Our program has a proven track record of raising reading proficiency among grade one students to nearly 80% in struggling schools.

In a two-year, kinder-to-grade-one program, 78% of students taking part in our TeacherMate program were reading proficiently by the end of first grade. Prior to their participation in our program, these high-poverty schools experienced a rate of less than 50% of their students reading proficiently by the end of grade one.

The TeacherMate program has proven results in successfully getting students reading proficiently by the end of first grade. As the research indicates, if students are reading at grade level by the end of first grade, they are more likely to be reading at grade level by fourth grade. (Juel, 1988).1

TeacherMate is a unique, sustainable program geared towards substantially increasing the percentage of students reading on grade level by the end of first grade. We focus on building a solid foundation of phonics skills by providing a learning progression designed to build upon and strengthen prior knowledge.

Take a video tour of TeacherMate in action.

The program includes a specially trained Early Literacy Interventionist hired by Innovations for Learning. Our specialist will work with each kindergarten classroom for one hour each day to provide 1:1 support through individualized conferencing using the TeacherMate proprietary software. The specialist will deliver instructional lessons that explicitly teach word attack skills—building a solid foundation of decoding. 

In subsequent years, our specialist will also work with students who enter first grade without a basic phonics foundation. Throughout the year, the specialist will continue to support the new incoming kindergarten cohort. 

In addition to 1:1 instruction provided by the early literacy specialist, Innovations for Learning will provide tablets for kindergarten and first grade students to allow for a 20-minutes-per-day practice of what is being taught during conferencing. This practice occurs as part of the common reading station approach used in the classroom.  

Participating TeacherMate first grade students are eligible to join our premier online tutoring program, TutorMate. Innovations for Learning partners with 200 national and local corporations, and organizations to recruit volunteers to work with 1st grade students online to improve their reading proficiency. TutorMate uses interactive technology to connect volunteers to classrooms for 1:1, 30-minute tutoring sessions each week during the school day.

For more information, contact Barb Gilbert. [link email: bgilbert@innovationsforlearning.org

1Juel, C. (1988). Learning to reading and write: A longitudinal study of 54 children from first through fourth grades. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 437-447.

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