Celebrating 1,000 Years of Teaching Experience!

Istation staff has spent more than a millennium in the classroom!

InstructionWe’re feeling quite proud and maybe a little ancient around the Istation office today! 

In honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week, we polled the Istation staff to calculate how much teaching experience exists among our employees.

We can’t believe it! 

We have a combined 1,023 years of classroom experience on the Istation team! That’s more than a millennium!

Former teachers make up over a third of our staff. All of our curriculum writers, trainers, and implementation specialists taught school before coming to Istation. Most of our sales team did too. So when we say we are an educational company built by teachers for teachers, we really mean it!   

Teaching is not just a job. It is a passion. Today and every day we celebrate those who share our passion!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week! Please #ThankATeacher!

Tags: Teacher to Teacher, Inside Istation, Built By Teachers

Istation Success Story: "Istation helped me on the SAT!"

Istation helps gifted middle school student grow

He was a model 6th grade student at a suburban Texas middle school. He made good grades, exhibited good behavior, and scored high on every test he took. Teacher Julia B. said the only problem was that he’d convinced himself he didn’t need anything that Istation had to offer.

“I had to tell him that Istation was a requirement,” she recalled. “And when I said to him, ‘You’ve got to do it for me,’ he did.”

Neither of them imagined what an impact Istation would have until he was offered a chance to take the SAT as a 6th grader.

When he returned to Julia’s classroom after the test, she said she remembers seeing his “wry smile.” Soon, she was smiling too.

“I asked him what was up, and he said, ‘Istation helped me on the SAT!’” Julia recalled, laughing. “I said, ‘Really? How?’”

The student explained that being exposed to new vocabulary made a big difference for him.

“Having the knowledge helped me on the test,” he told his teacher.

Before moving to middle school, Julia taught 1st grade for five years and said the impact Istation has on a child in early grades is very different from what it offers for older students—namely, expository reading.

“In my heart I’m a reading teacher,” she said, “and kids are not reading like we did fifty years ago. We’ve lost the art of reading.”

Tags: Testimonial, Success Story

Istation Success Story: "I see... enthusiasm and love for reading."

Istation transforms ELA teacher's classroom

Leticia I. has a passion for reading. It’s very important to her, and she makes sure her students read every day, but she said they didn’t always share her enthusiasm.

“We used to keep a reading log, and we would ask them to read every day for 45 minutes — their choice of whatever they wanted to do,” she said.

As an elementary school English/language arts teacher, she didn’t think a reading log was a frustrating assignment, but some students did. 

“They weren’t excited,” she said, “but now with Istation they’re not just reading a book; they’re reading something that is fun. Their fluency and comprehension have spiked. It’s great. They love it.”

Istation transformed her traditional classroom reading log and increased accountability. 

“I can show them . . . that I see everything they’re doing, so it becomes more real for them,” she said.

Leticia said Istation is inspiring something she hasn’t seen before: excitement about reading.

“I think it makes it more fun for them; it doesn’t make it a chore,” she said. “One student in particular . . . was just not turning in that reading log, not excited about reading, not doing anything. As I started to look at the minutes . . . I was like, ‘is this the same child?’ She’s really excited about reading now. And it’s made a terrific difference. I think one of the major differences I see is that enthusiasm and a love for reading, not so much read to get homework done. When you see that, that’s when you know you make a difference.”

Tags: Testimonial, Success Story

Istation Success Story: "It's so effective."

Istation's reliable data drives teacher's instruction

Mandy H. teaches 4th grade English, language arts, and reading at a charter school in West Texas. She said Istation is making a big impact in her classroom because of its reliable formative assessments.

“I’m in a constant state of making assessments,” she said. “Istation does it for you, and that’s a wonderful thing for a teacher.”

Mandy explained that she struggles to find time for both teaching all her classes and conducting thorough and accurate assessments. Istation helps by assessing students’ abilities and tracking their progress over time.

“I can utilize that data to drive my instruction. And it’s so effective,” she said.

Mandy said she’s seeing growth in her students’ vocabulary and comprehension abilities, and she credits Istation.

“It is impacting my students’ learning. They like to be on it. And I have a competitive group. They want to move to the next tier,” she said.

Tags: Testimonial, Success Story

Istation Success Story: "It really helps them monitor their own progress."

Istation's easy-to-read reports keep students motivated

Amy S. teaches 2nd grade at a Texas charter school and uses Istation in her class every day. She says it teaches and motivates her students and helps her differentiate her instruction.

“I have seen significant growth,” she said noting that her students’ reading ability in particular has greatly improved.

“We have a graph we use where [students] monitor their scores,” she said. “We put a line on there so they can see exactly where they need to be at the end of 2nd grade. And they can see, ‘I’m almost there!’ or ‘I’m not there’ or ‘I went down’ or ‘I’m above it!’ It really helps them monitor their own progress.”

Amy added that while the students use the data as motivation, she uses it to help her teach.

“We can see exactly what vocabulary they’re not getting because it shows us exactly what they’re having trouble with,” she said.

Amy said using the Istation app on the iPad provides extra motivation for her students.

