Review by Fayme Evenson, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2017

Lexia Reading Core5

Interactive reading program promotes targeted, individualized growth

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts

  • Communication & Collaboration
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Pros: Highly interactive software and printable lessons allow for excellent blended learning opportunities.

Cons: Opportunities for social interaction and collaborative engagement among students could push learning even further.

Bottom Line: A good blended reading platform that offers students some choices, and teachers actionable data and useful offline resources.

Lexia Reading Core5 is best used in a blended scenario, where students work individually online while working more socially in corresponding offline activities. The myLexia site offers an outstanding variety of lesson plans with corresponding classwork. Whether you're in the classroom or at home, be sure to give students time to work independently and at their own pace.

Take advantage of the program's data to monitor and respond to each student's progress. Data include the probability of students' reading success (showing whether a child will reach grade-level reading by the end of the year). You can also get a diagnostic profile, and see skill development in various areas, including word recognition, vocabulary knowledge, syntactic knowledge, and reading comprehension. Use the myLexia portal's recommendations to boost the predicted outcomes for student learning. These can include information on specific classwide skills to work on, as well as prompts for targeted, small-group instruction. myLexia is also frequently used as an intervention tool to help certain students acquire the skills they need to get to the next level. 

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Lexia Reading Core5 is a K-5 website as well as a Chrome or iOS app that aims to build foundational reading skills for students through personalized learning. The program focuses on six aspects of reading instruction: phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, and structural analysis. The program assesses students' reading skills and then tailors recommendations to teachers on how to boost each child's outcomes, including specific skills that each child should work on. Students can access Lexia Reading Core5 at school or at home, working their way through activities and unlocking different levels along the way. At the end of each level, students move into an "adaptive placement experience," which provides data that teachers can use to help further differentiate instruction. Lexia Reading Core5 aims to be student-driven, so students can monitor their progress through a simple dashboard and then choose activities they want to work on. This dashboard lets students, as well as parents and teachers, know quickly what's been done and what's left to do.

The site (and Chrome app) also provides a bevy of offline, targeted instructional resources for teachers to use with individuals, small groups, or an entire class. For example, the Lexia Close Reads are PDFs -- meant to be printed and used offline -- to give to students to work through as individuals or in collaborative groups. 

Lexia Reading Core5 offers a two-pronged approach to reading instruction. Teachers get actionable data around students' successes and areas for improvement, while students challenge themselves though personalized, game-based online instruction. These online activities are fairly engaging, although the fun, fast-paced warm-up games are a particularly good feature. Students play these before lessons to "get in the zone" before diving in to the meatier activities. One distinguishing feature of Lexia Reading Core5, however, is that student work isn't all online; teachers can use the vast selection of resource materials, including detailed lesson plans, skill-building worksheets, extension materials, and training videos.

The whole program usefully puts students in charge of what they do (among the given choices, of course), and they're meant to work through activities of their choosing and at their own pace. Students get a good deal of support to help them along. For instance, if students make an error, they're prompted to go through some guided practice focused specifically on areas for growth. One thing to note is that students complete all online work individually and never interact with other users on the site. Depending on how effectively teachers build in offline activities, this could be a drawback. The lack of interactive or collaborative online features seems like a missed opportunity in an otherwise powerful reading platform. Nevertheless, the program can be used very effectively in reading centers where students can get direct instruction from a teacher, work online individually, and work collaboratively in small groups. Students with dyslexia or other learning difficulties will likely be able to improve their reading but may need additional scaffolding and support.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

Engaging games and cute, colorful graphics make for a fun learning-to-read experience. The game-based reading instruction promotes exciting level-up opportunities, mirrored in both the gameplay and students' reading abilities.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?

The ability to predict reading success gives teachers valuable insight into each student's learning. Ongoing feedback helps students target specific skills.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?

There are many supports for students and teachers. More scaffolding for students with special needs could make the tool even more versatile.

Teacher Reviews

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Featured review by
Rani L. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Lexia for GT Students
I love Lexia for my higher readers, because I can choose activities from the teacher materials to help my GT kids enrich their learning. When a student is struggling, they get a "red apple" and can come right to me. I can also see what they are struggling with and can do a mini lesson to help them.
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