Riverside School 44 has been a 1:1 school now for just over half a school year, but having an iPad for every student during their reading time has already paid off in both measurable and immeasurable ways for students there.

For 30 minutes each day (more if needed), each student uses the Lexia Reading Core5 program on their iPad for guided reading activities. The program can gauge what level the student is at currently, so each student is working right at their level on the skills they need. Within each reading level are categories, and students must master those categories to progress to the next level.

“The program is focused on mastery of skills,” said Riverside Principal Kirshawndra Davis. “It reduces student frustration because students are working on the right skills for them.”

The program helps teachers as well. The data collected on how each student is doing is immediately available through easy-to-read metrics. Teachers can see at which levels students are, which students are growing, and which are predicted to pass IREAD-3 or ISTEP+. Core5 can even tell teachers when it can’t help a student and when a teacher should provide additional instruction.

David Weightman, a 4th grade teacher at Riverside, said the program is outstanding. “Students’ scores have really gone up, and they are mastering reading skills.”
Principal Davis supported this by noting that at the halfway point of the year, her students’ scores had already hit the score the district had Riverside aiming at for the full year.
Melissa Mullins, a 1st grade teacher, said, “It has made a difference.” Many of her students started the year reading at a preschool level. Now, nearly all are reading at grade level. “And they absolutely love it.”
“It has fun games,” said 1st grader Jasslyn H. “I like to pass levels and get to play new games.”
Keyshon A., a 4th grader, agreed, “You get to go on different levels, learn a lot and do different stuff.”
The school encourages the excitement of “leveling up” in Core5 by calling students who move up a level to the principal’s office to receive a certificate of achievement and a small prize, like a pencil. Principal Davis said that even such small recognition is important. “It’s immediate reinforcement of their mastery.”
And she sees students’ attitudes about reading changing. More students now want to work on the Core5 program, or even just read other books available, in the school reading room before or after school. “For students to feel that reading is a privilege, a reward, and to get excited about it is a big deal,” said Davis.

The Riverside 1:1 iPad program and Lexia Reading Core5 software have exceeded Davis’ expectations. They have closed the digital divide and given her students much needed experience with technology. They have increased her students’ reading skills. And maybe most importantly, they have helped create a building full of students who love to read!