An Interview with Dr. Sonya Campbell, EdD, Principal; Alexander Elementary School, Greenville, South Carolina
In August of 2015, we ran a MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach (MVRC) pilot program for all 450 students (250 K – 2nd and 200 3rd – 5th graders). When our students began MVRC, they only worked on it for approximately one hour per week. In January of 2016, our K-2 students used it with fidelity.
When using MVRC for a minimum of thirty minutes a day, five days a week, we saw outstanding success. Once the teachers and students were recognized for their achievements, their tangible success became their primary motivation to use MVRC.
The greatest gains were being made in grades K-2 .The data showed that we began with 78% of the students as critical (two years below grade level) and 22% were approaching (one year below grade level). Even though they were one to two years below grade level, we ended the year with 100% either approaching or meeting phonics level 1. We have only 20% who still need to work on phonics 1.
The remaining students are up to levels 3 and 4. First and second grade students (in the pilot) showed one to two levels of growth in reading, based on their MVRC scores. The average gain for grades K-2 was 1.75 years. We saw the greatest amount of success with the second grade students who used the program the most, with 50 hours 47 minutes and 1.86 years growth.
In one second grade classroom, the teacher utilized MindPlay within the classroom for a whole group instruction to teach sounds and in small groups to reinforce skills. In another second grade classroom, the teacher implemented reading instruction while the interventionist used MVRC.
In May of 2016, over 50% of these second grade students met the 2nd grade level goal based on MAP test scores. The teacher stated that these were the highest reading gains she had seen.