Grade Level vs. Lexile Level
In the content catalog teachers are able to filter texts by “Grade Level” and “Lexile Level.”
What is a Lexile Level?
Readers and books are assigned a score on the Lexile scale. Lower scores reflect easier readability for books, and higher scores reflect more advanced readability.
The Lexile Framework for Reading, developed by MetaMetrics, Inc., uses word frequency and sentence length to produce a single measure, a Lexile score, of a text’s complexity.
According to MetaMetrics, "Generally, longer sentences and words of lower frequency lead to higher Lexile measures; shorter sentences and words of higher frequency lead to lower Lexile measures."
This chart shows “Old Lexile Ranges” for grade bands and the Common Core State Standards Initiative’s updated “Lexile Ranges Aligned to College and Career Readiness expectations.
How is the Lexile level for a text determined?
Actively Learn connects directly to MetaMetrics’s Lexile Analyzer which is a software program that evaluates the reading demand — or readability — of books, articles and other materials. The Lexile Analyzer measures the complexity of the text by breaking down the entire piece and studying its characteristics, such as sentence length and word frequency, which represent the syntactic and semantic challenges that the text presents to a reader. The outcome is the text complexity, expressed as a Lexile measure…”
Why do some texts not display a Lexile Level?
According to MetaMetrics, “Texts such as lists, recipes, poetry and song lyrics are not analyzed because they lack conventional punctuation.” For this reason, non-prose texts and non-traditional texts, such as document-based questions (DBQs), do not display Lexile Levels in the Actively Learn catalog.
What is a Grade Level?
Grade Levels are subjective recommendations made by Actively Learn staff based on the grade level where a text is typically used, potential student interest, Lexile Level, when topics are generally addressed in classrooms, etc. Keep in mind that these decisions can vary from state to state and from school to school, so it is important to conduct your own assessment of a text.
How do I determine which texts are right for my students?
The Common Core State Standards Initiative recommends three factors when measuring the complexity of a text:
- Qualitative evaluation of the text - consider the levels of meaning, structure, language conventionality and clarity, and knowledge demands (Grade Level and educator judgment)
- Quantitative evaluation of the text - consider readability measures and other scores of text complexity (Lexile Level).
- Matching reader to text and task - consider the reader variables (such as motivation, knowledge, and experiences) and task variables (such as purpose and the complexity generated by the task assigned and the questions posed) [Educators making judgments based on the needs of their students, curriculum, etc.]