“Science of Reading Engagement” Emphasizes Education Gamification to Build Stronger Reading Habits in Struggling Learners

Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 5:06 pm

As more K-12 educators search for proven ways to bridge the reading achievement gap for students of all ages, Learning Ally Labs, a division of Learning Ally, is using meta-data analysis and education gamification to define the “Science of Reading Engagement.”

Learning Ally is an ed-tech nonprofit working with 13,000 U.S. schools and districts to support students who may display high intellectual potential, but lack the ability to read and comprehend grade-level text due to a learning disability, like dyslexia.

An intervention, such as a reading accommodation using human-read audiobooks designed for a school environment, can make a significant difference for these learners to build stronger reading habits, such as reading stamina and fluency, and to strengthen comprehension, critical thinking and vocabulary skills.

The Great Reading Games, Learning Ally’s signature reading competition, is popular among K-12 teachers who are curious about using education gamification to unlock a child’s full reading potential.

Last year, 1200 U.S. schools participated in the competition with over 17,000 students reading more than 5.3 million pages. Over 7 weeks, students were three times more likely to excel in reading frequency and 300% more likely to achieve levels of reading success that ties directly with students’ academic, emotional, and social behavior.

Jeffrey Ho, VP of Learning Ally New Product Development says, “Through data analysis, intertwined with classroom observations, and teacher input, we know that educators are constantly looking for ways to engage their students through new and innovative experiences. We have structured The Great Reading Games to help them achieve that through the integration of education gamification best practices proven to motivate students to read more books.”

The structure of the Great Reading Games include:

  • A clear explanation of the rules such as how students accrue points by reading books in a fair and consistent manner.
  • A visual leaderboard highlighting student performance motivating them to read frequently and to ignite a passion for reading.
  • The ability for teachers to uncover deeper emotional attitudes that their students have toward themselves as learners and to personalize student’s goals by applying this insight toward systemic classroom learning.
  • Rewards and prizes for students and teachers and recognition for their school.

Teachers who saw the greatest impact in students’ reading habits integrated the Great Reading Games directly into their class instruction, rather than in isolation of the school learning environment.

One teacher shared, “My seventh grader was practically in tears after finishing his first book EVER. This is when you realize you just received the biggest prize of all.”

Penny Moldofsky, a middle school teacher at Woodlynde School in Pennsylvania said, “This competition has motivated more than 90 of my students to access books and to enjoy a positive, comfortable, and enlightening reading experience.”

 “These are the types of positive outcomes our organization expects to achieve in all aspects of our reading solution,” adds Mr. Ho.

For more information, call 800-221-1098 or visit www.learningally.org/educators.