Announcement of Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Catherine Rand: “Word Count, Genre, and Lexile of Texts in Four Popular Core Reading Programs in Grades Four and Five”
This quantitative study examines the Lexile level, estimated volume, and genre of fourth- and fifth-grade texts used in four popular core reading series. The four series will include Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Into Reading, Lucy Calkins’ Units of Study for Teaching Reading, Fountas & Pinnell’s Classroom Collection, and McGraw Hill’s Wonders. Analyzing the whole-group read-aloud texts designed to practice reading comprehension, this study collected the Lexile level, estimated word count, number of texts, and count of literary and informational text from all four programs. Descriptive statistics showed considerable differences between programs, including mean Lexile levels ranging from 740L to 914L, a range of estimated word counts from 62,188 to 476,623 words, and informational texts that range from 4% to 43% of the total texts. These findings align with other scholars’ critiques of curricula series and are important in considering the equity of reading opportunities given to students.