Lexile Levels

What is a Lexile level?
Lexile levels describe both the difficulty of text and the ability of an individual reader.  For example a text may be determined to be at a lexile level of 550. Students should be reading books that range from 100 L below and 50 L over the student’s Lexile level.  

How will parents know what their student’s Lexile level is?

Lexile levels are measured by DIBELS and NWEA assessments.  Your ES can communicate to you what your student’s Lexile level is during your monthly meeting and when you receive assessment results.

How do use the Lexile levels once I know it?

You can help your student find “right fit” books by using the Lexile level at libraries, Scholastic book orders, non-fiction articles, online or Raz-Kids. For example, I used the AR Bookfinder tool and got 6 PAGES of book suggestions by doing the following advanced search:

Lexile Level 450-500 range
Interest Level: Middle Grades 4-8
Topic:  Adventure
How do Lexile levels correspond with grade levels?

A Lexile level refers to reading ability, not grade or age levels.  However, there are typical levels within each grade level. The chart below can help parents know understand expected reading proficiencies.

More information: https://lexile.com/educators/understanding-lexile-measures/about-lexile-measures-for-reading/

Failure – How We Grow.

We have been talking a lot about Failure as part of our 21st Century Skills.  It is an interesting subject because of the power it has over us. Failure, and perhaps even worse, the fear of failure, often holds us back. It prevents us from becoming all we can be.

As I think about my life and the many failures I have encountered, it is because of those failures that I have pushed myself to grow, change and become a different person.  Failures force you to dive deep into your own abyss and make different choices about who you are and the life you lead.

Failure hits all of us, it is absolutely inevitable.  It is a close cousin is fear of failure. It seems to me that this cousin has more power over us because it involves more choice on our part.  We can choose to live a cautious life in order to avoid this fear. Perhaps even take the familiar path, though the other is calling out our name.

In my life I have been blessed with enough failures that my fear of failure has diminished.  Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like it, but deep in my heart I know I can overcome these setbacks because historically, I have.  The question for me is, “What would my life have been like if I learned this lesson earlier? What choices would have been different?”

My hope is that we can teach our children that failure is simply a step towards success.  It is a moment to pause and reflect on what we could do differently, and ultimately how we can be different.

We have been so excited this year to watch our CGA students in the SmartLab as we teach them to stretch and teach them to celebrate the failures which may come.  Our sweet children have made comments like “Oh no, I didn’t fail today!”or “Messing up means I am learning”. We have watched this teaching spill over into other classrooms and have been thrilled to see the results.

Arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

Let’s all celebrate the learning that happens through failure and the improvements in self and the world around us that failure can bring.

Happy Failure to you 🙂


Kim Goates

Hard Things

In the world of children,  testing is one of the hard things they are required to do.

I was opposed to testing and the stress that it causes.  I tried to shelter my now adult children from any and all stress,  but have since changed my view.

Doing hard things gives us the confidence to know and trust in our own ability to do hard things.  Simply reading about hard things or seeing someone else do hard things doesn’t give us confidence. True growth comes from doing.

One of my children struggles with anxiety.  Testing is just one of those anxieties. Over time, she has slowly developed confidence in her own abilities, thus decreasing some of that anxiety.  Our initial testing experiences were hard. We focused on the fact that she simply had to do her best. Everyone’s best is different. I explained to her that the purpose of a test is to simply find out what you know or don’t know as to better be able to help you grow.  The test isn’t only for the child, but for the teacher. The child benefits from the experience of doing something hard. The teacher benefits because they can see how their teaching methods are working and where adjustments or repeat lessons need to occur.

I have another child who, in her mind, needs to get 100% on all her work.  Testing is hard for her as she grapples with the fact that no one is perfect.

I also have a set of twins that strive to be the same.  They work hard to keep up with each other, do everything together, and like to dress the same. Testing points out their differences and helps them learn that it is ok to be an individual.

Each child learns a different lesson from the process of taking tests, but each lesson is important. The test results are helpful for the adults, but the test-taking process is growth for the child.


Life is full of things that are hard, but it is the confidence in ourselves that enables us to move through the hard things with grace.

-Kim Goates