My name is Melanie. I teach first grade.
What I love most about teaching is teaching kids how to read. I started using Headsprout two years ago but I had used Reading A-Z for a few years.
One day when I went on to Reading A-Z, I think I just, “Oh, I saw Headsprout.” And I thought, “Wow, this sounds really good.” And I started previewing the episodes and I thought, “This sounds really good. I’ll bet the kids will like it.”
So, when we went to the lab and we started Headsprout, there were some students that were very low and when we did our early testing, they were intensive students.
We started Headsprout and because they were so engaged, because they were so interested, I saw them progress – some of them rapidly.
I cannot believe what I’m seeing in some of my students. I changed completely the way I taught. Not only do I teach, obviously, decoding, all the skills that go with it -- blending, everything that we do – but I add, attention to it.
And I noticed how the kids loved it. And I saw progression. I saw how they were working. I just noticed a big change and even the kids that aren’t at that upper vocabulary level – two students in particular, complete turnaround.
No confidence. Anytime they would read they would do one of these things. I would tell you at the beginning of the year I thought I would have to refer them to special ed, they were so low. Are you kidding me now?
They are reading loudly in the class. They get excited when they finished the episode. “Mrs. D'Anna, I finished the episode!” So, to see them so excited about something that I know is going to make a difference in their education and their reading is just so satisfying to me.They are comprehending. They are answering complex, higher-level questions.
So even if they’re at that level, they’re getting vocabulary and they’re decoding and they’re reading at the same time. So, they’re doing it and they’re nailing it and they’ve got it. So, with the support of Headsprout and being able to put in some Reading A-Z – I incorporate that with it – it was like a good marriage of all these products.
It just worked. It worked and you know what? It makes my life easier, too, because they enjoy it. I’m able to get the resources I need and I’m able to differentiate instruction for all of my students. That’s one thing I really like a lot about this. Now I have – even if my readers might be lower – all my readers are confident readers, no matter what level they’re on. I have confident readers and it’s because of Headsprout.
“All right, good job. Awesome.”
At the end of the day, it’s like, “This is why I do the job I do. This is why I’m a teacher. This is what gives me the satisfaction.” I really mean that.