Thursday, September 9, 2010

Another reason I hate lexiles

They don't match in series. So, I have a girl about eleven who WANTS to read a book. But, she is only "allowed" to read at her lexile level. 1050 to 1200. She read the first book of Linda Buckley-Archer's Gideon trilogy and really liked it...but the second book was too low. So she can't finish the series. Can someone explain to me why J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit is 1000, which is of course too low....while Jim Benton's Dear Dumb Diary is 1100+? Only the first one. The second one is in the 990s. Too low. Most books in the 1050-1200 range are nonfiction. But her teacher doesn't want her to read nonfiction - and she really wants to read fantasy anyways. I finally gave her Catherine Called Birdy. At least it's better written than the Sugar Creek Gang (although most of those have a higher lexile level)

This girl wants to read. If you go by the lexiles and Reading Counts tests, she's a good reader. Why should she be restricted by stupid numbers? Why can't she finish a series she's interested in? I guarantee in another year or two, she's not going to be interested in reading anymore. This is why teens don't read.

4 comments:

Bibliophile said...

I had to go an look up what lexiles are, and while it seems like a good system for evaluating a person's reading level, I think its just ******* wrong to restrict a person's reading to the level they test at.

By the way, who is forbidding her to read outside her level? Parents or a teacher?

Jennifer said...

Sigh. Teacher - but most parents go along with it too. They won't let their kids read "below level" never mind that most of the books they read would test out at low levels! They won't let their kids read above level either, even if they find a hard book they're interested in. I try to encourage kids to get a book they want to read as well as the lexile book they need, but most kids just don't want to do that much reading and sometimes they're parents won't let them anyways.

NatalieSap said...

Bah, I know how you feel. I had a teacher ask me to help her student find a book that he'd like, so I did - and then she asked what level it was. Ack. We don't level books (thank goodness), so I gave her the generic age range and told her that it was a story he would enjoy. I'm not turning into the reading level police!

Jennifer said...

I had a mom who wouldn't let her son finish reading LOTR because Two Towers I think it was, was a lower reading level. It was insane. The parents do it because the teachers insist on it, and most parents automatically believe everything teachers do is educational. At least some of the teachers have read some of the research showing it DOESN'T WORK, but they're forced to do it by administration, who's forced to do it by state standards....