MetaMetrics Partners with Interactive Achievement

We’re happy to announce our new partnership with Interactive Achievement, a software company that ‘provides educators with accurate assessments of student performance on state standards’.  Interactive Achievement is the developer of OnTrac, a web-based system that ‘delivers standard-aligned content, assessments, and instant reports for precise analysis of student achievement.  OnTrac allows teachers to build their own tests choosing from a bank of established test items.  Once students complete the test, teachers have instant access to online reports.

We have leveled the passages in the OnTrac system using the The Lexile Framework for Reading, allowing teachers to select passages across a range of Lexile levels.  Here’s more:

…educators can now custom develop using the Lexile measures of their students and the test items. Lexile measures will help educators select test passages that students should be able to read and understand, leading to more valid information on the growth required for students to achieve a state’s proficiency levels.

This is powerful information to have.  Having access to the Lexile level of reading passages helps inform the choices teachers make as they design benchmark assessments.  Here’s the President of Interactive Achievement, Jacob Gibson:

“Since over half of U.S. students already receive Lexile measures from high-stakes tests, assigning Lexile measures to the OnTRAC passages allows educators to use a common metric to build assessments that can provide the benchmark data they need to help students achieve at the highest levels.”

We’re thrilled with this new partnership and glad that teachers will have easy access to a tool that allows them to customize assessments based on their student’s reading level.

School Library Journal Offers Insight into the Future of Reading

The School Library Journal recently hosted their sixth annual Leadership Summit – 2010 The Future of Reading.  This year’s theme – exploring the ‘changing face of reading’ –  focused on a variety of topics, including how e-readers and digital texts are altering the way consumers access and digest information, the wide availability of content, and the role librarians play in the face of these rapid advances. 

One of our own partners, and a sponsor of the conference, Capstone Digital was present and discussed their own contribution to personalized learning platforms and its utilization of The Lexile Framework for Reading:

Meanwhile, Todd Brekhus, president of Capstone Digital, talked about establishing an online, personalized reading environment. He was joined by Barbara Rooks, formerly of Florida’s Hillsborough Public Schools, and Marlene Simmons of the Chicago Public Schools. The panelists presented a new digital reading model that engages students in their interests, establishes their reading level using the Lexile framework, allows for free choice in reading selection, and gives anytime, anywhere access to books. Discussion ranged from how a digital reading program could build student confidence to how librarians and educators could administer personalized reading plans.

The School Library Journal offers a more indepth summary here.  From the summary, it appears the conference touched on a wide range of relevant and pressing topics – everything from the use of multimedia and the use of animated and graphic texts in the classroom to reach reluctant readers, to leveraging social networks and mobility to expand readership, and even the need for a more robust definition and assessment of Internet literacy.  Be sure to take a look. 

It’s also worth mentioning that the School Library Journal is a great source for information on the world of publishing, new books, digital media, and the role of media in education.  In fact, we’ve added them to our list of sources on the right hand side of this blog.  If you’re not already reading, be sure to add SLJ to your list of bookmarks.

Barnes & Noble.com Launches Kids’ Expert Circle & Makes Headlines with Online Storytime

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the Barnes & Noble’s Kids’ Expert Circle , where parents can find helpful advice from trusted experts in the fields of literacy, arts and education, child development, and pediatric medicine.

B&N’s experts will be writing articles on topics such as heading home with your newborn, becoming a sibling, starting school, making friends, and potty training, as well as offering product suggestions to help you find the right book or toy for you and your child. For more info and a full list of their experts, click here.

The Expert Circle comes on the heels of B&N’s Online Storytime program, an original monthly video featuring well-known authors and celebrities narrating popular picture books for children ages 2-6. Just some of the authors showcased have been Maurice Sendak reading Where the Wild Things Are and Jane O’Connor reading Fancy Nancy: Bonjour, Butterfly. Upcoming Online Storytimes will be Jan Brett reading her bestseller, The Mitten, for November, and author Chris Van Allsburg reading The Polar Expressfor December. To go to the Online Storytime page, click here.

Now children and parents can experience the same joy of Barnes & Noble’s in-store Storytime events in the comfort of their own homes.

You can also visit your local Barnes & Noble to find displays of each month’s Storytime books.

The good folks at B&N are working really hard to make parenting a little easier—and a lot more fun!

Barnes & Noble Hosts ‘Educator Appreciation Days’

Please join MetaMetrics in supporting Barnes & Noble’s “Educator Appreciation Days” by visiting your local B&N store or visiting them online at BN.com. Pre-K-12th grade teachers, librarians, literacy specialists and homeschool educators can save 25% on books and 10% on music and DVDs, either in stores or through the B&N website from October 9 – October 17.

