A Problem with Decodable Books and a Solution from Lexile

One of the problems with decodable books is that what is decodable for one student or classroom isn't yet decodable for another student or classroom. You must match a decodable book to the scope and sequence of instruction. Struggling readers especially need to be matched with a decodable book according to the skills they have and what they need to practice.

This isn't easy. There have been barriers to finding the right decodable books for students at the various stages of reading instruction. 

The easiest thing to do is to use only books and passages that are provided with reading curriculum, but the choices are often limited.

You can get your hands on the actual book and look through each page while thinking through what skills are covered and when the book will fit your scope and sequence. That requires the funds to purchase books, often in sets, that you may never use and lots of time to carefully analyze books. 

You can also obtain scope and sequences from publishers and authors. Depending on their idea of what a decodable book should look like, you may still end up with a book that isn't what you need it to be.  

I often see social media posts asking for help finding decodable books. This is helpful in finding publishers and authors, but you still have the problems listed above.

You can write your own decodable books and passages, but I know from experience that isn't always so easy. It takes a lot of time and work.

I have often dreamed of something better. I am not the only one. I am honored to have been a small part of a project led by Neena Saha, Ph.D., Vice-President, Science of Reading of Metametrics,which is the creator of Lexile®. I contributed about a dozen decodable reading passages to Lexile® Decodable Passages. Metametrics is also releasing their new tool, Lexile® Find a Decodable Book. This is the tool I've been waiting for. This tool will be a go-to tool to help us search for decodable books for our students. I can't wait.

Find out more on Metametrics' blog.


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