An Interview with Kim Reddig, Speech Language Pathologist Van Gorder Elementary School, Washoe School District, Sparks, NV
The parents of a child with dyslexia introduced our school to MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach (MVRC). We saw this student getting positive results and thought it would benefit other students. Once our special education department received training and understood the program better, we were able to show our principal the value of MVRC, and she graciously bought subscriptions for 40 of our students: 25 students are on MVRC and 15 on MindPlay Reading Fluency (previously called FLRT- a fluent reading trainer). Fifty percent of these first to sixth grade students are special education students. Students work in the computer lab independently with support from myself, the principal, and a computer technician during their reading intervention time.
They work on the program 25 minutes a day, five days a week. Most students have been on the program since January. In addition, teachers are seeing results and have recommended the family subscription to some of our families. Currently about 10 families in our school have purchased a home subscription.
Motivated Students Improve Their Reading Skills
Students’ levels of success on MVRC and Reading Fluency vary based on how much time they use the program at school and home. Each student has made approximately a grade level of improvement since January.
Ripple effects: Students are becoming more competent in their reading skills and feel more confident when they read aloud in their classrooms. The program motivates them to take ownership of their own learning.
We are having the most success with second to fourth grade students. The program gives them an opportunity to develop the skills they are missing. Students keep track of their own schedule and do not want to miss their reading intervention time. Students thrive on the adult positive reinforcement they are getting. They like printing the certificates for each level passed, earning school wide reinforcement tickets, and choosing items from the student store.
They are also motivated by being able to change the themes on the computer screen. The data generated by MVRC is a huge component of why our teachers enjoy using this program. I can show parents what their child is working on and how the program and school are supporting them. For example, I can show parents targeted instructions in phonics for their child. They can see what skills are easy and difficult and how their child is progressing.
As a speech pathologist, I especially like the speech/language and visual/auditory components of MVRC. It helps me target specific areas of difficulty for each student. In collaboration with the general education teachers, we are able to target specific skill gaps and work on them. If a student spends two hours on blends, I find a way to work on this skill differently in the classroom and address how his/her brain is interpreting information. I can dial in to what each student needs.