Prattville Primary School — Autauga County School District, AL
Prattville Primary School Students Make Literacy Gains through Personalized Learning
“Lexia Reading Core5 provides the tools students need to learn at their own pace and experience success. They begin to believe in themselves and are able to move forward with confidence.”
- Tammy Starnes, Principal, Prattville Primary School, Autauga County School District, AL
Prattville Primary School serves students in grades one and two and was searching for a way to improve their students’ foundational literacy skills. “We’ve been focused on efforts to improve reading for as long as I can remember,” stated Tammy Starnes, Principal, Prattville Primary School. “We tried reading initiatives, reading coaches—all of it—and our student scores just hovered.”
Starnes knew something must change and she believed a personalized learning approach with differentiated instruction and adaptive technology was key. She looked for a technology-based literacy program that would offer her teachers the support they needed to provide differentiated instruction to an entire classroom of students. She desired a program that would be easy to use and enhance her teachers’ efficiency and effectiveness, not add to their already heavy workload.
Starnes firmly believed that such a program should serve all Prattville Primary students—learners who were advanced, those who may be struggling and those with individual education plans (IEPs). Having previously used literacy programs that offered all the bells and whistles, but lacked depth, it was important to Starnes that the program they selected be research-proven, provide ongoing progress-monitoring data, and enable flexibility within the classroom.
“I was introduced to Lexia Reading Core5® at a professional development event,” commented Starnes. “I was impressed with the rigorous research and independent evaluations of Core5 as well as the program’s ability to adapt to each student’s skill level.” Starnes also valued how Core5 provides systematic, explicit instruction in six areas of reading for students of all abilities.
Starnes saw immense benefit in Core5’s norm-referenced, real-time performance data that is easy for her teachers to access and simple to interpret. The data’s level of specificity makes it truly actionable. She knew it would give her teachers a powerful tool to drive their small group instruction. Cementing Starnes’ decision to purchase Core5—it was affordable and met her commitment to serve children of all abilities and skill levels.
With the use of Core5, Prattville students’ reading scores are no longer hovering—rather they are improving greatly as the number of students working in or above grade level in Core5 nearly doubled from 50% to 93% and the number of students working below grade level in Core5 decreased from 50% to 7% in less than one school year1 (see Figure 1). Teachers are benefiting from the program’s straightforward design, and its ability to engage students. “I’ve been using Lexia for two years,” remarked Carol Davis, second-grade teacher, Prattville Primary. “It’s extremely easy to use and the kids love it. I have students who ask to get on Core5 whenever they can.”
Teachers and administrators recognize Core5’s ability to extend learning for students who are advanced and accelerate learning for those who may be behind or in need of special services, “I had one student transfer into my second-grade class in December. She was on an IEP and reading at a pre-K level in Core5. After using the program for less than four months, she’s come within reach of Core5’s first-grade level. I find that remarkable,” Davis continued.
Students Make Progress through Personalized Learning
Core5 is built around the specific needs of each student. As the students work independently online, the program adapts based on student responses. Core5’s real-time, ongoing progress monitoring data tracks students’ online progress. Teachers can then access and leverage that data to direct their small group instruction using scripted, targeted Lexia Lessons. In addition, Core5’s data confirms for teachers that their differentiated instruction is benefiting each of their students. Principal Starnes noted, “Core5 enables our teachers to provide differentiated instruction without a lot of additional effort on their part. The program exposes skill gaps in individual students, and provides our teachers with Lexia Lessons to address those gaps. This saves them hours of preparation time and lets them focus on the individual needs of their students.”
Davis believes Core5 builds confidence and ownership of learning in students. “Core5 shows them what they need to work on and through the personalized learning approach, they needn’t feel self-conscious if they are behind their peers. They have the privacy to focus on their own skill development,” she commented.
“Lexia Reading Core5 provides the tools students need to learn at their own pace and experience success. They begin to believe in themselves and are able to move forward with confidence,” Starnes remarked.
1Students meeting recommended usage (N=562) at least 50% of the time with at least 12 weeks of use between 8/24/16–5/14/2017