Personalized Learning

Pearson Updates Title I K-8 Reading and Math Program

Education company Pearson has updated its adaptive K-8 Title I-oriented reading and math software SuccessMaker. Version 8 includes content changes and additions as well as technology updates.

The newest release of this online supplementary program adds new reading content specifically to address K-2 phonological awareness and phonics and math content intended to better link practices with learning standards. There's also enhanced mapping between SuccessMaker and other Pearson math and literacy programs and alignment with WIDA standards for English language learners. The architecture of the program has been updated to reduce bandwidth requirements, eliminate the need for Java updates and provide faster login.

Teachers use the software first to give students an initial assessment to identify areas where they need extra help. From there, students can work independently. The program adapts its instruction based on student performance. Teachers can also intervene and modify the instructional path.

One district that has been a SuccessMaker customer for several years is Volusia County Schools in Florida. There the Title I technology department has piloted several programs for supplemental instruction, including both SuccessMaker and Curriculum Associates' i-Ready in grades 3-5.

The district advised its pilot schools to allow students to use the Pearson reading modules at least 20 minutes daily and the math modules at least 15 minutes three times a week. Enterprise Elementary, a pilot school with the highest documented usage, also found the best results. Overall, reported Principal Virginia Abernathy, the school saw a reduction in the number of students unable to pass the Florida Standards Assessment.

The software has also been used at Chesterfield Elementary School in New Jersey, Moore Elementary in Texas and Pasadena Unified School District in California, among others.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.