This bundle of programs includes 3 main programs: MaxPhonics, MaxReading, and MaxWords. The program also includes 4 additional subsections (MaxMusic, MaxVocab, MaxPlaces, and MaxBios) that provide extra practice and reinforce the student’s reading skills.
How We Used MaxScholar Reading Intervention Program
I had Monkey begin by taking the placement tests for both MaxPhonics and MaxReading. With MaxPhonics, it identified two blends ‘spr’ and ‘spl’ where he made errors. Rather than having him review just these blends, the program had him start at the beginning of the blends section. This particular section is broken into 5 chapters, with 5-8 exercises per chapter. The blends that he missed were located in the last chapter, so Monkey found this section to be extremely easy and became bored quickly.
From my Parent/Teacher account, I have access to all the levels and exercises, so I jumped ahead to the section that covered ‘spr’ and ‘spl’ blends and had him complete the exercises from my account. He passed them easily, so I decided that he didn’t need to work in the MaxPhonics section any longer.
For MaxReading, the pre-test placed him in Level K. This did not surprise me since he is a fairly new reader and we had been focusing on fluency over reading comprehension. In this level, the student is shown 4 picture tile choices as “Recommended Reading” to start with. They can also navigate to their level to choose from other “chapters” in their assigned level. After completing a chapter, they can continue on to the next chapter chosen by the program, or they can navigate back to the full chapter list and choose which to do next.
This program had a pretty steep learning curve for Monkey. The levels went from too easy to too hard with no transition in between. I usually take a fairly hands off approach when it comes to online programs, but after seeing him become frustrated and in tears over the scores he was receiving, I decided that it would be best to sit with him as he worked.
I highly recommend utilizing the Materials section in the Parent/Teacher account Dashboard. I usually jump right into a program and can figure it out, without spending much time on prep work. In this case, spending the extra time to go through the support materials was well worth it. It was here that I learned that the “Important Details” highlighting that Monkey struggled with so much was “impossible to get every detail correct as each author feels slightly differently. It is the process of doing the highlighting that is important.”
With this knowledge, I was able to encourage Monkey to move forward even though his score for Important Detail highlighting was low. We also learned that he could still score well on the overall chapter if he achieved a minimum score of 60% for that element.
I feel like this particular section should be ungraded or that the numeric grade should not be revealed to the student since it is more subjective and seeing a low grade was very disheartening to Monkey who was used to seeing higher grades on all the other sections. The program also did not provide any coaching as to what constituted an important detail. This information is however included in the teacher’s materials found in the dashboard.
Monkey also spent some time using CLOVER which teaches syllabication. I really appreciated this module – which can be accessed through MaxWords or through MaxPhonics under the “Keep learning!” heading. This is the first program I have seen that actually teaches the rules of syllabication, rather than just having you count how many syllables a word has.
Booger ended up being placed in the Kindergarten level rather than the Preschool level for no reason other than he made a few lucky guesses. I didn’t realize this though until after he had been working on the exercises in his assigned level for a couple sessions. If I had viewed his report immediately after he took the placement test I would have seen it, but I let him move immediately from the placement test into the exercises. From the Parent/Teacher account, I was able to view the preschool level and discovered that the exercises were the same and the only difference I could find was that there is a video that goes along with each chapter that isn’t included in the Kindergarten level. I decided to keep him working in the assigned level and we watched the additional videos from my account.
“I liked and kinda not liked MaxScholar. I liked the games and the stories it had me read. I didn’t like the MaxPhonics part because it was boring and too easy.
MaxReading helped me be able to read a story and then answer questions about what I read.”
“I like MaxScholar. It’s pretty fun and pretty good for me to learn letters. Okay! That’s all!”
I have definitely seen improvement with Monkey’s reading comprehension while using MaxReading. We will continue to use this program and I look forward to Monkey unlocking the remaining elements – I know he’s going to love MaxMusic!
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