School of the Year

De Zavala Elementary School

San Marcos, TX

2021 Read Live School of the Year Runner-Up

Submitted by Nelda Reyes, Reading Specialist

De Zavala Elementary studentsDe Zavala Elementary has been using Read Live since 2011. They use Read Live to help their struggling readers including those with dyslexia. Their students have always done well in the program, the addition of Word Warm-ups Live and the recording feature really helped students soar this year. After a few bumps at the beginning, Read Live is now one of the best tools they have implemented to help their struggling readers.

In her nomination, Nelda wrote:

"De Zavala Elementary is a fast-growing community that is in the heart of central Texas. Our school has an enrollment of 567 students; however, with a high mobility rate, this number is consistently changing. We are 85% economically disadvantaged and a Title 1 school. We offer Read Live as a supplemental intervention program to our dyslexia/struggling reader population.

"Read Live has proven to be one of the greatest tools that we have implemented with our at-most-risk population of readers/dyslexia students. It has truly boosted students' attitude and motivation to want to read. Aside from the multisensory program that we execute with our struggling readers, we have always executed Read Live as well.

"Our students read with controlled readers but Read Live gives the students that opportunity to venture into that non-controlled text in a way that is attainable for them. It eases them to try and read something on their level that is short and can build accuracy, fluency, and comprehension in a non-intimidating way.

"At the beginning of the year, every student naturally begins where they left off the previous year. We always secure our licenses ahead of time so we make sure we start at the beginning of the fall year building our capacity with accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. If they are a new student we give the benchmark assessor which places them where they need to be.

"Since our school has been using Read Live for the past couple of years, students know the routine and the positive outcomes of the program. It is priceless to see the expression on kids' faces when they time themselves for the first time and realize that their practices make a difference in getting the wpm score higher than the cold score.

"Since this was a difficult year with our remote learners, one of the greatest things that Read Live implemented was It allowed students that were at home to be able to record themselves so that they didn't have to wait for the teacher. That added piece, of having them listen to themselves, proved to be such a motivator for them. This motivated them to want to sound better with their prosody thus leading to even more multiple readings of their stories.

"Every year is different, but this year especially is where I saw how Read Live helped my reluctant second-grade group. Since COVID hit at the end of the year in 2020, our second graders got off to a rough start this fall, they were reading way below their grade level given the circumstances we had with going virtual. We began in the fall and it was a very bumpy start. I can remember calling Read Live and saying that all my second graders were in tears and frustrated when we began the program.

"However, I was assured that our reading goals could be adjusted. My second graders lacked the confidence and structure of reading. By the end of February, I saw that students were increasing their fluency and accuracy. When I asked them if they remember how we got started in the fall, they could hardly remember how much they were struggling. I truly believe that the implementation of Read Live, as well as Word Warm-ups Live, is what gave them the boost and confidence that they needed in order to get a head start with their reading and make up for a lost time during the pandemic.

"The majority of the students have increased their wpm and most of my fourth and fifth graders have moved up at least one reading level. We definitely give Read Live a five-star rating as the program to use for helping build capacity in the area of fluency, accuracy, and comprehension. "

Read Live School of the Year

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