530L|
|2||140L to 500L||420L to 650L|
|3||330L to 700L||520L to 820L|
|4||445L to 810L||740L to 940L|
|5||565L to 910L||830L to 1010L|
|6||665L to 1000L||925L to 1070L|
|7||735L to 1065L||970L to 1120L|
|8||805L to 1100L||1010L to 1185L|
|9||855L to 1165L||1050L to 1260L|
|10||905L to 1195L||1080L to 1335L|
|11 and 12||940L to 1210L||1185L to 1385L|
To assess books and texts:Go to www.lexile.com, where you have a couple of tools available to you:
-Use the "Find a Book" feature allows to search for books either by Lexile measure/range or by grade.
-Create a free profile, which will allow you to:-get the databases of Lexile measures for English and Spanish titles
-use the analyzer (tips: try different parts of the same text, and make sure that the text you submit is the exact copy of the original, down to each period).
We also have Lexile numbers at NCS:
In the Destiny catalog, click on “Natomas Charter School”. You can search by Lexile numbers/range, or you can look up a title and see if there is a Lexile number for it.
In CaliforniaLearns: portal.californialearns.org (teachers) and teens.californialearns.org (students)
EBSCO Student Research Center, History Reference Center, Kids Search include Lexile number for their articles.