The lexile system is a reading scheme that originated in America and is accessed by Australian schools through Scholastic. Many schools in America use the lexile system from Foundation onwards. The lowest lexile level is BR which means beginning reader. The highest lexile level that is used in Australia is around 2000. The lexile reading scheme can cater for students from Foundation to Year 12 if schools choose to use it this way.
At Living Waters we use two reading schemes and there is a degree of overlap. We start in Foundation with PM readers: a system that starts at level 1 and ends at level 30. We choose to use the PM system up to level 25, depending on what suits each individual student, and determined by their classroom teacher.
When it is considered that an individual is ready to move onto the lexile system, they are. There is no hard and fast rule as to when this should be and we consider factors such as confidence and organisational skills because students are expected to take more ownership of their own borrowing. Students using the lexile system need to be confident enough to use a computer to access book lists and complete book quizzes to monitor their comprehension levels. Students using lexiles need to come to the library at lunchtimes to choose books and it is expected that they take control of their own reading far more than students using the classroom based PM system.
Largely students come and choose fiction with more text than pictures. However students at Living Waters will also find picture books in the library with lexile levels and these should not be discounted as suitable reading choices. Students often gravitate towards “chapter” books because they perceive that these are the books for the “good” readers but a lexile score can be applied to any reading material and we like them to continue to read as wide a variety of text types as possible.
A student is expected to be able to comprehend 75% of what they read at their given lexile level. This allows reading growth and challenge where the book is not too easy and provides the right amount of difficulty in order to improve. It is expected that students will find 25% of the text challenging.