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Small Changes Lead to Big Results

by Andi Diaz on June 20, 2018

Intervention is more than just assessing students throughout the school year. It encompasses giving assessments, identifying areas of struggle, grouping students, planning intervention activities, delivering intervention, and also progress monitoring.

Teachers at Lodge Grass Elementary School in Montana dedicate the first 90 minutes of each day to their reading block. They split students up into small groups based on their various skill levels. This time allows them to deliver targeted interventions that have been thoroughly planned out. Each student spends about 30 minutes a day working on Istation’s reading instruction.

Students work in their own instructional path based on how they did during the assessment at the beginning of each month. Teachers know exactly how students are progressing based on Istation’s personalized data reports.

Adding Online Curriculum

Lodge Grass Elementary is seeing gains in students’ overall reading performance with the help of Istation’s computer-adaptive reading program.

“There has been a 25 percent increase in overall reading scores among students,” said Melanie Ferguson, principal at Lodge Grass Elementary.

Lodge Grass started using Istation’s reading assessment and soon learned that using the instruction with the assessment could accelerate results. The school added the instructional piece during the second semester of the 2016-2017 school year, continued using it during the 2017-2018 school year, and saw reading ability improve across grade levels.

“I felt it was unfair to assess students in a program without training them in it as well,” Ferguson said. “To truly see results, we need to use the curriculum that goes along with the assessment.”

Ferguson used Istation at a previous school and is familiar with how the reading lessons engage students like a video game does. Past experience showed her that teachers and students alike enjoy the program. Now students at Lodge Grass look forward to spending time in the program, she said. They enjoy the competition with the game and themselves to score higher each time.

Teacher Buy-In

Teachers at Lodge Grass love Istation Reading’s many features. Monthly assessments, instantaneous data results, and teacher resources make their work easier. After adding Istation’s reading instruction, Ferguson noticed another change in teachers as well. They began monitoring students’ progress more closely and taking an assertive role in using the product with fidelity.

Teachers meet monthly to review data results and discuss how to improve them. This time together really helps motivate the team as they look ahead and plan for future growth. Communicating with parents helps encourage growth as well. Student summary reports are sent home monthly to inform parents about their children’s Istation growth.


Amy Hanson, a 6th grade teacher at Lodge Grass, has more than 70 percent of students in one of her classes reading at or above grade level, with some going well beyond the 6th grade mark. At the beginning of this school year, only 25 percent of her class was reading at grade level.

LodgeGrass 6 grade

Educational leaders in the state capital have noticed the great things happening at Lodge Grass as a result of Istation and are very pleased with the program.

“We are showing improvement consistently from month to month to month,” Ferguson said. “We had a literacy team come through from the Office of Public Instruction, and they were very impressed.”

The school is looking forward to using Istation Reading again next year and seeing even more gains!


For more information on how you can empower students with Istation’s personalized instruction, click below.

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Topics: Adaptive Curriculum, Intervention

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