All About Literably

What is Literably?

Literably is a classroom tool that helps elementary teachers monitor students’ progress in reading. The site administers and scores oral reading assessments (with a comprehension check), so teachers can spend less time assessing and more time teaching.

How does it work?

Pick levels and readings - Literably supports grade levels and guided reading levels. Choose readings or let Literably choose them for you.

Assess students - Each student reads aloud to Literably. You can rotate students through a station or test the whole class at once!

Get hassle-free data - For each reading, Literably generates an audio recording, a running record, words correct per minute, percentage accuracy, and a Common Core comprehension score. From this data, it recommends a guided reading level.

Share data with others - Print or email to share with students, parents and administrators.

What are the benefits of Literably?

For teachers: Monitoring students’ reading is important, but administering oral reading assessments takes hours of class time. Literably takes care of the administration, scoring and tracking, so teachers can spend more time responding to student needs.

For students: Matching students with appropriately challenging texts is extremely important for reading growth and engagement. An overly difficult text evades comprehension, while an unchallenging text offers little opportunity to master new words and concepts. Literably makes it easy to match students with the books that are right for them.

For parents: Parents want to know how their children are doing. Literably makes it easy for teachers to engage parents by sharing meaningful examples of student growth.

What about the qualitative observations of students that I make with paper-based running records?

If you would like to sometimes sit or stand next to a student while she uses Literably, you may go to on your computer, smartphone, or iPad and log in with your teacher account. From there, you may type in notes on a student's demeanor, eye movements, reading behaviors, etc. and they will be automatically and permanently synced to that running record. You may also revise your notes at a later date.

What about background noise?

Some recordings are unscorable due to background noise and/or very soft reading. If we are unable to score a recording for either of these reasons, then we will mark it as such on your class page, and email you the reason, such as "whispering." You will be able to listen to the audio file, and the student can re-record at any time. The best way to figure out whether it will be a problem is to try it out. If you end up with a lot of unintelligible recordings, then you might try coaching students to speak in a clear voice and to stay close to the mic, spreading students around the room and/or limiting the number of students who record at once. When students finish reading, they can click "Play Back" to make sure that their reading was clearly recorded. If you have any questions or issues about background noise, please let us know.

Where does Literably get its texts?

These texts appear with permission from publisher partners.

Will Literably be adding more texts in the future?

Yes. If there is a publisher or series that you would like to see on Literably, please let us know.

How does Literably make leveling recommendations?

We use the following table to recommend instructional reading levels from accuracy and comprehension. The plus and minus numbers indicate how many levels up or down from a student's current level. An asterisk indicates that we recommend a re-assessment for accurate leveling. There are three exceptions:
  • If a student has "passed" (that is, a recommendation of 0, 1, or 2) at a particular level in the past, we won't recommend that she be leveled below that level in the future.
  • If a student's recommmended level within the past two weeks is ever below a particular level, any recommendations above that level are capped at +1.
  • If a student reads at 7 wcpm or less, we will not recommend a level increase.

4/5 or 5/5 Comp.3/5 Comp.0/5, 1/5, or 2/5 Comp.

Literably will re-level students automatically. When Literably does this, that student will be assigned a reading she has never read before (if possible). You can manually change levels at any time.

What do the different colors (red, yellow, green) of the student's reading level mean?

These reflect the student's A-Z instructional reading level with respect to her grade in school, the time of the year of her last recording, and the Fountas & Pinnell reading level norms.

Green corresponds to "meets expectations" according to the norms, yellow corresponds to "approaches expectations," and red to "does not meet expectations."

What do the different colors (red, yellow, green) of the student's last reading rate (wcpm) mean?

These reflect the student's performance with respect to her grade in school, words correctly read per minute, and the Hasbrouck & Tindal oral reading fluency norms. Since Hasbrouck & Tyndal have only defined norms beginning in the middle of first grade, no student is considered to be at-risk based on her words correct per minute prior to the middle of first grade.

Green indicates that a student is within the appropriate range, yellow that a student is at some risk of reading failure, and red that a student is at high risk of reading failure. We treat fall as September 1, winter as January 15, and Spring as June 1. We assume linear increases in reading rates from September 1 to January 15 and from January 15 to June 1.

Hasbrouck & Tindal write: "We recommend that a score falling within 10 words above or below the 50th percentile should be interpreted as within the normal, expected, and appropriate range for a student at that grade level at that time of year" (p. 640). As suggested, we classify a student as green if her reading rate is greater than the 50th percentile for her grade and time of year minus 10 wcpm. We classify a student as at some risk if she is less than 15 wcpm below this cutoff, and as at high risk otherwise.

Help! My student recorded but it doesn't look like it uploaded.

We retry uploads that fail, but issues can arise with longer recordings and slower wireless networks. It may help to cap recordings at 1 minute (an option in Settings) or move closer to your Wi-Fi network.

On the web, students sometimes close their web browser before a recording is done uploading. We warn students with a dialog box if they try to leave the page like this, but we can't prevent them from closing their browser or moving to a different page. Clicking "Log Out" should not cause problems; Literably can log in multiple students in a row on the same page of a web browser, letting one student's recording upload while the next student is logged in. But navigating away from the page (ex. closing the browser, clicking the back button, or going to another website in the address bar) could force a recording to stop uploading.

Why are some of my recordings appearing as "corrupted?"

The audio recording component of the Google Chrome web browser sometimes crashes, causing blank recordings to be generated. If this is happening to you, just make sure that Google Chrome has recently been restarted.

On iOS, we are not yet sure why this sometimes happens, but are working on resolving it.

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