Reading Level Charts

Most schools use leveled books in elementary schools, A-Z leveled books.  What most parents do not know is that there are different tools in which school's determine a student's reading level, the most common is Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI), also known as lexile reading level.  Some schools will list the SRI score on the progress report or report card however, the score is not usually mentioned at meetings if the student is within range - (basic to advanced level).  Most parents only know that their child is reading a certain letter book in school and will ask the teacher if this letter is within grade level.  But what parents do not know could be critical to their child's reading experience.  What does each of the letter levels mean?  How are these leveled books divided into the 4 reading levels (basic - advanced)?  What reading skills are mastered from one letter to the next?  How do these leveled books compare to the other measurements used to determine a student's reading level?

Here is an example that happens quite often where the student is considered to be within range but in reality needs extra attention and more instruction.
Joanna is in 2nd grade, it is mid-year and she is reading J leveled books.  She is within reading range and parents would be told that she is doing fine. Unfortunately, they would not know that J mid-year is within the basic reading range.  Normally an assessment is not done on a student within a grade level reading range but to make a point, lets continue with this example. Joanna was given an assessment and the results showed her SRI lexile score is 250.  This score indicates that Joanna has the lowest score within the basic range which is one point away from falling within the below-basic reading range.  This child is at a disadvantage since she is behind and there are only a few months left before school is out for the summer. 

If parents do not know this critical piece of information, Joanna will continue to fall behind as she continues to school.  School begins to be difficult for Joanna if she is not exposed to more phonics instruction.  Parents are left confused that their child isn't performing better at school because they were told that their child reads at grade level.

Unfortunately,  the majority of parents do not have these scores pointed out until their child has been identified as having reading difficulties, struggling reader or reading disability.  Sometimes even then, parents are given the scores but aren't told what they mean or how it is measured.  Parents ought to know how the level-reading measures up to the Lexile level at all times.
Because of Wisconsin's school board local control - each school district determines what reading program they use and how to teach it.  For this reason, it is important to be able to understand exactly where your child's reading level is in the beginning, mid-year and the end of each academic year.  Once your child falls slightly behind, it is more difficult for them to stay on top of all the required reading in the other subjects.

In each grade the textbooks and materials used, the words,
sentence structures, ideas, and thoughts that spring from the relationships of various assertions become more sophisticated.  They no longer have pictures to rely on to help them "figure out" what the word or sentence is saying.  They have to know how to decode words and know the multiple sounds of letters.
Guided Reading
uses an A-Z measurement - but it does not indicate what phonics rules are covered from one level to the next.

Basal Readings uses a grade level measurement

Early Intervention uses a numerical measurement to look at fluency.
The reading programs listed below are widely used in schools to measure student's progress.  Each of these methods do not indicate when specific reading rules are introduced, practiced or applied.  So it is difficult to know what decoding skills have been mastered from one level to the next.   There is a brief summary of each method and a few comparison charts to see how these various approaches are assessed and compared.
 DRA/EDL uses a numerical measurement to look at reading comprehension

Lexile uses a numerical measurement to look at the number of syllables in a word and sentence length.

None of these measure phonemic awareness or phonics
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Simple explanation Lexile level (SRI) Scholastic Reading Inventory. Page 2 contains mid-year level SRI scores.  Apr 8, 2010, 9:55 AM Learning Difference Network Dane County

  Mar 24, 2010, 4:02 AM Learning Difference Network Dane County

Good source for a variety of measurements compared to each other.  Apr 8, 2010, 10:51 AM Learning Difference Network Dane County

  Apr 8, 2010, 10:50 AM Learning Difference Network Dane County