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Reading Instruction Leader MindPlay Introduces Newly Branded Online Products for K-12 Students and Teachers

Michael Vergara Published: February 10, 2015

MindPlay’s student users now include a wider spectrum of ages and it expanded into professional development for teachers with the launch of Teacher Companion last month

Tucson, AZ, Feb. 10, 2015 – Literacy publisher MindPlay announced that is has created new corporate and product brands to reflect the full range of student ages that it now serves in K-12, through adult teacher learners. MindPlay built its reputation as an excellent literacy publisher helping young students who were struggling to read successfully learn to read at schools. As it helped over 6 million people learn to read in its 30 year history, the company grew a suite of products to serve all students K-12, and expanded into professional development for teachers. With one professional development product currently available, MindPlay Teacher Companion, it plans to release two more products for teachers this year. The company is combining its brand into one cohesive branding effort. The expanded product range inspired MindPlay’s 21st century makeover with a new cutting edge look and feel. MindPlay reading products are state of the art and fresh after new updated online versions released last year, so the company created new brands to match. The MindPlay website at www.mindplay.com also was redesigned with a new modern look to better serve all customers.

Product names have been updated along with their individual brands and the MindPlay corporate brand. MindPlay’s suite of online-based reading products for K-12 students include RAPS 360, now called MindPlay Universal Screener; MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach; and FLRT®, now called MindPlay Reading Fluency. These are all aligned to Common Core State Standards, used by 42 states. The newest product released a couple months ago, MindPlay Teacher Companion, is the first in a series of online professional development products for reading and primary teachers authored by Drs. Nancy Mather and Blanche Podhajski.

“MindPlay is offering a range of Common Core aligned, 21st Century online reading products that have grown over the years to address students of all ages in K-12, and now teachers as well,” said Judith Bliss, MindPlay President. “Our new image reflects the modernization of our effective research-based learn-to-read products, our growth with new products, and welcomes a new audience of teacher learners. It is an exciting new chapter in which we will work together with teachers in new ways to improve students’ reading performance.”

MindPlay Universal Screener (RAPS 360) is a diagnostic reading assessment program that automatically tests and diagnoses basic reading skills and weaknesses for a single student, a classroom, the entire school or school district population. It measures student reading behaviors using eight diagnostic tests in under thirty minutes. The tests include: Comprehension Screening Assessment, Phoneme Segmentation, Listen Vocabulary, Phonics-Decoding/Encoding Assessment, Visual Scanning Efficiency Screener, Natural Fluency Assessment, Expected Fluency Screening, and the Pause-Assisted Fluency Assessment (Reading Connected Text Assessment). These assessment test sets provide a Benchmark Screening or a quick progress monitoring. Depending on the test set and student performance, students may take as few as one or as many as six assessments. The adaptive and automated program develops student prescriptions for improvement and generates instant reports for individuals, classes, schools and districts.

MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach® improves reading performance through direct instruction. MindPlay’s comprehensive web-based learn-to-read program for schools is backed with a guarantee of student success in reading. Upgraded last year, the reading curriculum is for grades K-12. All stories within the Web-based MVRC are assigned Lexile® ratings by MetaMetrics®. MindPlay’s Lexile text complexity ratings are consistent with Common Core State Standards. MVRC helps students improve their reading skills measurably in 40 hours or less by differentiating instruction for each student. Using explicit and direct, differentiated instruction by reading specialists and speech pathologists, students work at their own pace. The program helps all students improve their reading, and is appropriate for special needs, dyslexic, struggling readers, and intermediate to advanced English language learners.
Based on years of research and successful case studies, MindPlay guarantees schools that 90 percent of students will gain at least two grade-levels of improvement in reading when using MVRC four days a week for 30 minutes each day, or MindPlay will refund their purchase.  The program is cloud-based. Students are engaged by seven “virtual” video reading coach instructors who provide direct, explicit instruction.

MindPlay Reading Fluency (FLRT) for K-12 students is a personal trainer for silent reading that was updated last year for text complexity and to include comprehension, now at the heart of Common Core State Standards. Stories in the program are certified by MetaMetrics® to meet Common Core text complexity and Lexile™ reading level requirements. MindPlay Reading Fluency is designed to help students measurably improve their reading level and speed after using the program for at least 10 hours by differentiating practice for each student and enabling them to work at their own pace. The latest version is fully mobile and enables educators and students to use MindPlay Reading Fluency on any computer with an Internet connection, as well as on iPads and other tablets. The program automatically benchmarks the students at the start of the program and optionally every two weeks thereafter.

MindPlay just launched a new professional development course to immerse K-12 school teachers in best practices and expert knowledge on effective reading instruction strategies. MindPlay Teacher Companion is  an online course that uses a combination of lectures, videos, written information, and activities, organized into eight modules to help teachers gain a more complete understanding of how the English language works and what every student needs to become a proficient reader. Teachers can earn up to eight hours of professional development credits for successfully completing the course.

The MindPlay Teacher Companion is an online reading program designed to help teachers learn about scientifically-based reading instruction. The Teacher Companion describes the major components of systematic reading instruction and uses examples from the MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach (MVRC) to demonstrate specific concepts or skills. Both the Teacher Companion and MVRC are built on decades of rigorous reading research. Using these programs, students become skillful readers, and teachers are able to provide more effective instruction.


More than 30 years ago, Founder Judith Bliss started the MindPlay Company to create a solution to overcome the challenges that students face when learning how to read.  MindPlay’s mission is to develop, publish, and distribute cost-effective learning tools that support individual reading growth and skill development. The curriculum includes clear objectives, inviting graphics and modern technological innovations. MindPlay educational software programs appeal to multiple learning styles, identify individual student needs, and provide differentiated reading instruction to all students.

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