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Lexile Levels

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Analyzing Reading Levels

A Simple Overview of Lexile Levels
To explain Lexile levels, we have included two charts. The first one is Lexile measures compared to some of the more common reading systems used by public schools. The second chart compares Lexile levels and grade levels. The accompanying discussion is intended to help further the understanding concerning reading levels and how readers may benefit.

As a beginning point, the following chart is provided. The resource charts combined to create this one varied from one system to the next, so what is represented here is the best compilation of the references used. It is not intended to be a definitive guide or the recommended chart for reading professionals. But rather, it is intended to be an introduction to this topic.

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Lexile Level EIL Star DRA Level Fountas/Pinnel Rigby
Beginning Reader 1 .3 A, 1 A 1-2
2 .3 2, 3 B 3-4
3, 4 .4 4 C 5
100-400 5, 6 .5 6 D 6
7, 8 8 E 7
9, 10 .6 10 F 8
11, 12 .7 12 G 9
13, 14 .9 14 H 10
15, 16 1.2 16 I 11
300-600 17, 18 1.5 18 J 12
19, 20 1.9 20 K 13-14
2.4 24 L 15
2.5 28 M 16-17
500-800 22, 23 2.5 30 N 18
24, 25 2.8 34 O 19
3. 38 P 20
600-900 26-34 3.4 40-44 Q & R  
700-1000 3.8 50 S-Z
800-1050 4. 60
850-1099 4.5 70
900-1150 5. 80
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This scientific scale is used to analyze text difficulty as well as reader ability. The intent is to provide leveled books for readers that will match their reading levels with text difficulty thereby maximizing reader success. For example according to the Lexile website, a reader at a Lexile level of 900L can be expected to read independently and comprehend about 75% of a text with a Lexile level of 900L.

Students Lexile levels might be obtained from their schools. These may be acquired in several ways. Currently there are about seven norm-referenced tests and eight formative assessments that use Lexile levels. At latest count eighteen states incorporate this scale into their high stakes state assessments. About nine different companies use Lexile levels in their reading programs and intervention packages.

Note that grade levels do not correlate well with Lexile levels. In the following chart you can see how these become less specific through the middle grades, with more grade levels associated with a given Lexile level. So, in any grade, there may be students who excel in reading and are far above their peers, even more than the chart illustrates. (For example, a first grader may be reading on a fifth grade level. It happens. The problem is not finding books on a fifth grade level; it is finding appropriate content for a first grader who reads at a fifth grade level just another consideration to take into account when selecting books.) In that same class, there will also be those who struggle and need intervention involving materials below grade level. (Again the challenge is not finding the reading level, but finding the appropriate interest level. An eighth grader will probably resent working with third or fourth grade materials.) And then, the rest of the students fall in the wide range between. It would be nice if one size fit all, but the reality is quite the opposite. If you have 25 students, you probably have at least 25 very different learners with as many reading levels. That is one of the challenges of teaching.

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Lexile Level Grade Level
Beginning Reader >K-1
>K-1
K-1
100 1
200 1
300 1, 2
400 1, 2
500 2, 3
600 2, 3, 4
700 3, 4, 5
800 3, 4, 5, 6
850 4, 5, 6, 7
900 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
1000 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
1025 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
1050 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
1099 7, 8, 9, 10
1100 8, 9, 10
1150 8, 9, 10
1199 9, 10
1025-1200 10
1050-1300 11
1075-1300 11, 12
1075-1400 11, 12
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Further information about Lexile levels can be obtained at www.lexile.com.

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