SOURCE: MetaMetrics

MetaMetrics

May 28, 2015 12:30 ET

Reading Horizons Partners With MetaMetrics to Enhance Literacy Software Program

The Reading Instruction Program Now Features Computer-Administered Assessments Developed With Input From Teachers

DURHAM, NC--(Marketwired - May 28, 2015) - On June 30, 2015, Reading Horizons is launching Version 7.0 of its award-winning software, Reading Horizons Elevate™. Enhancing what is already a highly successful reading instruction program for students fourth grade and older, Reading Horizons has added all-new, computer-administered assessments to the software. Listed in the order that students take them, the new assessments are the Phonics Screener, the Reading Library Assessment, and Diagnostic and Progress Monitoring Assessments.

The Phonics Screener helps teachers determine whether a student should receive Reading Horizons Elevate instruction or already has mastered the skills covered in the course. In this assessment, every student is asked to spell 35 words that embody each of the phonics skills taught and practiced in Reading Horizons Elevate. If a student spells a word correctly, the computer determines that the student has mastered the phonics skills associated with that word. If a student does not spell a word correctly, the Diagnostic Assessment will test further to determine how much and what kind of skill instruction the student needs. Data is recorded in an updated Class Summary Report in the software's administration system.

The Reading Library Assessment is powered by the Lexile® Framework for Reading and was created in partnership with MetaMetrics® to identify and monitor each student's Lexile measure within the Reading Horizons Elevate Software. A Lexile measure indicates the level of complexity of a reading passage or book that a student is capable of reading. The assessment's initial Lexile measure serves as a benchmark for gauging student progress as well as unlocks level-appropriate reading passages in the software which can be used to help students find reading materials that match their reading ability outside of the software. Additional Reading Library Assessments are given periodically throughout the course to show reading improvement. Student performance data is compiled in a Lexile Report that educators can view in the software's administration system.

"The new Reading Library Assessment utilizes the Lexile® Framework for Reading, which provides a valid Lexile reader measure to ensure that reading passages in the Reading Library are appropriate for each student. This new assessment also tracks student gains with progress monitoring," said Heidi Hyte, ESL director and curriculum coach at Reading Horizons.

"Individualized learning is one of our core beliefs for improving education for students at all skill levels, so it is with great excitement that we announce our part in Reading Horizons Elevate's newest release," said Malbert Smith, Ph.D., president and co-founder of MetaMetrics. "Version 7.0 will track students' ability levels and growth throughout their education career, reporting Lexile measures at every assessment step. When Reading Horizons reports Lexile measures for their students, they are instantly connecting their students to an extensive database of targeted reading materials."

The Diagnostic Assessment is an adaptive test that assesses the depth of skill mastery and prescribes lesson tracks targeted to match each student's level of competency for each skill. There are four lesson tracks -- Mastered, Advanced, Basic, or Novice -- to ensure students receive completely targeted instruction. The Diagnostic Assessment is administered before students begin the software lessons.

After each chapter in the course has been completed, a Progress Monitoring Assessment is given to test student mastery of the skills covered in that chapter. Assessment results help the software adapt to the unique needs of each student and provide teachers with data to monitor student progress.

In keeping with its proud tradition of using teacher input in the development of its products, Reading Horizons solicited and incorporated teacher feedback to develop this new version of the software. Input also came from Reading Horizons staff members who are current and former teachers.

As a seasoned ESL teacher and adult literacy specialist, Reading Horizons ESL Director and Curriculum Coach Heidi Hyte appreciates the challenges that teachers face in today's classroom -- which is why she is doubly excited about the new features and benefits of the software. She explains, "The new computer-administered assessments relieve teachers of the responsibility of finding time to administer the student assessments one on one. The new Reading Library Assessment is powered by the Lexile® Framework for Reading, which provides a valid Lexile reader measure to ensure that reading passages in the Reading Library are appropriate for each student. This new assessment also tracks student gains with progress monitoring. Additionally, reports were modified to reflect a larger snapshot of student and class progress with more quantified data to track usage and progress and to help differentiate instruction for in-class small group work."

Re-emphasizing the value that Reading Horizons places on educators' opinions and experiences, Hyte adds, "We will continue to consider ongoing customer feedback as we produce future releases of this revolutionary software."

About Reading Horizons:

Founded in 1984, Reading Horizons provides teacher training, teacher's manuals, and interactive software that empower teachers to effectively teach beginning readers, struggling readers, and English Language Learners. By learning the core of the Reading Horizons framework (The 42 Sounds of the Alphabet, Five Phonetic Skills, and Two Decoding Skills), students have all of the skills they need to read the vast majority of words in the English language. The Reading Horizons program is currently offered in over 10,000 schools across the country. Follow Reading Horizons at www.readinghorizons.com.

About MetaMetrics:

MetaMetrics is focused on improving education for learners of all ages and ability levels. The organization develops scientific measures of academic achievement and complementary technologies that link assessment results with real-world instruction. MetaMetrics' products and services for reading (The Lexile® Framework for Reading, El Sistema Lexile® para Leer), mathematics (The Quantile® Framework for Mathematics) and writing (The Lexile® Framework for Writing) provide unique insights about academic ability and the potential for growth, enabling individuals to achieve their goals at every stage of development. Connect with the organization at blog.lexile.com.

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