Teacher Spotlight

Due to the pandemic, some of Jan’s incoming 4th-grade students hadn’t consistently practiced reading comprehension skills since 1st grade. Jan knew she would have to get creative in order to build a practice in a fun and engaging way. 

Making up for lost time … 

Jan Franz is a 4th Grade Teacher at Hallinan Elementary School in Oregon. Students entered her class this year at varying reading levels. “My incoming class this year was really struggling with reading comprehension. I was super frustrated. I knew I needed to find something that would both re-energize students about reading and also give them the practice they need. So one Sunday afternoon I went searching on Google and I found Read to Lead, ” Jan shared.  

Reaching each student where they are with Read to Lead 

With students at such highly varied reading levels, it was helpful to Jan that Read to Lead’s learning games are leveled and respond to the student’s performance, becoming more challenging as they show strength in an area, while giving more practice for those who are not progressing as quickly. “Everyone can go at their own pace and don’t have to feel on the spot if they don’t know an answer,” Jan explained. “My high achievers were challenged and could keep progressing, and my struggling students got the skills practice time they needed.” 

Using reporting to drive instruction…

“Our class has Chromebooks, and sometimes students will go off-page or toggle between screens. They have gotten very good at that! But Read to Lead tells you who has logged in, how far they are progressing, what questions they got right, wrong, etc., so it is very easy to see in real-time who is on task and who I should go check up on,” Jan said with a laugh. With Read to Lead’s reports, Jan can see different learning areas, how students are performing as a whole, and  each individual student’s performance too! The new Reports even recommend what games to assign next based on where students need the most skills practice. 

Jan shared that while she started with reading comprehension as her core objective, exploring different career worlds sparked students’ interests more than she would have expected. “I always tell my students, if you can read, then you can teach yourself anything,” Jan said. Making connections between literacy and career worlds was an unexpected outcome of the learning games.  “The After the Storm game led into our social studies lessons on Hurricane Katrina, and the students made that connection on their own! Students got better at math word problems because their comprehension skills had strengthened – it’s all very much related to each other. “ 

Jan shared, “We have a lot of technology tools and choices in our school, but students BEG me to play Read to Lead. And it works, it gets them engaged in reading and wanting to read – and that was really needed this year.” Jan’s class is looking forward to celebrating reaching one million words read together this spring. Thank you Jan for your commitment to helping your students build their reading and leading skills, we’re inspired by your class!

About Read to Lead

Read to Lead uses the power of game-based learning to empower middle school students to build literacy, life, and career skills. Teachers can sign up for a free account to get started!