Distance Learning

School Specialty Debuts Blended Reading Intervention Program

School Specialty has launched iSPIRE, an interactive reading intervention program for students in grades preK-8.

Incorporating comprehension, fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics, spelling and vocabulary, iSPIRE aims to speed development of literacy skill among the lowest performing students and is based on the Exploros online teaching platform for use in digital classrooms.

"The dynamic structure of iSPIRE's 10-Step Lesson Plan allows for digital, teacher-led instruction that lets districts increase traditional reading intervention group sizes of two to four students to five to eight," according to a news release, "resulting in a cost-effective solution for districts and making it more efficient for educators when working with struggling learners."

Other features of iSPIRE include:

  • Digital manipulatives;
  • Drawing tools;
  • Daily fiction and non-fiction reading activities;
  • Interactive activities with embedded formative assessment focused on vocabulary, comprehension and fluency;
  • Student progress reports with real-time information; and
  • On-demand professional development opportunities.

"Closing the literacy gap for U.S. students continues to be a challenge for schools across the country. In order to conquer this challenge, it is critical that teachers have access to effective and engaging learning resources that will help students' build the reading skills requisite for success in school, college and careers," said Bodie Marx, senior vice president of School Specialty Curriculum, in a prepared statement. "We developed iSPIRE based on the proven S.P.I.R.E. 10-Step Lesson and multisensory approach to reading instruction, and designed it to work on technology that is increasingly prevalent in classrooms to provide a powerful platform for engaging struggling readers and put them on the path to mastery. Schools now have a choice between an online approach and a print-based approach, with the teacher always at the center of the instruction."

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at jbolkan@gmail.com.

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