Marlboro Township Public Schools uses Achieve3000 in grades 2 through 8.
Achieve3000 is a program that delivers differentiated nonfiction reading and writing instruction precisely tailored to each student’s reading comprehension level and English language arts proficiency. Achieve3000 has been used in grades 3 through 8 at MTPS for almost a decade. It has been added for use in grade 2 beginning with the 2020-21 academic year. Use of the program with fidelity provides a Lexile which is a measure of the level of text that can be comprehended.
- Students complete a LevelSet assessment at the beginning of each school year. Each student’s Lexile score determines the level of content he or she receives to begin his/her personalized pathway in Achieve3000.
- As students complete Achieve3000 lessons, a logarithm tracks progress on the Activity (typically an 8 question quiz) that accompanies each article. Only Activities completed during official school hours will count towards Lexile adjustment. Eight (8) nonfiction Activities per month are required by MTPS. At the end of each month, Achieve3000 uses this information to determine changes to each student’s Lexile level.
- Students may access and read articles in Achieve3000 outside of school hours including evenings, weekends, and holidays. Students are free to browse and search to select articles that interest them from an archive of approximately 15,000 articles. This will provide opportunities for children to read more extensively to build stamina and to satisfy their individual curiosity in all content areas. Work done outside of official school hours will not affect Lexiles. Note that for 2020-21, “outside of official school hours” means beginning one hour after the close of the school day (inclusive of the afternoon Zoom sessions) until the following morning.
- Teacher-assigned articles and activities will exclude fiction. Fiction will not automatically be promoted to students by Achieve3000. Notwithstanding this, students may search for fiction by genre or title, but are cautioned not to complete any activities associated with fiction passages in Achieve3000 during official school hours. This applies to weekdays when a student might be out of school due to illness, religious observance, distance learning, remote instruction, and the like.
- Ongoing adjustments guarantee that each student’s nonfiction content is matched to his or her most recent Lexile level thus helping every student to read and comprehend increasingly complex text on a continuous basis.
- Lexiles are used for diagnostic purposes to create small groups for differentiated instruction, for planning remediation and/or intervention, and for placement purposes. Criteria posted on the MTPS website under “Curriculum” > “Placement Information” provides details regarding Lexile requirements for various courses of study including G&T programs by grade level.
- Achieve3000 is integrated into instruction at MTPS. The articles read in the program form the basis for classroom discussions, on-demand written work, and practice in comprehension strategies and language skills such as summarizing, comparing and contrasting texts, identifying main ideas and significant details, identifying features of nonfiction texts, and providing evidence to support claims or opinions.
Lexile measures are based on the relationship between two well-established predictors of how difficult a text is to comprehend: semantic difficulty and syntactic complexity. The Lexile equation takes into account both the measurement of word frequency and sentence length, resulting in a measure of reading difficulty expressed as a Lexile. In the Lexile system:
- Semantic difficulty is measured using the mean log word frequency, which is the logarithm of the number of times a word appears for every 5 million words of text from a corpus of nearly 600 million words.
- Syntactic difficulty is a measure of the length of the sentences in a passage. Longer sentences are likely to contain more clauses, thereby communicating not only more information and ideas but also a more complex interrelationship between them.
- Short-term memory plays a role. Researchers speculate that longer sentences require the reader briefly to retain more information in her or his short-term memory. Nevertheless, students may refer to the article while answering the questions pertaining to it and reread it as needed.
- Schema building: Over time, students will access and synthesize a large amount of information that will improve their ability to understand complex text.
Lexile Text Measures to Guide College and Career Readiness:
The Achieve3000 program follows a 5-step instructional protocol.
Step 1. Setting the stage: Students read and reply to a daily email that establishes schema for the nonfiction text they are about to read. The email can be accessed from the Achieve3000 inbox in the Mail section that includes a link to the daily article.
Step 2. Reading for information: Students read an individually leveled nonfiction Article that is assigned by the teacher.
Step 3. Demonstrating mastery: After reading the article, students answer questions in an Activity that monitor reading comprehension and vocabulary.
Step 4. Constructing meaning: Students write a response to an open-ended Thought Question associated with each article.
Step 5. Forming an opinion: Students participate in a Poll about the article which allows them to articulate their opinion and share it with other students.