• InnovateK12 Team

Reading Boost for At-Risk Students

What was the observed problem? Struggling readers, who outside of the schools walls have few people to sit and read with them, are often also not in language-rich environments. To help them grow in reading they need to see words in print and be able to hear those words (correctly). Not everyone will love reading, but for struggling readers it is a chore.

What was your proposed solution? Let's create the opportunity for every student to be read to every day. Using technology this can happen for ALL students. I want to provide struggling readers a resource to hear someone reading to them on a nightly basis. Each night they could leave with an MP3 player, headphones, and books from school! This provides students an alternative to using a smartphone of parents/aunts/uncles and does not require internet service. Older students can be the storytellers, or narrators - the possibilities are endless

How did you "lean" test your solution? What was the result? In the spring, we ordered supplies for 30 book bags, enough for every student in the pilot 2nd grade class. Audio files of the books were loaded onto MP3 players and students were allowed to check out and exchange new books daily. Kellie observed an increased interest in reading in her students. This was observed through the frequency with which students exchanged books, comments, and conversation that she had with students about the books in their bag.

What is the current status of your project?Reading Boost Bags are a HIT! Students are coming to school each week, eager to get a "new" bag of books for the week. Students are requesting specific bags! "Please, can I have bag 5 again?"A parent, who I have seen a few times since conferences (introducing of the bag's purpose), gets emotional each time we chat. Her son is now interested, yes interested in reading! She commented how she and her husband watch in amazement as he reads every single night - either with the book and MP3 player, or reading the book to himself. One of the greatest things I want to mention is that I have purchased all of the same books for the classroom library - when students see the books they are listening to at home... I can't even explain the impact that has on them. It is a definite confidence builder, these students are in different guided reading groups and I am a witness to seeing them respond in a more self-assured way - they are conversing with peers about the main idea of a story and they know IT IS OKAY to not have the same idea!! These students are becoming part of their learning.

Update: https://innovation.isd911.org/projects/reading-boost