Migrant Education Program students are using a new reading tool that measures their reading skill and matches each student with books that fit their reading ability. Called Total Reader, the program first measures the students’ Lexile Reading Level, and then lists books that readers at that level can enjoy. The suggested books are just challenging enough to help students improve without being so difficult that they become discouraged. Total Reader also compiles a vocabulary list students can study and helps identify specific areas, like phonics, that a student might need to focus their efforts on.
A student chooses a short passage selecting between fiction or non-fiction categories, then choosing a subject area like science or travel, a specific topic like bugs or China, finally picking a specific reading. The short passage has several missing words and the student selects from a short list the most appropriate one to fill in the blank. The process not only helps identify students’ reading ability, but also their interests.