“We are seeing gains!” Just four months after the State of Kansas launched a two-year grant program for improving reading outcomes using Lexia Reading Core5™, Principal Kenneth McWhirter, of Marmaton Valley Elementary School, is reporting better student outcomes using the program. McWhirter’s students join more than 20,000 in 61 districts across the state, including those in Lansing, Galena, Stafford County, and Barber County that have opted-in to the Kansas Reading Initiative. The program provides elementary school students access to personalized reading instruction that is proven to accelerate the development of foundational reading skills and comprehension.
“I’ve been in education for more than 30 years and this is an exceptional program,” said McWhirter. “It instantly gets down to such a micro level. For example, we noticed our students struggling with rhyming. Lexia Reading Core5 was able to pinpoint the problem and give the students the exact instruction they needed to learn the skill. We were the first school in the state to apply for the reading grant—based on what I’m witnessing in the program—I know that other schools considering the program would be as impressed as we are.”
Lexia Reading Core5 is a technology-based reading program with printed instructional materials that provides students of all abilities the explicit instruction needed to accelerate mastery of skills. Students work independently in 18 unique levels of engaging, self-paced activities that take them on adventures around the world. Using an iPad® or web browser, students interact with complex text as they develop critical literacy, listening and reading comprehension skills. If a student struggles with the task, he or she receives skill-specific, explicit instruction in the online program. If the student continues to struggle, the program notifies the teacher and provides structured lesson materials for direct instruction. Lexia’s research-proven approach to skill development enables at-risk students to close the gap more quickly, and helps on-level or advanced students to continue to progress with limited support from their teacher. The program provides real-time assessment data that teachers can use for planning small group instruction, and enables teachers, principals and district-level administrators to monitor student, class, grade level, and school progress.
For Vickie Kelly, principal at Lansing Elementary in Unified School District 469, the decision to implement Lexia Reading Core5 through the Kansas Reading Initiative was simple. “We previously used Lexia Reading however, the new program is even better. First, it looks at student progress with the Common Core and is aligned to the Standards. Second, it is student-centered and student-friendly. Lexia Reading Core5 pulls students in, and without them really noticing has them fully engaged in independent practice. Third, it is research-based and evidence-proven and our teachers can use the data with confidence — not just for our struggling students but Lexia Reading Core5 works to help all students in all areas of reading instruction — from phonics to vocabulary to comprehension.”
Kelly and McWhirter also noted the importance of the program’s unique embedded assessment system, Assessment Without Testing®, which provides educators with the kind of information typically gathered via a traditional paper and pencil test about what a student knows and where the student needs additional instruction – all without interrupting the flow of instruction to administer a test.
“Assessment Without Testing gives us one more way to customize a student’s education,” said Kelly. “It identifies and prioritizes our students for small group or individual instruction, provides our teachers and intervention specialists with recommended targeted instructional strategies and structured lessons, and most importantly, it includes the suggested number of minutes-per-week of software usage each student needs in order to meet expectations on grade-level assessments. This is real-time teaching and real-time learning so students can learn what they need, when they need it.”
Lexia’s instructional approach has been nationally recognized and proven effective in six peer-reviewed, research-based outcome studies published in scientific journals such as The Journal of Reading Research and the Bilingual Research Journal. These published reports serve as third-party validation of Lexia’s efficacy research. The program is also a five-time winner of the District Administration magazine Reader’s Choice Top 100 Products Award.
Kelly concluded. “At the end of the day, we are all accountable for student success – and with this program everyone reaps the benefits. Our district administrators have at their fingertips a comprehensive look at student data from each classroom in each school in real time. Our teachers get a look at much of the same data on an individual student level that is so essential to drive improved and highly effective instruction. Our students, who have access to the program at school and at home, are better equipped to advance their skills in order to become better readers and better students. That is personalized learning at its best.”
For schools interested in participating in the Kansas Reading Initiative, they should contact representatives from Educational Design Solutions (EDS) at 913-484-5889 or 785-554-3505. Online application forms are available on the EDS website: www.educationaldesignsolutions.com. For all other interested educators, please visit www.lexialearning.com or call 1-800-435-3942.
About Lexia Learning
Established with a promise to improve student literacy through the use of technology, today more than one million students are currently improving their reading proficiency with Lexia. A Rosetta Stone® (NYSE:RST) company, Lexia has been nationally recognized and proven effective in six peer-reviewed, research-based outcome studies published in scientific journals such as The Journal of Reading Research and the Bilingual Research Journal. For more information, visit www.lexialearning.com or call 1-800-435-3942.