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    Joined: Feb 2013
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    My 13 y/o son is in 7th grade and was identified as gifted in 3rd. We've always had a hard time finding books that are appropriate for both his reading level and his interest level. While he is gifted, his interests are the same as any other 13 year old boy.

    His reading teacher told him today that his latest MAP score for reading "dropped" (it went from 250 to 248) because he isn't reading books that are at his reading level, which is 1452. (DS doesn't remember his lexile range, and "official" results aren't out yet).

    I went to the Lexile website and he and I together selected his interest areas and entered his lexile score. ALL of the books that came up were beyond college level. This makes sense, because all of the charts I have seen have a maximum lexile score of 1300 with that corresponding to a grade level of 13.5. I realize the lexile scores go as high as 2000+, but 1300 is where the charts stop.

    He's just a normal kid and has no desire to read dissertations, biographies or books such as "Elements of Archaelogical Conservation". While he IS interested in archaeology, paleontology and other sciences, he is also much more interested in more common "teenager" interests.

    Until we figure this out, I'm thinking of having him read some of the "American Classics". They're all well below his reading level, but they're higher than some of the popular series he likes such as the Percy Jackson series.

    Have any of you had any luck matching reading ability to their child's interests? We're really struggling with this one. Any help is greatly appreciated!

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    Lexile is just one measure, and it's kind of BS that his teacher is making everything related to lexile. Once you get past a certain point, lexile, IMO, becomes less useful, and certainly for his age group. I used lexile for less than 1 year in my 9th grade class, before dropping it because of its limitations.

    There's a lot of criticism of the system out there, and of course I can't find anything right now except this Wikipedia article:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexile#Criticisms


    Stacey. Former high school teacher, back in the corporate world, mom to 2 bright girls: DD12 & DD7.
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    What classics has he read?

    Have you been to the Hoagie's site

    http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/reading_lists.htm

    This one is just for teen boys

    http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/teen_boys.htm


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    Interesting excerpt relating to MAP that I found:
    "Why do RIT scales vary from subject to subject (e.g. the mathematics RIT scale goes higher than other subject areas)? A ceiling effect exists when an assessment does not have sufficient range to accurately measure students at the highest performance levels. It has nothing to do with the actual numbers attached to the scale and everything to do with the position of students on it. For example, in reading, the RIT scale measures with relative accuracy up to about 245. This represents the 93rd percentile at grade 10, and the 95th percentile at grade 8. If a student scores above we know that student performed high but may not be able to accurately assess how high they performed. Relative to other tests, therefore, there is very little true ceiling effect in this assessment. Even most high performing 10th graders receive a technically accurate measure of their skill."

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    I know that the Lexile is more of a guide than an absolute. I think what his teacher is trying to do is to encourage my son to use it as a general guideline to help him find books in his range. My son has told me several times that books just don't challenge him.

    I went to the Barnes and Noble website and used the Lexile Book Wizard... the second book that came up under his range was "Essentials of Health Information Management: Principles and Practices"... (which is ironic since I am an RN considering returning to school to complete my degree with an emphasis on health information management... anyway, I digress)... That is the type of thing that keeps coming up in his range.

    I'm not treating the Lexile as the "be all end all" but I do want to help him find books that he is interested in and that will still challenge him. This is just he best way I know how to do it based on the information that is coming home from school. I am completely fine with him reading a wide variety (and I encourage him to), but he really should read some more challenging books now and then. I'm really not a nazi about this with him. I just want to provide a way for him to expand his reading options.

    I have been to Hoagie's website many times. I'll check over the list again, but if I remember correctly, there are no guidelines as far as reading ability go. It may have been updated though. I'll check it out! Thank you!

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    I would ask that teacher exactly which books she is recommending to hit his lexile level and interests. Perhaps then she will see how ridiculous her idea is when she tries to apply it at his level. Her advice works for an average 7th grader but that is clearly not your DS.

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    I had great success asking the teacher to give me a list of interesting, age appropriate books from the Lexile website :-) My 9 year old DYS has a lexile from MAP of 1350-1475. There is literally nothing that is age appropriate AND interesting. I do not think he should be reading about the history of Jack the Ripper from a college level perspective.

    When we have this exact conversation, I just smile and say "Oh fabulous! Can you get me a list of age appropriate mythology or action adventure books in that range?" When the lexile website says "0 found"- conversation over.

    That said, try searching for 'non-conforming' books on the lexile site. You may find a few... though not a lot.

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    Ditto HappilyMom & CAMom - push this back on the teacher.

    IMO, after their reading level gets to a certain point, it's a useless number. Just let them read what they want. I honestly don't even know exactly where my son is at now, because the new school doesn't use lexile, and he's still making 100's on all the AR tests, but I honestly can't be bothered... he's at least around 1100-1200 lexile, and he's only in 3rd grade. Screw it, I let him read graphic novels and whatever else he wants, so long as it isn't super gross or scary.


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    The simplest rule to check whether a book of appropriate difficulty is pointing new words in one page with fingers. If all five fingers are occupied for one page. It should offer sufficient challenges. Beyond that, kid might find it too difficult. Searching interesting topics is much more important than the misleading lexile number.

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    My DYS son was a college-level reader last year at age 9. I stopped caring about his level right around then.

    He's a voracious reader and likes everything from National Geographic to the Strange Story of Origami Yoda. He wants to read what the other kids in his class read (in addition to the many other books he reads). If his teacher told me to find more challenging work for him, I would just ignore it. He's a great reader. He loves reading. He reads anything and everything. And by the time he gets to college, he'll be an even better reader.

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