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MindPlay Launches Online Professional Development Course for Teachers to Enhance K-12 Reading Instruction Strategies

Posted Dec 10, 2014
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Literacy publisher MindPlay has launched MindPlay Teacher Companion, a new professional development course to immerse K-12 school teachers in best practices and expert knowledge on effective reading instruction strategies.

MindPlay’s new course uses a combination of lectures, videos, written information, and activities, organized into eight modules to help teachers gain a more complete understanding of how the English language works and what every student needs to become a proficient reader. Teachers can earn up to eight hours of professional development credits for successfully completing the course.

The MindPlay Teacher Companion is an online reading program designed to help teachers learn about scientifically-based reading instruction. The Teacher Companion describes the major components of systematic reading instruction and uses examples from the MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach (MVRC) to demonstrate specific concepts or skills.

The knowledge presented in this course is essential for primary-level reading teachers and special education teachers, the announcement states. It is also important for content teachers at every grade level, who must help students comprehend literature, science, and social studies texts. Essentially all teachers need to understand the basic elements of language structure, the relationship between speech sounds and print, and the strategies students can use to build vocabulary and gain meaning from their textbooks.

Throughout the course, teachers learn ways to promote student improvement in reading. MindPlay’s BESSIE Award-winning MVRC also helps students improve their reading skills. Based on years of research and successful case studies, MindPlay guarantees student progress when using the program with fidelity.

The program is organized into eight modules covering all five of the National Reading Panel’s essential reading components, as well as an additional module in grammar. Teachers can complete the course at their convenience and own pace. The course takes approximately eight hours total to complete and is accessible 24 hours a day online. The content includes:

Chapter 1: Introduction provides an overview of the program describing the teaching objectives and specific reading skills that are taught. Features of the program are summarized.

Chapter 2: Phonological Awareness describes instruction in speech sounds.

Chapter 3: Phonics focuses on strategies for teaching the relationship between sounds and letters.

Chapter 4: Grammar provides an understanding of the eight parts of speech and the rules governing the composition of clauses, phrases, and words.

Chapter 5: Vocabulary provides an understanding of the various aspects of word knowledge and the tiered approach to instruction.

Chapter 6: Fluency provides information about oral and silent reading and the strategies to build fluent reading.

Chapter 7: Comprehension provides a focus on the goal of reading -- the ability to process text with a high level of understanding.

Chapter 8: MindPlay Manager provides an overview for the administrator and teacher management of the program, including licensing and seat allocation. This chapter also covers program options and settings.

Every section assigned to a teacher consists of multiple instructional topics. Each chapter module contains pretests and post-tests. After all of the instruction in a section has been completed a post-test is administered. A section is considered mastered when all instructional topics are complete and the post-test has been mastered with 100 percent accuracy. If any item on the post-test is answered incorrectly, the participant will be redirected to a specific instructional section to review and then given another opportunity to answer. This process continues until all of the post-test questions have been answered correctly.

The Teacher Companion features a Review Mode, in which teachers can review sections previously completed. Any teacher logged into the Teacher Companion can access review mode. A menu of choices allows participants to continue with current instruction or to enter Review Mode. Participants can only review instructional content that has already been mastered.

Through MindPlay Manager, the most current version of the RAPS 360 Resource Guide and Supplemental Resource materials are available. Teachers and support personnel may use the included support sheets for Phonemic Awareness and Phonics for additional student support. Viewing and printing these materials from the MindPlay Manager requires Adobe Reader or another program that can open .PDF files.

Upon completion of the course, indicating 100 percent mastery of MindPlay Teacher Companion, teachers receive a certificate of completion. The certificate will automatically pop-up and is printable directly by the participant.

MindPlay Teacher Companion is available online now to schools and school districts as an unlimited site license for $999. For information and ordering, schools and districts can visit MindPlay at, or education resellers. The program can be used from any computer with internet access.

Source: MindPlay,

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