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.
What Are Lexile Measures?
The Lexile Framework® for Reading is a scientific approach to reading that places both readers and texts on the same measurement scale. Nearly half of all U.S. students receive Lexile measures from national, state, and local assessments.
Lexile measures are represented by a number followed by an “L” (such as “800L”) and range from below 150L for beginning readers and texts to 1600L or higher for advanced readers and certain texts. With Lexile measures, you can:
- Find “just right” books for independent reading
- Enhance instructional planning of challenging texts for all students
- Create small groups for differentiated instruction
- Communicate with students and parents/guardians regarding reading progress
- Set goals and monitor reading growth over years
Matching readers with texts on the Lexile Scale
A Lexile reader measure describes a student’s reading ability. Connecting students with books within their independent Lexile range – often considered to be 100L below to 50L above their reported Lexile measure – provides an appropriate level of reading challenge.
A Lexile text measure indicates how challenging a text is to comprehend. Today, over 100 million books, articles, and websites have Lexile text measures.
Connecting students with appropriate challenge and support
Knowing the Lexile measure of a text and the Lexile measure of a student’s reading ability can identify an appropriate level of reading materials challenge for a student. Notwithstanding this, nothing can substitute for the expertise of an educator and his or her knowledge of each student.
Reading comprehension is influenced by a number of factors:
- Qualitative Factors for the student (interests, motivation, age, maturity) and text (complexity of ideas and themes, style, quality, graphic supports)
- Quantitative Factors such as Lexile measures
- Purpose for reading (assigned schoolwork, pleasure reading, schema-building, research, etc.)
Consequently, the Lexile level of a student and/or text alone or in conjunction will not be the only criteria for assigning reading materials to students or in choosing texts for instruction.
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.
Important Note for Parents/Guardians
It is important that students are not given assistance in reading articles and answering the associated questions in the “Activities.” If students do not accomplish this work independently, the Lexile determined by the Achieve3000 algorithm will not be accurate.
Inflated Lexiles are counterproductive for several reasons:
- Students will be given articles to read that are beyond their comprehension level and/or frustratingly difficult for them
- Difficulty in reading and understanding the articles delivered as a consequence of an inflated Lexile may make children reluctant to read in general
- Teachers will not have accurate data for the creation of sensible small groups for differentiated instruction
- Parents/guardians, teachers, and students will see fluctuating Lexiles that will not reflect student progress properly
What you may do to share your child’s interest in Achieve3000 is to read, discuss, and answer questions for “Stretch Articles.” These articles are set at the normally expected Lexile for a given grade level. The “Activities” associated with Stretch Articles do not affect Lexile adjustment.
Note: Only activities completed before the end of official school hours count for Lexile adjustment. If any questions are unanswered by end time, that article/activity will not count toward Lexile adjustment.
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.