Our leadership team at Reading Plus has been engaged in deep work on our company over the past few months. Part of that work has been, for me, a rediscovery of our student product’s knock-on-effect in terms of motivation.
Reading Plus assesses students when they start using the program. The assessment has multiple dimensions – vocabulary, fluency, comprehension, and motivation. The goal is to determine the reading profile of the student to set up an instructional program that best meets their needs. Is this a student who reads at a high comprehension / high vocabulary level, but reads very slowly? Is this a student who reads with good comprehension, but doesn’t read much because they don’t see themselves as a good reader? What scaffolds does this student need to be more successful?
I’ve been watching my son develop as a reader these past few years, and have noticed that he reads well but doesn’t seem to enjoy it. We have tried different topics and non/fiction options. Nothing seemed to catch him.
So in the best tradition of Piaget, I set my son up to be assessed by Reading Plus.
He completed the assessment and I was able to review the results with him. It was illuminating. His vocabulary level was very high – 11th grade, for a 4th grader – and his reading comprehension level was that of a 5th grader, albeit with a reading rate below what a 5th grade reading rate would be for a proficient reader.
But it was the motivational inventory that was most striking. Despite his abilities, he didn’t think of himself as a good reader. This turned him off to the idea of reading in general.
When he saw the results, the wheels started to turn. He immediately felt a sense of confidence about reading. We started him on the program, with an instructional path based on his results.
It’s now a few weeks into the program. His reading rate is almost at 5th grade levels, and his comprehension is steady. His sense of accomplishment grows with each lesson.
We built the core SeeReader program almost 6 years ago, when I was leading the development team. Since then I’ve moved on to other parts of the company, learning more about the “business side” of the business. But it’s profoundly gratifying to see that after all these years, what we built still works, better than ever, and in a real world, personal way.