TCEA 2012 NEWS: Online Reading Program for Students with Disabilities

PCI Education announces the launch of PCI Reading Program-Level Three Software, a new online component to the PCI Reading Program, a reading series for students with intellectual disabilities. Designed to complement the print edition of Level Three, Level Three Software delivers interactive lessons to help students master decoding through a suite of engaging virtual games. The online, subscription-based software covers the same concepts presented in print and focuses on building phonemic awareness and phonic skills.

Designed to support and enhance the basic word-decoding skills taught in its print counterpart, Level Three Software follows the same lesson pedagogy while presenting skills in a different format. This double layering promotes deeper understanding and helps students generalize newly learned capabilities. Students are guided through the program with positive reinforcement and praise from a narrator.

In addition to the games, Level Three Software contains a digital library of the 10 fiction and 10 nonfiction books used in the print edition. Special features include highlighted text and picture support, and each book is accompanied by comprehension activities and practice in fluency. The software component also offers modified writing opportunities not available in print.

PCI Reading Program-Level Three Software offers both formative and summative assessments. The program delivers assessments for prescriptive placement, progress monitoring, and skills mastery. Teachers can enter scores and anecdotal notes for any activities completed away from the computer. All scores can then be reviewed or printed out for use in parent conferences or for annual achievement reporting. These assessments enable teachers to individualize instruction for each student and document progress in mastering skills.

As a three-level system with print and software editions at each level, the PCI Reading Program helps students with intellectual disabilities learn how to read. The program has been carefully designed to guide students step by step to reading success and independence. Students begin Level One focused on learning high-frequency words through visual discrimination. Phonemic awareness and phonics are slowly layered in so that by Level Three students can use the words they have learned to identify 23 onsets and 20 rimes for word building and decoding. As students progress through the three levels, they are able to read 405 words with the goal of becoming more independent in their ability to decode unknown words.