Reading Plus at International Community High School in the Bronx

(music) Reading Plus is an online program that develops reading skills. And, the combination of the three different activities does actually teach kids skills they need to read. And then, the data that it produces for students and teachers is a really powerful tool for helping them progress even faster and further. I used Reading Plus throughout my class last year, both eleventh and twelfth grade. Basically, it was sort of a differentiated, individualized reading program to improve their reading comprehension and to help them decode complex texts to prepare them, both for the Regents Exam, and for college and beyond. So, when I saw actual data from kids, and I saw how easy it was for the kids to get on it and pick it up within a matter of one lesson, it struck me as something that… We finally have a product that can help our kids move forward. There are three parts of the program. iBalance… The kids sort of experience it as games. What I enjoy in Reading Plus? It’s simple. It’s like a game. It’s like the computer and you are the competition. You know what I mean? There is also a vocabulary component called ReadAround. ReadAround is my favorite, but I love all of them because it’s all about helping you, and your future… to speak and understand English better. And finally, sort of the ‘big deal’ one is the SeeReader, which is reading comprehension. They give you choices. If you like to read stories about technology, about classics, or about, like, science… anything you like. Because, they said that if you read about something you like, it’s gonna help you a lot. But what’s really amazing about this part of the program is: Every time the kid answers a question, it goes into their data bank and so you can say, “Oh, you know, you’re really good at sequencing events, but you’re struggling with the author’s purpose.” And you can talk to the kid with that amount of detail about what they need to work on and what they know how to do. Reading Plus is an incredibly powerful tool for teachers to use to help students. But, if there is not a relationship where the student sees that the teacher cares about them, saying, “Look, this is what you’re good at, and this is what you need to work on, and here’s how you can work on it.” And then they can watch that progress together. A good teacher, who’s open to using whatever resources they can to help their students progress, is going to see the value in it, and is going to figure out how to make it work for them and their students. It’s preparing them to be able to read a job application, to be able to read their credit scores, for being able to read the newspaper and actually understand what’s going on. Let’s say I’m trying to be an engineer. And, I mean, I don’t know that much of English. Who’s gonna get the job first? Somebody who knows English, or me? (music) In the future, I want to be a computer assistant. Working in the government or something like that. I’m planning to be, like, in architecture. My plan is to study psychology. I want to be a graphic designer. So, in the future, I want to be in business administration. So, those stuff involve about reading stuff. You know what I mean? And, it’s gonna help me for the future. So, to teach other people, and even if become a teacher here, or in my country, or any country around the world, I could teach them English. That’s great. My reading skill was like… reading, like, a page would take me, like, ten minutes. But since I started Reading Plus, like, even if it’s a long page, it takes me like five to three minutes. It’s helped me a lot, because I can communicate with other people without being nervous and confused… What I can say. But now I am very confident by myself and very proud for me. I owe some things that I know to Reading Plus. When I get a job, a professional job in the future, I’m gonna be using things that I learned here with Reading Plus. (music)

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