Many educators have expressed the desire to be able to better differentiate books and more accurately target reading for beginning readers. Kindergarten through second grade is a critical window for reading development and guidance on text complexity was needed for several reasons.
- It is just as important to match a student with appropriately challenging texts in the early grades as it is at any grade level.
- There has been an absence of quantitative text measurement tools to help support students’ advancement through progressively more challenging texts. Historically, quantitative text measurement tools have been viewed as less reliable for K–2 books, which has led to the development of an array of subjective leveling systems.
- An increasing number of governors, legislators and other policymakers have argued for the importance of having students reading on “grade level” by third grade. Achieving that objective requires that student reading growth is guided as soon as possible in the early grades.
- Our research suggests that a large proportion of growth occurs by the end of third grade (MetaMetrics, 2017).1]
For these reasons, we conducted extensive research to identify the text characteristics that most influence the text complexity of early-reading materials. The findings were incorporated into the Lexile Analyzer (tool used to determine Lexile measure of a book or piece of text) in order to more precisely measure content used in K–2 classrooms.