Selected readings on US charter schools
Two schools have gone public with their use of an online reading program that personalizes the content for each student. KIPP Delta Elementary Literacy Academy in Arkansas and E.L. Haynes Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. have both integrated the use of Lexia Learning’s Lexia Reading Core5 into their reading curriculum.
The program covers grades pre-K through 5 with six skill areas: phonological awareness, phonics, structural analysis, vocabulary, automaticity and comprehension. Students work independently in 18 levels of self-paced activities that take them on adventures around the world. When they struggle at a given task, the program continually adapts by limiting what’s displayed on the screen and providing additional instruction until they’re able to show understanding and be returned to “standard-level activities.”
Teachers and administrators receive real-time reporting on individual student progress toward mastery on the Common Core State Standards along with reports projecting each student’s probability of meeting end-of-year, grade-level benchmarks. The system produces action plans for each student that recommend lessons and the proper intensity of instruction that will be needed to improve student performance while also meeting benchmarks.
The software runs through a browser, as a download to the computer and on the iPad.
At E.L. Haynes, the Core5 software has been added as an intervention resource for students in grades 1-4. The school makes Core5 available to students outside of the classroom as well. “What we like about Lexia is that it provides the opportunity to practice and develop foundational literacy skills such as decoding and phonics while building vocabulary, so students can access increasingly challenging texts,” said the school’s director of technology innovation, Jeanne Chang, in a statement. “The reports give teachers strategic insights about the specific support students need to close individual skill gaps, and the program includes corresponding resources to facilitate this instruction.”
KIPP Delta “struggled” to find a product that would work for its students and its teachers. “Lexia Reading Core5 is masterful in the way it keeps the kids engaged at just the right level to accelerate their reading skills while giving our teachers and classroom volunteers resources, like scripted lessons, that go right to the heart of a particular skill or activity that a student or a group of students had found to be a real stumbling block. You can tell a great deal of research went in to its development,” noted Assistant Principal John Bennetts.
Source: The Journal – by Dian Schaffhauser