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For decades, parents and even teachers turned to the Hooked On Phonics reading system to help kids learn to read and improve their reading skills. Hooked on Phonics was big, really big, in fact the box came with more cassette tapes than a local Sam Goody. Oh and it was very popular as well.

Well it’s 2014 and the education system in he US has shyed away from basic phonics learning in favor of the nationwide common core curriculum. While we all know that common core math can be a challenge for any school aged kid and their post graduate college educated parents, learning to read is still fundamental, regardless of curriculum standard. However,it’s still important that reading programs, whether in the classroom, using traditional books or online platforms all meet common core standards.

Literacy publisher MindPlay Inc has has released a new version of their MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach. The newest version is completely cloud based and can be accessed by any computer or tablet. MindPlay has also added Lexile ratings by MetaMetrics.Lexile text complexity ratings are consistent with Common Core State Standards. MVRC helps students improve their reading skills measurably in 40 hours or less by differentiating instruction for each student. Using explicit and direct instruction by reading specialists and speech pathologists, students work at their own pace. The program helps all students improve their reading, and is appropriate for special needs, dyslexic, struggling readers, and intermediate to advanced English language learners.

MindPlay stands behind he new MVRC program so much that they guarantee schools that 90 percent of students will gain at least two grade levels of improvement if they use the system 30 minutes each day four days a week. The company boasts helping six million readers over the last 30 years.

In addition to all of these upgrades to MindPlay’s program they also added new comprehension and grammar modules and updated all of the existing modules

“For the last 30 years, I have been training special education teachers to help students who struggle to learn to read,” Nancy Mather, Ph.D., Professor of Special Education at the University of Arizona said in a statement. “Ideally, every child who struggles to learn to read would have individualized daily reading instruction by these highly trained teachers, but that isn’t possible. When I was introduced to MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach (MVRC), I saw the quality and depth of this online reading program and was awestruck. I’d never considered that a computer application could deliver the quality individualized, evidence-based reading instruction needed to turn struggling readers into fluent readers; now I know it can!”

Overview: See MVRC in action! from MindPlay on Vimeo.

Each student’s reading abilities are first assessed with MindPlay’s complete diagnostic RAPS 360 test, and then the program instantly creates a prescriptive reading plan for them. Students are automatically assigned to their prescribed sequences of reading lessons and activities to begin immediately. While this diagnostic is now fully automated, teachers will know exactly where students need instruction. The test adapts to each student’s performance. This helps keep struggling readers comfortable and avoids unnecessary stress. In addition to the basic six reading components, the diagnostic mode also tests the effective tracking ability of students’ eyes, which is a necessary skill for reading fluency.

MindPlay’s MVRC six interactive instructional reading modules

  1. Phonemic Awareness
  2. Phonics
  3. Vocabulary
  4. Grammar for meaning
  5. Fluency
  6. Comprehension

Find out more about Mindplay’s Virtual Reading Coach here at mindplay.com