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Texas Success! The holidays arrive early for the public schools of Texas.

The holidays arrived early for the public schools of Texas!  This August TEA and ESC Region 20 rolled out Texas SUCCESS, an umbrella initiative that encompasses two outstanding computer-based interactive programs designed to support student growth in the critical areas of math and reading.

Istation Reading and Think Through Math are both research-based, highly rated, widely used computer programs that support individualized student progress in reading and math both at school and at home.

Think Through Math targets the development of critical thinking and problem solving skills necessary for students to be successful with Pre-Algebra and Algebra concepts.  Students take an adaptive placement assessment upon initial log in and are placed on a TEKS aligned, grade-level learning pathway.  However, if the student shows areas of skill weakness, TTM will insert precursor lessons to fill in the necessary learning gaps until the student is ready to continue along his or her pathway.  Lessons include warm-ups, focus sessions, guided practice, independent practice and quizzes, and each step of the way the student receives immediate feedback and reteaching as necessary.  A unique feature of TTM is the availability of a live, certified math teacher (Spanish bilingual available) from whom the student can get help if he or she is continuing to struggle with a difficult concept.  Students earn points as they complete math problems, and they are able to cash in their points for motivational prizes and track their own progress toward their learning goals.  Teachers have access to student performance data that they can use to inform class and small group instruction and that can also be used as documentation for parents and intervention planning.

Istation Reading, while an entirely different entity from TTM, touts a similar goal:  meet each student at his or her current level and provide individualized support toward academic growth.  Istation utilizes a research and standards based ISIP (Istation’s Indicators of Progress) assessment to determine a student’s initial reading level.  The program is set up to automatically progress monitor students monthly, but teachers also have the option of initiating on-demand assessments to monitor the progress of particular students they are working with in small groups on specific skill development.  The students progress through ability appropriate game-like lesson “cycles” that move them through the “learning to read” stage of reading development (emphasis on phonics and phonemic awareness) and into the “reading to learn” stage (emphasis on TEKS aligned skills such as main idea, cause and effect, compare/contrast, etc.).  The reading materials in this stage of the program are multi-genre (fiction, poetry, non-fiction) with a science focus to support the development of content area vocabulary and reinforce the concepts being taught in the science classroom.  Teachers have access to detailed reports of student progress, and Istation includes a library of over 1,900 scripted lessons and more than 150 books teachers can utilize to target skill development during small group instruction.

Access to Istation Reading and Think Through Math are available FREE to public school students in grades 3-8.  Students have access to the programs both during the school day and at home.  The programs are not just for struggling students; all students can benefit from individualized lessons and practice designed to support their academic growth.  Many schools in Texas and beyond have seen impressive results from implementing Istation and/or TTM, and the students, teachers and schools of Texas are fortunate to have such powerful resources available to them at no charge.

If you are interested in taking advantage of the Texas SUCCESS resources in your school or district, log on to www.texassuccess.org.  There you will find more information, some FAQs, and the steps necessary to sign up your organization.  If you have questions you can contact us at Region 13.  We will be happy to assist you in any way we can in your implementation of these exciting new resources!

Contact Leslie Barrett at leslie.barrett@esc13.txed.net for more information

 

 

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