An online tool for helping kids learn to read is likely to be a hit with classroom teachers, thanks to a recent upgrade. The LaunchPad Learning home reading support program now incorporates Lexile-based evaluation, providing a more precise measure of a child’s reading achievement.
Parents who subscribe to LaunchPad Learning will now be able to target their child’s Lexile-based reading score. Based on that figure, and an online form that allows students to choose the types of books they like to read, LaunchPad Learning will ship two books a month to their home. As students complete the titles, they take fun, interactive quizzes on the LaunchPad Web site and get a recalculated reading score. Readers receive progressively more challenging books in their favorite genres, and parents will be able to track their progress.
Endorsed by reading experts such as the former director of the U.S. Department of Education, LaunchPad Learning is now positioned to benefit teachers as well as parents.
“Teachers are my heroes,” said LaunchPad Learning CEO Ed Monagle. “There is such a big gap between the best readers and those who struggle—teachers are faced with the task of teaching effectively to both ends of the spectrum. I don’t know how they do it.”
Because LaunchPad helps reduce the skill gap between students on both ends of the reading spectrum, the teacher’s job becomes a bit easier, Monagle explained. The product’s use of Lexiles to gauge student reading levels is the driving force behind its effectiveness, he added.
Monagle’s desire to incorporate Lexiles into the LaunchPad Learning program is what led him to partner with TotalReader, a leader in Lexile-based reading evaluation.
“TotalReader is one of these measurement tools that is fabulous,” he said. “When I saw what it did, I said, ‘Every teacher in America should be using this.’ Think about having batting averages for every kid in your class. You can look and say that Student A is at 341 and Student B is 412, which are very precise figures. The beautiful thing about this is that Total Reader updates the test every month, so it is incredible accurate.”
Total Reader employs the Lexile Framework for Reading, a scientific approach to reading measurement that matches readers to text. Developed by MetaMetrics, Inc., an independent education company focused on using technology to bridge assessment and instruction, Lexile is the most widely adopted reading gauge in use today. Millions of written works have Lexile measures, and all major standardized tests offer student reading scores in Lexiles.
Monagle stressed that while LaunchPad Learning is aimed squarely at parents, it also can have a direct impact on classroom effectiveness.
“Teachers can look at this as something that’s positive,” Monagle said. “It can increase students’ reading levels, and it isn’t going to cost the school anything. Why wouldn’t you tell all your parents about it?”
Editor’s Note: Total Reader’s parent company is EDmin, of which EducationWorld is also a part.