No matter how hard she tried, Mindi V. could not get her students to use Istation Reading at home. But when this 4th grade teacher from Anna, Texas, challenged her students and offered a prize for their efforts, everything changed.
“I started what I called the 60-minute club, challenging kids to use Istation at home for 60 minutes in a week,” she explained. “If you came in Friday morning and had used Istation for 60 minutes at home since the last Friday, then you got to eat lunch in the conference room.”
It was a simple concept, Mindi conceded, but it worked.
“The first week I had one kid,” she said. “The next week, I had that kid and another kid. The next week I had four. It exponentially grew, and by the end I had seventeen kids.”
Perhaps most impressive was the growth of the student who attended consistently from the first week.
“He was a student who was dyslexic and struggled a lot in reading,” she said. “Math was his strong subject. We would talk about the Istation tiers a lot. He’d take an assessment and run over to me to see his score.”
She spent a lot of time explaining to him that as long as he was growing, the tier didn’t matter.
“Vocabulary is where he soared the most,” she said.
That growth was evident when he took the STAAR (State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness) test at the end of the school year.
“He got ‘Commended Performance’ on his STAAR reading test,” she said, choking back tears. “That was such a win for us, and I know [Istation and the 60 Minute Club] had something to do with it.”