The Science of Learning Blog

April 26, 2021

Accelerate Learning with the New Fast ForWord Component

BY Amy Takabori

We on the Fast ForWord team at Carnegie Learning are committed to continually improving the Fast ForWord program to accelerate learning for your students. We’re pleased to announce that for back-to-school 2021, we will be launching Reading Comprehension, the newest addition to the Fast ForWord program!

What to Expect

  • A concentrated focus on reading comprehension and the sub-skills that build it, from fluent decoding and grammar skills, to comprehension strategies 
  • Practice in reading for understanding with a wide range of texts, including fiction, expository prose, tables, instructions, diagrams, and flowcharts—the kinds of texts that students encounter when reading to learn across the subject areas
  • A new look and feel, with graphics age-appropriate for secondary learners and motivational features to keep students engaged and learning
  • Improved adaptivity and responsiveness, so that individual students get the content they need at the right level of challenge
  • Just-in-time supports, to help students work more independently and stay motivated
  • A safe learning environment, where students can take chances without fear of judgment by their peers
  • The same research-driven design and content that have made Fast ForWord a reliable, evidence-based solution for over 20 years

With the addition of Reading Comprehension, Fast ForWord will accelerate learning for your students, helping you reach your district’s goals to address unfinished learning. Learning loss is no match for the robust brain training that Fast ForWord provides, paired with your students’ natural learning potential and your teachers’ irreplaceable instruction!

Sneak Preview

When your students come back to school this fall, they will have automatic access to Reading Comprehension, which will comprise five exercises. Here’s a sneak preview of the new exercises and the skills they target

1. Art Walk

(Legacy Exercise: Toad Loader)

Goal: Develop reading comprehension skills by manipulating grammatical forms and structures to construct sentences about visual information.

Language/Reading Skills Cognitive Skills
English Grammar Memory
Word Structure & Knowledge Attention
Fluency Processing
Word Learning Strategies Sequencing
Academic Language  
Independent Reading  
Monitoring Comprehension  
Interpreting Visual Information  

Fast ForWord goes deeper than other reading and literacy programs by simultaneously building language/reading skills and the cognitive skills underlying them. Learn more by watching this short video.

2. Cognobot

(Legacy Exercise: Book Monkeys Two)

Goal: Develop reading comprehension skills by answering literal, cause-and-effect, relationship, and inferential questions about fiction and nonfiction texts.

Language/Reading Skills Cognitive Skills
Following Directions Memory
Fluency Attention
Word Learning Strategies Processing
Academic Language Sequencing
Key Ideas & Details  
Independent Reading  
Monitoring Comprehension  
Craft & Structure  
Drawing Inferences  
Interpreting Visual Information  

3. Data Stream

(Legacy Exercise: Lana’s Lanes)

Goal: Develop reading comprehension strategies for both fiction and nonfiction by working with graphic organizers and summaries. 

Language/Reading Skills Cognitive Skills
Fluency Memory
Word Learning Strategies Attention
Academic Language Processing
Key Ideas & Details Sequencing
Independent Reading  
Monitoring Comprehension  
Craft & Structure  
Drawing Inferences  
Interpreting Visual Information  

4. Print Shop

(Legacy Exercise: Goat Quotes)

Goal: Develop reading comprehension skills by selecting the correct paraphrase of a narrative text.

Language/Reading Skills Cognitive Skills
English Grammar Memory
Word Structure & Knowledge Attention
Fluency Processing
Key Ideas & Details Sequencing
Independent Reading  
Monitoring Comprehension  

5. Road Trip

(Legacy Exercise: Stinky Bill’s Billboard)

Goal: Develop reading comprehension skills by selecting the best word to complete a sentence.

Language/Reading Skills Cognitive Skills
Phonics/Decoding Memory
Word Structure & Knowledge Attention
Fluency Processing
Word Learning Strategies Sequencing
Academic Language  
Independent Reading  
Monitoring Comprehension  

Learn more about the K-12 Fast ForWord reading and literacy program by downloading the info pack.

15 comments on “Accelerate Learning with the New Fast ForWord Component”

    1. Thanks for your question, Ann! Reading Comprehension up-cycles some exercises from the legacy Reading Level 4 and Reading Level 5 components. See what legacy exercises the new Reading Comprehension exercises are based on by looking below each exercise title in this blog post.

  1. How will students be placed into the Comprehension component? Is there a placement test? Can this be the only part of Fast Forword that student utilize? Can teachers place students into this track? Will these activities be incorporated into the Level 1 activities?

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful questions, Carrie! The placement process will remain the same: If Auto Assign is on, students will be placed into Reading Comprehension based on their Reading Progress Indicator scores and Fast ForWord use history. However, teachers can manually place students directly into Reading Comprehension if desired.

      You can assign just the Reading Comprehension component to students, though it comes bundled with the entire Fast ForWord solution. If your students are working on Reading Comprehension, they would likely benefit greatly from also working in the Reading Assistant Plus component.

      Reading Level 1 is a separate component from Reading Comprehension and comes earlier in the scope and sequence. View the full scope and sequence here: https://discover.carnegielearning.com/rs/041-RWW-195/images/2021_FFW_Scope-and-Sequence-Guide.pdf

      Let us know if you have any other questions! You can also email [email protected].

  2. Will there be new Fast ForWord games besides this? When does this start? Will there be new Reading Assistant content soon? If so, when? Thank you.

    1. Thanks for your interest, Shira! Reading Comprehension will be available in time for back-to-school this year. While additional content for Reading Assistant Plus is not in the immediate future, we're excited to soon be offering exercises focused on reading comprehension that will be an excellent complement to Reading Assistant Plus.

  3. I am sooo excited to hear this great news!! Thank you:) If there is a beta testing, I'd like to be a part of it!

    1. Thank you for sharing your excitement, Sharon! We will not be beta testing Reading Comprehension with customers, but we're looking forward to receiving your feedback post-release!

  4. Have there been any significant changes or updates to the RPI? I am aware I can place students into specific programs without assigning a RPI.

    1. Thanks for your question, Kim! There haven’t been significant updates to RPI recently, but we have made some tweaks to improve auto-assignment. You can still choose to manually assign students to components as well. Feel free to reach out to [email protected] with more questions!

  5. I wish Wood Works and Quack Splash were reformulated rather than removed, but overall I like this.

  6. Hello! We were very excited about this new component. We use the Fast Forword Program with many of our clients. We also recommend it to many friends, both in person and via social media. We are satisfied with the Fast Forword Program. However, the absence of DEMO apps in the Reading Assistant section is a big deficiency. Is it possible to solve this need urgently? We wish you good work. B-RAINBOW ACADEMY Ankara Turkey

    1. Thank you for sharing your excitement and enthusiasm! We also appreciate your feedback about demos--I will pass that along to our product team!

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