IDEAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
Written by THRIVE Program Teacher, Tyson Schoeber • Last Updated: 09.04.2013
Having used the Academy of Reading and Academy of Math in my classroom since 2008, I see them as very good teaching tools. That said, this page outlines my thoughts on how some small tweaks and the addition of a few new features could make these programs even better!
I have shared these ideas with different people in the company over the years and I am posting them here in the hope of keeping them alive! Note that some of these ideas are quite closely related. Feel free to contact me if you have other ideas!
ACADEMY OF READING
- Relax the built-in
Mastery Criteriaa little.
Much of the program is made up of Auditory/Visual Match exercises that help students to match a spoken sound to the letter (or combination of letters) that spell it. The program pushes students to prove that they have learned these skills in two ways. Kids need to show a very high level of accuracy and they must do so at a consistent pace. It is the second of these demands that I find to be a bit too strict. At present, the program insists that kids post an average variance of no more than 120 milliseconds per question over three consecutive sets of 50 items (i.e. 150 questions in total). I have seen many kids try SUPER hard, only to fail to meet this demand by a very small margin. Therefore, I suggest that increasing the allowable variance a little (to something like 200 ms) would see VASTLY improved results!
- Build a METRONOME into the program to assist kids who struggle.
Another page of our website describes how using an external metronome alongside this program can be incredibly helpful to some students. This idea is explored in much more detail in a letter that I wrote to the company awhile back. In short, I believe that building a metronome into the software would help a lot of students find more success with the program.