You Can Take It With You

We’ve written before on the amazing success of Capstone Digital’s myON reader.  MyON seamlessly blends assessment and instruction for young readers in a digital environment, allowing students to receive updated Lexile measures through their reading experiences.  Based on those updated Lexile measures, students continue to be presented a wider range of targeted texts.  Not only do students receive targeted text, but they exercise choice as well.  MyON allows students to self-select topics of interest to them and students can choose from a long list of subjects.

Just last month Capstone Digital announced that this targeted reading experience now has even greater flexibility – it can now be experienced in a mobile environment:

The personalized literacy environment that provides access to the largest integrated library of digital books with multimedia supports is now available on Kindle Fire. myON reader users can securely login through and have full access to the platform using the popular Amazon tablet. This is the first of many mobile initiatives to launch from Capstone Digital in 2012.

It’s great to hear that this is just one of many mobile initiatives set for this year.  As more students have access to mobile devices, like e-readers, smart phones, tablets, and iPads, offering a wide variety of texts in multiple platforms becomes essential.  We applaud Capstone for making the reading experience so accessible for so many young readers.

Preventing ‘Summer Slippage’

Back in March we offered a nod to Hasbrouck Heights High School for collaborating with the local public library to sponsor The Big Read – an initiative designed to get students reading more outside the classroom.  And that includes the summer.  As this story makes clear, Hasbrouck Heights is drawing attention to the importance of reading over the summer months:

Dr. Mark Porto, superintendent of schools, explained that kids’ reading skills have been known to weaken, something some educators have called “summer slippage,” due to not reading regularly which can easily happen over the summer months. When students return to school in September it can take time for them to get back on track. 

Summer reading can prevent this, he told the audience, and the schools, along with the district’s three school media specialists, have been working with the borough library, coming together as a community to encourage reading in youngsters and even adults.

Porto invited the media specialists who head the libraries at the three district schools to the forum to speak on behalf of the program and reading in the district. Joan Weir, media specialist at Euclid School reflected on the success of the SRI program which gives each student a Lexile score, which is not a grade, but a determined comfortable reading level for which the student can select reading choices.

“I have never seen so many children with a book in their hands,” she commented adding that the children have really been encouraged by the program.

That’s good to hear. Hasbrouck Heights should be commended – again – for their efforts to keep students reading all year long.

Series Dominate Book Sales

In recent publishing news, Publisher’s Weekly released some recent stats regarding last year’s children’s book market. It seems that 2010 was your year if you were an author with an enticing series.  Publisher’s Weekly states, “Eighteen books for children and teens sold more than a million copies last year: all of them were from authors of big franchises…” This includes the fifth installment of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Ugly Truth (1000L, series 910L-1010L). Another popular author, Stephenie Meyer made the list with her novella, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (680L, Meyer titles 640-720L). Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy pulled in sales from all angles last year. Her third installment, Mockingjay (800L), series 800L-820L) was released in hardback simultaneously with the audiobook. The e-book version was released six days prior to the print release and topped sales in that category as well.

Publisher’s Weekly also collected e-book sales figures for the first time in 2010. The major series also ruled this arena and pulled in the biggest sales figures – an indicator that the population of e-book readers has started to expand from adults to a younger generation of readers.

Check out our Find-A-Book website to locate these popular titles and other series for your own students.

The Big Read

Hats off to Hasbrouck Heights High School and the Hasbrouck Heights public library for sponsoring The Big Read:

The Big Read as it’s called is being launched by the high school and supported by the Hasbrouck Heights Public Library. It’s designed to bring high school students, parents, teachers and community members together to read and discuss a good book. There are contests for the students to participate in as well in order to win a brand new Barnes and Nobles Nook e-reader.

As this article makes clear, The Big Read is just one of many initiatives the district has undertaken to get students reading more, including using student Lexile measures from Scholastic Reading Inventoryto track student reading growth over time.  Congratulations, Hasbrouck Heights, and good luck!

MetaMetrics is an educational measurement organization. Our renowned psychometric team develops scientific measures of student achievement that link assessment with targeted instruction to improve learning.