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Press Release: MindPlay Goes Mobile With New Online Reading Fluency Trainer To Improve K-12 Students’ Reading Levels

MindPlay’s FLRT® – a fluent reading trainer improves students’ reading levels within 10 hours through revised leveled text and comprehension questions to meet Common Core Standards

Tucson, AZ, March 26, 2014 – Literacy publisher MindPlay announced a new reading fluency with comprehension program for K-12 schools, FLRT® – a fluent reading trainer. This personal trainer for silent reading has been updated for text complexity and to include comprehension, now at the heart of Common Core State Standards. Stories are certified by MetaMetrics® to meet Common Core text complexity and Lexile™ reading level requirements. MindPlay’s FLRT is designed to help students measurably improve their reading level and speed after using the program for at least 10 hours by differentiating practice for each student and enabling them to work at their own pace. This new version is fully mobile and now enables educators and students to use FLRT on any computer with an Internet connection, wherever they are, as well as on iPads and other tablets. Common Core Standards have raised the bar in reading skill mastery. The reading difficulty on state tests has increased. As a result, reading fluency is more essential than ever to ensure student success. An award-winning publisher, MindPlay has helped over 6 million people learn to read in its 30-year history.

Earlier versions of FLRT were proven by research and best practices at schools to dramatically improve students’ reading performance by grade levels. FLRT automates the process of providing students with differentiated practice that targets their specific skills and helps them improve to become fluent readers. It also significantly extends the amount of time that students can spend on their silent reading.

In order to achieve improved reading levels within 10 hours, it is recommended that students use the program for 15 minutes at a time, three or four times a week. FLRT provides practice in the last of the essential five reading components students need to master, Fluency. Available now, the program is aligned to the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts.

“FLRT focuses on challenging students, building their reading speed and accuracy, as well as improving their comprehension through questions after each reading passage,” said Judith Bliss, MindPlay Founder and CEO. “It is like having a personal training session pushing each student a little farther than the last time they used the program. As students progress, the program automatically adjusts, and improvements in reading levels can be measured in just hours!”

FLRT is intended for students who are reading at or above grade level with good phonics skills. It accelerates their reading fluency in preparation for the higher demands of the Common Core State Standards and state tests that now focus on higher levels of reading complexity. Its goal is to take students from where they are now up to 400 or more words per minute with accuracy before they graduate high school. This is the current expectation for college-bound students. The program features over 1,000 narrative or expository stories. Each story can be read in six minutes or less. The story library includes authentic literature and 100 public domain classics that were edited to be grade-level appropriate.

FLRT consists of four self-paced practice activities: Effective Eye Movement, Single-Line Reading, Multi-Line Reading, and Word Match. First, students work on visual scanning with Eye Tracking, using shapes that appear and disappear to practice rapid eye movement right-to left, and down a page. Next is Word Match, which enables students to read high- frequency words with automaticity. This is based on the Dolch List of high-frequency words. Students build automatic recognition of these high- frequency and sight words. In Single-Line Reading, students learn to move their eyes left to right as they read one line at a time.

In the multi-line reading, a full passage appears, but the words disappear at a timed rate from the beginning, so students have to read their fastest to keep up with the speed. Next, they answer comprehension questions about the passage to prove they read and understood the passage. They have to correctly answer 70 percent or better to move up 10 more wpm. If they answer a question wrong, the program’s “Clue Text” will send them back into the piece to find out where they went wrong.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s annual “Nation’s Report Card on Reading” for 2013, only 35% of fourth-grade students scored proficient or above in reading. FLRT provides guided practice in silent reading fluency, focusing on individual student improvement in a program that can be used school-wide. Reading fluency is improved by providing hours of reading practice at appropriate speeds, preparing students to score proficient or advanced in language arts on standardized tests.

Features
The program starts each student with text slightly below grade level to comfortably ease them into the program. The program adapts speed and practice to meet the needs of the learners. Students earn reward certificates as they advance, which can be printed.

FLRT includes a reporting system for teachers and administrators. Reports are available at district, school, classroom, and student levels. Students’ progress is continuously monitored and recorded. Reports track students’ words per minute read, number of stories completed, number and type of questions answered, attendance, and time on task. Districts can generate reports on students’ goal achievement by grade level. Also, educators can easily share reports with parents by exporting the files as PDFs.

The engaging practice activities in FLRT help students stay focused and accelerate their progress. In the Multi-Line Reading, text genre is selected randomly between expository and narrative. Grade level equivalencies and Lexile™ measures for all stories are reported. Twenty different types of comprehension questions are asked at each level. The library contains content-rich authentic stories.

Pricing and Availability
FLRT is available now. For information and ordering, schools and districts can visit MindPlay at www.mindplay.com, or education resellers. The program includes 24-hour access for students within a school district from any computer or tablet with Internet access. The price is by single-user or number of students, starting at $34 per student for an annual subscription.

MindPlay, Inc.
More than 30 years ago, Founder Judith Bliss started the MindPlay company to create a solution to overcome the challenges of learning to read. Her goal was to help struggling learners succeed in school and life, after overcoming her own reading disabilities. MindPlay’s mission is to develop, publish, and distribute cost-effective learning tools that support individual growth and skill development. The curriculum includes clear objectives, inviting graphics and modern technological innovations. MindPlay educational software programs appeal to multiple learning styles, identify individual student needs and differentiate instruction. For more information, please go to www.mindplay.com.
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