I am a first-grade, two-way, dual immersion teacher. As you can imagine I have less time and more content to fit into an instructional period with my students. I knew that with close to 50 students I would have a wide range of Language Arts levels. I needed to make sure I was providing the highest quality access to the English language without a minute to waste.
Having access to MindPlay (MVRC) for a trial period enabled me to maintain high levels of instruction at all times. During our daily intervention, I implemented a technology-led intervention. I was so excited about the program’s ability to give instruction and assessment on Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Grammar, Comprehension, and Fluency at the level that each student needs. It is true differentiation at its best. As students receive instruction and assessment, information from previous lessons is spiraled through to ensure that students are retaining information.
The wonderful thing that is provided for teachers is the data collection that informs me of specific skills students need more instruction on. I use this data to pull back small groups of students that need specific direct instruction. I am also able to easily do my small group guided reading lessons, running records, and progress monitoring for DIBELS because all students are engaged in their zone of proximal development.
My students that are Beyond are able to accelerate instruction because they are self-paced and self-motivated, moving far beyond the instruction that first grade will provide. My On-level students are engaged and also intrinsically motivated to excel. My students who are Approaching are able to get multiple exposures to concepts and instruction on their level; first with me, then with MindPlay on the computer. Even students with learning disabilities are engaged and motivated. They have many opportunities to succeed in my class.
I always smile when I am giving a whole group lesson because students will frequently justify their thinking on how to spell or read a word by explaining that they learned it on MindPlay. For example, I had a student explain that she knew to use the -tch ending in a word that had a short vowel sound right before the -tch sound, like in the words: catch, pitch, and hatch.
I have found our whole group lessons have been enriched by the reinforcement that is given through this technology intervention. I highly recommend and hope that you will consider MVRC, MindPlay as a source of quality instruction that can meet the needs of many students.
– Heidi I., Teacher, 1st Grade