Leveled reading is not a new concept for many teachers. With the recognized educational benefits of choice reading, teachers continue to move away from prescribed readers and now offer engaging, real books for authentic reading instruction. However, with this model, teachers must have a way to determine which books provide the most appropriate text complexity for each student.

Leveling systems like Guided Reading, DRA, Accelerated Reader, Lexile and others have worked their way into districts and classrooms. While many teachers have used Guided Reading and DRA levels for their students just beginning to read, MetaMetrics, the creator of Lexile launched new updates in June which will help Lexile levels be more applicable and measurable in the K-2 grade levels. Here’s how these Lexile level changes might affect you.

How Have Lexile Levels Changed?


Lexile level changes

Example of the New More Precise Lexile Analyzer. Image courtesy of MetaMetrics, Inc. LEXILE®, LEXILE® FRAMEWORK, LEXILE ANALYZER® and the LEXILE® logo are trademarks of MetaMetrics, Inc.

  • The Lexile scale has been extended on the lower end for beginning readers. The books that were previously leveled “BR,” for Beginning Reader will now also have a numerical level associated with the “BR” code to add greater differentiation at the lowest reading levels. For example, a previously leveled “BR” book could now have the Lexile measure of “BR100L.”
  • To provide the precise scientific measures for this extended scale, Lexile now measures text complexity for K-2 content across more dimensions using a nine-variable model.
  • Further, early-reading indicators are being added to all Lexile levels 650L and below. This information will identify four indicators which may present unique challenges for new readers. Learn more about early-reading indicators.

How Will the New Leveling Affect My Classroom?

Lexile Level Changes

Extension of the Lexile Scale Thermometer. (Image courtesy of MetaMetrics, Inc. LEXILE®, LEXILE® FRAMEWORK, LEXILE ANALYZER® and the LEXILE® logo are trademarks of MetaMetrics, Inc.)

  • The new BR levels act like a thermometer or timeline set at zero, with the negative numbers indicating an easier text complexity as the number is farther away from zero. The numbers will not be written as negative, only the code BR will be added. For example, BR100L will be easier than BR50L. Help students learn which books will be best for their unique needs.
  • Over all, the increased sensitivity of the Lexile measurement will change 32% of all Lexile levels. 68% of titles will not change levels. Of the levels changed, 85% of these titles are 650L and below.
  • The new, more precise Lexile measurements will make it easier for all grade levels to use Lexile if it is the preferred leveling system. Keep in mind the various leveling systems are unique and do not assess books the same way. If you or your school are considering changing your leveling structure, make sure to research how the books are leveled.

How Can Booksource Help With Lexile Level Changes?

  • Title experts at Booksource are updating all Lexile levels to match the most current Lexile measures. During the transition, make sure to consult Booksource.com before printed materials.

For more information or to check book levels, please visit the Lexile website: https://lexile.com/.