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In EdSurge Case Studies, educators share their real-life experiences with edtech in their schools and classrooms.
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Brett, @LDS_MisterG
5th Grade Teacher, Freehold Township School, New Jersey
1:1 devices, Blended learning classroom, Special education students, and Low income population

Our school was looking for a digital resource that could improve personalized learning and enhance our reading centers. With so many different kinds of learners in our classroom and a desire for additional nonfiction resources, Achieve 3000 was chosen to fill these needs. Having students blend their learning and move at their own pace was another reason why we implemented this product.

Product Use: Achieve 3000 was used in several ways. Having the same stories on a variety of Lexile levels allowed students to collaborate and work together despite learning in different ways and at different paces. We used the program as one of our digital reading centers. For some students it was their nonfiction story of the day. For others it was their digital content provider. For most it was an opportunity to read an article they were interested in or that was related to what we were learning at that time. Being able to search for articles of interest, the voice and choice given to students with this program kept their intrigued all year long. On days when we were short on time, it became homework. Students were engaged with the articles and the format in which they were presented.

What Worked and What Didn't: We had the ability to pick and choose articles to align with our curriculum. Articles are automatically distributed by the program, giving students enough articles to read throughout the week. However, if we were learning about space, we had the autonomy to drag and drop several articles about space into the student dashboard, infusing this resource into our curriculum. If we were practicing a certain skill, such as main idea and supporting details, we simply chose articles based on the standard. The flexibility was key.

The format of the articles was refreshing. It begins with a "thought question", where students are posed with a question about a certain topic. After giving their opinion and explaining their thoughts, students then read the article and answered comprehension questions. At the end, they were again asked to give their opinion. The opportunity to change their mind about a given topic after having receiving new information on that topic was a feature kids aren't often exposed to. It boosted confidence knowing that there wasn't a right or wrong answer.

The one downfall of the program is that it lacks fictional stories. We needed to compliment the program with other resources, which was not a major issue.

Age Group: Elementary school students

Jul 7, 2016 Provide Feedback
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