As part of Educator Appreciation Days, Barnes & Noble stores in Augusta, GA and Charlotte, NC will host MetaMetrics to facilitate free seminars on Lexile measures. MetaMetrics will discuss what Lexile measures are and how educators can use them to differentiate instruction and monitor reading growth by connecting students with the “right” books that match their ability, interests and goals. The seminars will also explore the resources that educators can use to search for books by Lexile measure in Barnes & Noble stores and on BN.com, as well as other free resources on the Lexile website. To find out more, please click here.

Lexile.com Visitors Find Books Around the World

WorldCat is a consortium of over 70,000 libraries in 170 countries and territories who share resources to improve the services they offer their patrons.  The Lexile Find a Book site , at Lexile.com , now offers visitors a chance to check their local library for availability of a book with a simple click of the WorldCat button.

So many people now use this feature that Lexile.com is one of the top 10 sites referring searches to WorldCat, just behind Google but ahead of Microsoft.

The two organizations are now collaborating to offer even more refined searching capabilities.  Included will be Lexile measures integrated into the library records of those 70,000 libraries around the globe.

World Book Web Articles – Now with Lexile Measures

On April 23rd, World Book announced that it will be providing Lexile measures for their suite of Web services designed for students across the board – from preschoolers through 12th grade – in World Book Student, World Book Discover, World Book Kids, and The Early World of Learning.

By providing Lexile measures, World Book is ensuring that educators can select level-appropriate reading materials for students.  The Lexile measures align well with World Book’s reputation for – in Vice President of Digital Products, Patti Ginnis’ words – “providing clear, understandable, and usable information written at the appropriate level.”

Additionally, World Book article content is now linked to curriculum standards and benchmarks for all U.S. states and Canadian provinces.  This provides educators an enhanced user experience with World Book, supplementing classroom coverage of important curricular topics with relevant and appealing media and interactive tools, games, and content. Outvisirire .

Another Great Tool for Teachers: Weekly Reader Adds Lexile Measures

Weekly Reader recently announced that it is assigning Lexile measures to articles in many of its popular classroom magazines.  If you aren’t familiar with Weekly Reader , they have been creating content-rich supplemental materials for students in grades pre-K through 12th for more than 100 years.  Their 12 classroom magazines provide teachers with additional curriculum tools while energizing students and engendering curiosity about the world around them.

This is great news.  By assigning a Lexile measure to these materials, Weekly Reader is giving classroom educators one more way to connect students with reading assignments that match their abilities and goals.  As previous research has indicated, an important component in developing a life-long love of reading is providing students with reading material on topics in which they’re interested.  A recent study (subscription required) by Nell Duke goes even further and suggests that a steady exposure to nonfiction text is essential to allowing students to graduate college and career ready.  And this is just the sort of material that Weekly Reader provides for students and teachers around the country.

Educator Appreciation Week

This week I had the pleasure of speaking to educators at an Educator Appreciation event hosted by the Barnes and Noble store in Southpoint Mall in Durham, NC. Barnes and Noble is recognizing and celebrating the work of our teachers throughout the nation with special store events, discounts, and gifts for teachers. It would be great if more companies would honor our teachers like Barnes & Noble has done.

I was also impressed that teachers took time out of their Saturday schedules (and for many, their spring break) to attend the event. We are very fortunate to have so many dedicated teachers in our country and I was grateful to be a part of an event that recognizes them.

This week our organization is teaming with Barnes and Noble to present at events in Atlanta and Houston . We look forward to partnering with Barnes & Noble to honor all of our teachers who make such a difference every day in the lives of our children. If children are our greatest assets, then teachers are our most important professionals!

Barnes & Noble and MetaMetrics Offering Free Lexile Seminars

Yesterday, Barnes & Noble issued a press release detailing the free Lexile seminars to be held in various B & N locations around the country, As part of Spring Educator Appreciation Week, Barnes & Noble is also offering educator discounts and a number of special events.  Check out your local store for more details, and if you live in one of the areas hosting a free Lexile seminar, feel free to stop by and learn more.  Remember, educators get a 25% discount on items purchased at Barnes & Noble during the week of April 10-18.  Part of yesterday’s press release can be found below:

Barnes & Noble, Inc., the world’s largest bookseller, is pleased to announce that MetaMetrics will present free seminars on the Lexile Framework for Reading in select stores as part of Spring Educator Appreciation Week, April 10-18th.  The seminars will explore how educators can use Lexile measures to recommend books that best match a student’s individual level and goals.  (more…)

MetaMetrics is an educational measurement organization. Our renowned psychometric team develops scientific measures of student achievement that link assessment with targeted instruction to improve learning.