“It’s kind of fun for them,” she said. “They go from not being able to read to being able to read chapter books. That’s huge growth. Istation helps with that a lot, especially [when students can watch] the graph grow. It’s important to them because they can see it. It’s important to us because it helps them with their future.”

Tags: Testimonial, Success Story

Istation.com gets a makeover!

More color, more characters, more fun!

Have you visited the new and improved istation.com? We just redesigned our website and we are excited for you to see and experience it!

We updated every page with more samples of our accurate assessments, rich curriculum, in-depth reports and fun characters. We think istation.com truly reflects our passion for helping teachers teach and students learn!

If you are thinking “Oh no! How will I find anything?” then you can ease your mind. The log in button did not move and neither did any of the wonderful tools you use after you log in.  You still go to the same place to log in -- the top right corner of our homepage!

Go explore and let us know what you think. We hope you like our new look!                                                   

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Tags: What's New?, Technology, Istation.com

Istation Success Story: "It's very exciting to see that growth!"

Teacher and student celebrate gains together

As a reading specialist on an elementary school campus, Michelle B. keeps a close eye on every student’s Istation results.

“It’s been amazing to see the growth in our children,” she said, adding that it’s fun to see the kids excited about their own growth as well.  “I think it’s very motivating for kids.  We’ve had a lot of success with it.”

Michelle said the individualized instruction provided by Istation is priceless, especially for the students she teaches who have dyslexia. When asked for a specific story illustrating how Istation’s tailored learning paths are making a difference, Michelle smiled.

“It’s funny you’re asking me that,” she said with a giggle. “Just this morning I logged on to Istation, because I always follow my kids to see how they’re doing.”

Michelle described checking the progress of a 4th grade Tier 3 student who has dyslexia and struggled with basic skills.

“I looked today, and she’s moved up to [Tier 2]! It’s very exciting to see that growth, especially for this sweet little girl who is a hard worker and wants to do well and is very self-motivated,” she said.

Michelle couldn’t wait to share the news with the student that afternoon.

“She’ll be excited!” she said. “She’ll come in and see her growth, and we can share that celebration. And that just inspires her to continue to work hard and continue to move up.”

Tags: Testimonial, Success Story

Istation Success Story: "I saw confidence grow."

Istation helps struggling 3rd grader read at grade level!

Sometimes a student’s struggles become a family affair. That’s what happened in Monica T.’s 3rd grade class.

“One of my students was an oldest child in his family. Mom was extremely nervous about his reading ability. He was very shy and was kind of at an awkward stage,” Monica recalled.  “He was having a lot of issues with reading. It wasn’t that he couldn’t do it. It was his confidence level.”

Monica said the student started the year reading far below grade level. So she turned to Istation for help, encouraging the struggling reader to log on before school, during school, and at home because it was fun and he liked it. 

“He started getting into it.  I saw his confidence grow. I saw him going from Tier 3 to Tier 2 to Tier 1, same as everybody else! It helped him get those basic skills and be confident with those skills,” she said, smiling. “The mom was just thrilled.”

The student began making passing grades and became more comfortable in class. His teacher called that experience an aha moment that will forever impact how she communicates with parents about Istation.

“I can relay this story to other parents and say, ‘Look, this is what happens when you use [Istation], because it is on their level,” she said.

Tags: Testimonial, Success Story

Istation Success Story: "A child that did not want to read... now loves to read!"

Istation inspires a struggling 3rd grader's love of reading

Principal Pamela B. loves to tell the story of a 3rd grade student who experienced a total transformation thanks to a challenge from her teacher to use Istation Home during winter break.

The Tier 3 student came back from the break a Tier 2 student, Pamela said.

“And this was a child that did not want to read, was not an avid reader at all, and because of Istation now loves to read!” she said. “When you can give a kid the love of reading, you’ve opened the world to them and their learning. To me, that’s the gift. That’s the gift of an education.”

Tags: Testimonial, Success Story

Istation Success Story: "Benchmark scores have come up significantly."

Principal trusts Istation's progress monitoring and sees great gains!

Debra S. wishes she could peek inside every student’s brain. She said she would love a chance to see exactly what students on her charter school campus are learning. Better yet, she would like to know how they learn. But she is impressed by the details she gets from Istation.

“One of the things I love about Istation — the one thing that made us come on board — is that it really tracks what they’re doing, not just the minutes,” Debra said.  “We’ve learned minutes make a difference, but it’s what you’re doing with those minutes that really counts. That’s what I love about Istation data. It gives us real-time data for students, showing where they are right now.”

Debra said that she and her teachers comb through Istation reports on a regular basis. She emphasized that the constant progress monitoring is invaluable because Istation data helps her teachers differentiate their instruction.

“If someone’s great with comprehension but struggling with vocabulary, then I as a teacher can hone in on that,” she said. “That’s where I think I’ve seen the biggest results for us. Our benchmark scores have come up significantly. It’s not one single factor. We know research tells us the biggest impact is teacher in a classroom, but resources come behind them. If they are quality resources, they impact results.”

Tags: Testimonial, Success Story

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