Texas Public School District Wants to Develop Strong Readers

Texas Public School District Wants to Develop Strong Readers

This district is getting support to implement blended learning to help close their achievement gaps in reading and in math.

State: Texas Number of Students: 35,246
School Type: Public School District Free and Reduced Lunch: 55.8%
Grade Level: PK-12 English Language Learners: 34.6%

School Context

This small district is located near Houston, Texas. They serve about 700 students. They have a large population of LEP students and those who are in a low socio-economic bracket. They have educational goals of closing the gaps for their LEP students in reading and in math.

State of Technology

This elementary school has determined that reading comprehension is an area of weakness for their 4th grade students. Additionally, students in all grades are lacking reading endurance and vocabulary. In 3rd grade, they noticed that students are struggling with phonics, breaking words apart, and fluency in addition to those weak areas mentioned previously.

They currently use iStation. They reported that iStation is meeting their needs by providing robust data. They appreciate that they have access to the RTI data as well. iStation also provides resources for teachers and that is a nice feature as well. While much of the program is working, it is falling short in providing students with authentic reading opportunities and that is shown through lack of skill transfer. They also noted that students aren't engaged in reading as they should be nor are they able to build skills to help them tackle more challenging vocabulary through their current approach.

Tech Needs & Requirements

They are looking for a supplemental tool to help students build literacy skills through a differentiated and rigorous reading program that provides them opportunities to read authentic texts. The ideal tool will satisfy several features.

Content needs to be challenging, providing students the ability to read a variety of authentic texts. The tool should have formative assessments that assess students where they are. It would great if vocabulary was a particular focus of the tool. If there was a focus on fluency or has a fluency tracker, that would be a nice to have.

It would great if students could see their progress toward goals to raise the degree of student independence. Tool should be leveled in order to meet students at their reading level. While it should be TEKS aligned, authenticity is important. The skills students build on the program should be transferable to outside the tool. Students should be able to read a variety of genres. The tool should provide alignment to DRA. There should be some scaffolding for assessments.

The tool should provide resources for teachers, such as ideas and suggestions to target those students needs as soon as possible. Also, read alouds for ELL students is a nice to have, but not a non-negotiable.

Students will act as independent learners as much as possible so that they are building the skills to be lifelong readers.

Teachers will act like coaches for this tool. Students will primarily be focused on reading stamina and vocabulary and the data from the tool will provide teachers a way to curate remediation or acceleration opportunities for the students.

The tool must be TEKS aligned. The tool must provide data that is easy to access and in real-time. The tool must have some vocabulary support. The tool should integrate with Google apps. The tool must provide instructional support with resources to help the teacher. The tool must have an ELL read aloud option. The tool should provide authentic reading opportunities (real texts, relevant and meaningful to the student). Students at this school mostly use Chromebooks and iPads, so the tool must be device agnostic. Additionally, a smart board option would be a nice to have. The tool should provide reading level data, DRA if possible. The tool should provide reports on TEKS objectives. It would be nice to know which types of genres students are reading, whether they self select the reading passage or not. If possible, the tool should provide data that represented students time on task and/or texts completed. Additionally, the tool should provide fluency reports. It would be really nice to get reports on how the students are performing according to the MAPS correlations. The school is willing to do this manually, if the tool cannot fully compare the data sets. The tool must integrate with itsLearning and Google.

*Content From 2016

Get our email newsletterSign me up
Keep up to date with our email newsletterSign me up