- School District: Baldwin County School District
- Schools: Daphne South Elementary
- Number of Students: 306
- Grades: 4th-5th
- Population: Students predominately Caucasian; Students eligible for free or reduced price lunch over 30%
- School Structure: Small Town
School-wide Success in Alabama Using Reading Assistant Software
Daphne Elementary School South in Daphne, AL, has used Reading Assistant to develop the reading fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension of the entire student body. The students working with the program include mainstream and remedial readers, as well as English Language Learners (ELL), and Special Education students.
School-wide usage of Reading Assistant software began in September of the 2006-7 school year after success with Special Education students the previous year.
“One of my students began the year reading between 27 and 32 words per minute, says Kathy Smith, a Special Education Teacher who encouraged Daphne to adopt the program. “After using [Reading Assistant], his average is up to 70 words per minute. His progress has also led to significant improvements in his other studies,”.
Teachers have seen success stories across the school. “Students feel reading is more fun using the technology,” says fifth grade teacher Benita Battle. “The program seems to motivate them to read more so than traditional books.”
Students Benefit From The Technology
“I love [Reading Assistant] because no one judges me while I read,” says, one of Battle’s students. My classmates don’t know about the mistakes I make, and I have a chance to correct them all on my own. Being able to record my voice and then listen to it is pretty cool too!”
ELL students have benefitted from using Reading Assistant software because they can spend extra time listening to, and reading, vocabulary words in context. All students have benefitted from answering comprehension questions so that they focus on the meaning of the text.
Teachers Are More Efficient
Teachers have been able to review the detailed records the program provides on their students, which include audio recordings, specific errors, current status and trend lines.
Dana Horst, Daphne’s Principal, comments, “The […] Reading Assistant helps teachers as much as it does its students by freeing up their time to focus on core teaching. It also provides that one-to-one ratio that so many students need, but are unable to get, because teachers have to tend to twenty or more students at all times.”