Read 180 Makes Huge Progress in SW MN
The term “reading intervention,” if it ever was a term, is taking on a new meaning with Read 180, a program that replaces conventional literature book teaching methods in the classroom with large-group and small-group instruction rotations. The use of technology and computer software helps students by allowing them individualized attention.
Read 180 is designed for students in grades 4-12 who are struggling with reading and are two or more years below their grade’s reading level. Different programs are designed for elementary, middle school, high school, special education, and English-language learners.
Each Read 180 session is two hours long and consists of a beginning large-group session, a 60-minute small-group session, and a concluding large-group session. Each small-group session has three parts: Writing skills in small-groups; comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary work with Read 180 computer software; and individual reading time.
Success for Read 180 is surfacing in a southwestern Minnesota school district. Seventh and eighth graders at the Jackson County Central Middle School who are reading below their grade level have been using Read 180’s program for this current academic year.
According to JCC Middle School English teacher, Julie Place, the goal for her students this year was to increase each of their Lexile reader measures by 140. Lexiles are the way to measure a student’s reading level—the higher a student’s Lexile measure, the higher their reading ability. An average student without the help of Read 180 will increase their Lexile measure by 70 in a year’s time. So, an increase of 140 Lexiles would be two years’ worth of grow in just one year’s time. By February, all but five of Place’s students had already reached the goal of a 140 Lexile increase, and she predicts that at least three more will reach the goal by the end of the year.
With this tremendous success, Place has also witnessed improvements in her students’ attitudes. “When kids discuss the program, they talk about how much better they can read tests from other classes, [how] it has built their confidence, and that they are just better at what they do,” said Place.
If a reading program can quickly build not only reading skills but self-esteem at the same time, then Read 180 should have a bright future ahead.