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Reading Counts

What is Scholastic Reading Counts?

Reading Counts is a highly motivating reading activity which engages students to read, then respond to a comprehension quiz using a computer. Students can select from a wide variety of books and read independently or as part of a group. We currently have 6,217 quizzes available to students and we get new ones 4 times a year. After reading, students individually take a computerized quiz that will assess how well they understood the book. When students pass a quiz, they are awarded points based on the number of correct answers and the difficulty of the text. 
To look up a book to see if it part of the Reading Counts program:

What are the guidelines for Reading Counts at SHMS ?

It’s very important that students read the unabridged versions of the books on the Reading Counts list by those particular authors. Other versions of the books do not contain the same information the quizzes were based on.
In order to maintain the integrity of the program, and in fairness to all students, we ask that these guidelines be closely followed. Please do not attempt to take a quiz based on:

  • classic comic books
  • Cliff Notes
  • TV movies
  • videos
  • Books on tape or cd
  • abridged versions, or
  • Walt Disney editions

Remember that honesty is always the best policy!

How are the book points determined ?

Each book is given a point value based on the text difficulty. The length of sentences, the complexity of the structure of the text, the difficulty of the vocabulary, the length of the book and the number of words are all considered. This is also how a lexile number is assigned to a book. The books that most middle school age students read range from a 600 to a 1200 lexile range. See below for more information on lexiles.

What is Scholastic Reading Inventory?

Another component of the Reading Counts program is the Reading Inventory. This is a computerized test taken by students individually that gives an accurate measure of reading and comprehension ability. The difficulty level of each question in the test is determined by the student's response to the previous questions. The software quickly zeroes in on student ability, providing excellent results while keeping student stress to a minimum.
The results of the Reading Inventory, or the score on the test, are reported in lexiles. The range of lexile numbers that the Reading Inventory reports from testing is 100L to 1700L. This range considers readers from 1st through 12th grade. The average range for 1st through 6th grade students nation wide is 200L to 1000L. See the chart at the top of the page.

What is a Lexile?

A Lexile is a number! It is a number given to a book or a reader. The Lexile Framework is a reading measure that matches students to text. It is unique because is uses a common metric - a Lexile measure - to assess both the level of the reader and the level of the text. By placing both the reader and text on the same absolute scale, there is a more accurate match between the two.
A reader is given a lexile number based on the Reading Inventory. With this information, parents and teachers can guide the student to valuable reading experiences at the student's appropriate level.
The Lexile and Lexile Framework were created by MetaMetrics, Inc. and is based on more than ten years of research and testing. The goal of this work was to provide students, teachers, parents, librarians, and other educators with a valid and reliable tool to measure reading performance and readability.

How do the teachers use the information?

With help from the Scholastic Reading Counts! teacher management system, teachers can keep track of student reading and how well they perform on tests. Many reports are available that help teachers to diagnose trouble areas for readers to provide more direct instruction within the classroom. Teachers can also assist students in selecting books most appropriate for their reading level.
There is flexibility to adjust passing levels, length of quizzes, how often students retake quizzes and more! This allows each teacher to adjust the program to meet the needs of individual students. Even beginning readers will be able to take a Reading Counts quiz with the guidance of the teacher.

How can I help as a parent?

Talk with your child about what they're reading. Read aloud after dinner. Talk about books you're reading for work or enjoyment. Make reading a fun part of your daily life!
Help your child by setting reading goals. You can consider number of books, point levels, types of books (called genre) or number of minutes spent reading. Any goals for spending more time reading are good goals!! Remember, reading achievement is positively related to the amount of time students spend independently reading.
You can find books in your home and mark them as Reading Counts books to give your child a more focused choice of reading at home. And don't forget to visit your local libraries!