[Library Media] Reading choices vs. assigned

Bates, Marianne Marianne.Bates at canyonsdistrict.org
Mon Apr 18 13:26:35 MDT 2016

Another consideration--

One of the purposes of using lexile levels is to determine if students can comprehend college level texts.  Parents (and many teachers) do not understand that most fiction books, including adult fiction, have a lexile level under 1000. Because of specialized vocabulary and more complex sentence structure in textbooks, the lexile levels for those books are elevated.  If students have a lexile level that is 1200, most of what they will find to read is nonfiction or a classic written in previous centuries.

Also, AR points are partially calculated on the number of pages a book has.   Lexile levels do not consider page numbers at all.  In 9-11 grades, teachers might be interested in students developing stamina--being able to read a book of 200 pages or more.   By only looking at lexile levels, they could choose a 75 page book with a lexile of 1350, and not be exposed to books like To Kill a Mockingbird (870) or Grapes of Wrath (680).

Marianne F. Bates
Teacher Librarian, Albion Middle School
marianne.bates at canyonsdistrict.org
Albion Library Wiki<http://albionmiddleschoollibrary.wikispaces.com/>
801 826 6750

Reading: Summerlost
Just Read:  Echo and Outliers

From: library-media [library-media-bounces at lists.uen.org] on behalf of Whiting, Joshua [jwhiting at graniteschools.org]
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2016 1:04 PM
To: Heather Anderson; library-media at lists.uen.org
Subject: Re: [Library Media] Reading choices vs. assigned


The reading specialist Donalyn Miller has two books that deal with this subject: The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild. There is actually a section in Reading in the Wild that specifically addresses Lexile and shares some of the problems associated with strictly limiting students’ reading choices by Lexile or other levels. I just found a blog post version of that section, which also has some links to other articles at the bottom:


Josh Whiting
Media Specialist | Educational Technology Dept. | Granite School District
Phone: 385-646-7128 | Email: jwhiting at graniteschools.org<mailto:jwhiting at graniteschools.org> | Twitter: @jdwhiting<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__twitter.com_jdwhiting&d=CwMGaQ&c=fGrSkuu3YyS91PacIZP0XfO0GRH7JgL5znLEO6-CQG0&r=FqZ6wZKdTtECQmm8l0TNNUQk8FdsDD-FQK1PxNFS_bqPXJ99jeClGY-XpsGrSJBA&m=Mo1OwWZHq2AT_3zaOYEM1CJMjE2QefD2rO0X8KK5rV4&s=FveIds26cIptWN_YmMOWshmIIQFL8uC3nX6vjNQsbtQ&e=>
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From: library-media [mailto:library-media-bounces at lists.uen.org] On Behalf Of Heather Anderson
Sent: Monday, April 18, 2016 12:01 PM
To: library-media at lists.uen.org
Subject: [Library Media] Reading choices vs. assigned

Hi All!
            I have a few questions for you.  In our school students are required to read a book for each quarter of English that they take.  Most students have to take English at least 9 - 11 grades.  In the past they were required to get at least 15 AR points, however that was changed and now students have to read a specific lexile leveled book.  I have had a lot of students complain about this because they would like to read a book, but it isn’t enough lexile points and that would drop their grade.  I am going to be meeting with the English teachers in the next few weeks to discuss changing this policy.  I feel it is so important for our students to be able to choose what they want to read, which will then help them to develop their ability to read as well as a love for reading.  Do any of you know of any specific articles that could help back me up?  Or if any of you have any tips or advice on how to fight this battle I would greatly appreciate it!
            Thanks so much for your help and have a great day!!

Heather Anderson
Media Specialist
Juab High School

Currently Reading:  Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

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