LevelUp Reader provides teachers with powerful tools to help their students grow into full-fledged readers. To get the most out of LevelUp Reader, it helps to first understand how students experience the platform.
Assessing Reading Level with Intake and Progress Monitoring Assessments
When logging into LevelUp Reader for the first time, students complete an intake assessment. This establishes a starting Lexile reading measure for each learner. Each intake assessment consists of 25 test items. Assessments are untimed, but an intake may take 20 to 30 minutes for a student to complete.
With a starting Lexile measure established, students are shown their personalized bookshelf. It displays books 100L below to 50L above a student’s Lexile measure. According to MetaMetrics, this targeted range has been shown to maximize reading growth. Materials in this range are appropriately challenging—neither too easy and boring nor too difficult and frustrating.
LevelUp Reader periodically assesses students. Students become eligible for a progress monitoring assessment when two conditions are met:
- 14 days have elapsed since an assessment was completed
- the student has read sufficiently in that time by completing at least 5 books at an appropriate reading level or reading for at least 2.5 hours
A progress monitoring assessment consists of 6 test items. It is untimed but can be completed in a few minutes. Upon completion, the student receives an updated Lexile reading measure and his or her bookshelf adjusts accordingly.
LevelUp Reader’s assessment system is entirely automatic. Teachers do not need to take any action. However, they can closely monitor student progress in Reports.
Under the Class Roster in My Classroom, teachers have the ability to manually trigger a progress monitoring assessment. In rare cases, a teacher may find this necessary—for example, if a student hasn’t read enough on LevelUp Reader to receive an assessment but the teacher believes he or she has made progress anyway.
Assessing Reading Fluency with Running Records
In addition to intake assessments and comprehension quizzes, LevelUp Reader includes running record assessments that teachers can assign at their discretion. Running records help assess students’ fluency and oral reading skills, and are a valuable tool in early literacy instruction. They are distinct from and not designed to take the place of the Lexile assessments used to determine a student’s reading level, so their results have no bearing on student Lexile measures.
LevelUp Reader makes running records easy for both teachers and students. When a teacher assigns a running record, the student reads and records a text passage aloud on his or her device. Once complete, the student is awarded 25 credits to use in LevelUp Land and the recording is sent to the teacher’s inbox, where he or she grades the assessment. Key data is automatically tabulated and sent to Reports. Digital running records save valuable classroom time since teachers can listen to and grade them at their convenience.
To find out more about running records, see “How to Use Running Records.”
Assessing Comprehension with Book Quizzes
LevelUp Reader books include brief comprehension quizzes. Students are automatically given a quiz after they complete a book (unless a teacher has adjusted the “quiz frequency” setting in My Classroom). Quizzes contain 5 or 10 multiple-choice items.
Lower-level quizzes on LevelUp Reader include audio support. The student may click the speaker icon to hear the question and answer read aloud.
LevelUp Land is an immersive gaming environment available to students.
With every assessment, book, or quiz completed, students earn credits:
- completing an intake or progress monitoring assessment: 25 credits
- completing a book (self-selected): 5 credits
- completing a book (assigned by teacher): 10 credits
- completing a quiz: 5 credits + 1 credit for each correct answer + 1 credit for attempting a constructed response item
In LevelUp Land, these credits can be used to buy dozens of characters, objects, and vehicles. Students are free to wander and explore the 3D environment, populating it with their purchased items in order to build a personalized world. Items are animated, including life-like animal characters that walk, crawl, and scamper through the environment.
Students can switch between an array of worlds, or “scenes,” in LevelUp Land, including an elf town, a Wild West landscape, a stately castle, and a tropical pirate cove. Students can unlock new scenes based on how many cumulative credits they’ve earned.
Teachers control access to LevelUp Land to ensure it doesn’t divert attention from learning. These controls, located under My Classroom, allow teachers to set time limits on gameplay during class hours.
Estimating Time Spent on LevelUp
Students use LevelUp at their own pace, but it can be helpful to have an idea of how long students may spend on each feature of the site:
Reading a book: To estimate how long it will take a student to read a book, see “Audio Length” listed on the book’s detail page. This information is based on the length of the actor-narrated audio recording. The speed of audio support is matched to the book’s Lexile measure to ensure it is appropriate for students at that reading level, so you can assume students reading at their own pace may take a similar amount of time.
Completing a quiz: Comprehension quizzes increase in length and complexity based on the Lexile measure of a book. For books under 200L, assume about 5 minutes to complete a quiz. For books 200L to 400L, assume 5 to 10 minutes. For books above 400L, assume 10 to 15 minutes.
Completing a constructed response item: Assume 3 to 5 minutes. These short answer quiz items invite students to compose a response. Responses will vary in length, but they are often as brief as a couple of sentences.
Completing a graphic organizer: Assume 5 to 15 minutes. Instructional aids like the LevelUp Reader graphic organizers vary in complexity. The student’s grade level and the requirements of a particular assignment are also a factor.
Time spent in LevelUp Land: Dependent on the time limits set by the teacher in the Gaming and Incentives tab of My Classroom. During class hours, students may be limited to as little as 5 minutes in LevelUp Land. However, outside of class hours, students are free to explore.