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Using Lexile Scores to Help your Struggling Reader


By Tracy Glockle

Lexile scores for books can seem like a foreign language, a secret code of numbers and letters that seem to make no sense. But when you crack the code for Lexile scores, it can be an invaluable tool in helping your struggling reader to find books that are a custom fit.


Understanding Lexile Scores
Lexile scores evaluate books based on several factors to determine how hard a book will be to read and comprehend and what students will get the most from the book. The codes do not naturally indicate grade level, though there are charts to help you determine which ranges fall within a particular grade. However, the advantage to this ambiguity is that your child will not necessarily associate a grade level with a particular score.


Another advantage to the lexile scoring are the abbreviations that allow you to customize your search even further. A few favorite examples include:
AD (adult-directed): books that are better as read-alouds
HL (high-low): books that engage older students with lower reading levels
NC (non-conforming): books for kids who read at higher levels but need less mature content


Finding a Lexile Score
While there are charts to indicate what score correlates with a particular grade level, this method might not be the best since many of our struggling readers do not read at grade level. Perhaps a better method for finding a Lexile Score is to search books that your child enjoys reading and determine a range from those titles.


First, visit the Lexile Book Finder page and type in the title of a book that you know your child has read easily. 




Write down the assigned lexile score. You can do this a few different times with a few different titles to get a better idea of your child’s range. You can also determine a range by taking a particular score and widening that score to a range of 50 below to 50 above. For instance, if your child enjoys a book that is scored at 650, look for books that score between 600-700.


Next, enter that Lexile score on the book finder page and narrow your search to the particular genre or interests that your child prefers. 


Select a book you are considering for more information about the book, for targeted vocabulary based on your child's reading ability, and for expected comprehension of that particular book.



Using a Lexile score, you can find a number of other book titles that match the skills your child is demonstrating in reading, plan vocabulary and reading activities with confidence and help your struggling reader to find books that inspire a love for reading.



If you are looking for a way to receive an official lexile score for your student, you can also take advantage of the SPED Homeschool discount that True North Academy offers on their Scantrol Performance Test, which includes a lexile score. To take advantage of this offer, visit the True North Academy Performance Series Test site page and use the discount code SPED at checkout to purchase the test for just $19. 




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