The target population was a group of second graders who come into the Title I Reading Corner because they are reading below grade level. Teachers work with them in a small group setting and incorporate a variety of reading strategies to help them improve their reading vocabulary, fluency and comprehension.

With this pilot group, fifteen students worked on the computer using the program, Reading Comprehension from Essential Skills twice a week. They averaged about ten units, 154 activities with an average score of 80%. Students were pre-tested with DIBELS, Dynamic Indicators of Early Literacy Skills, in August and post-tested with DIBELS in May. Students gained an average of 34 points, which is a significant increase from last year.

All of the students were glad when it was their turn to work at the computer and would have enjoyed doing this every day. They enjoyed the variety of activities. We had several boys this year who had a difficult time sitting still and listening to the teacher. But when it was their turn for the computer to work on the Reading Comprehension program, they were ready to go with no complaints. Two of the second graders finished all 30 units in the program; one with an average of 95%.

We used Reading Comprehension level 3 with our fourth and fifth graders. They also made excellent progress in the program. One fourth grader, in particular, was very successful. He came in January speaking little English and reading none.

He worked on the Reading Comprehension program and worked 1:1 with a high school tutor for thirty minutes, four times a week. His testing in May showed more than a year’s growth in reading. An important part of his success was Essential Skills. He enjoyed it and worked slowly and carefully, asking questions as needed.

Janet Barlow
Title I Teacher
Tombaugh Elementary
Las Cruces, New Mexico