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Failure free reading

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POSTED: January 30, 2008 5:00 a.m.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got. That is the belief which has driven our thinking at Bryan County High School causing us to add the Failure Free computer-based reading program for the current school year.

We had to find a program that could successfully work with our at- risk students. We wanted a program that could be expanded each year and not just a one shot "cure-all" that would be replaced within a year. The primary philosophy underlining Failure Free Reading is "reading is relating." Every instructional step is taken to insure that students can relate to the content contained in their reading materials. Failure Free Reading is based on the most current scientific research demonstrating that successful reading comprehension involves the successful development of vocabulary and background knowledge.

The strength of the computer based program is three-fold.

First, the computer is infinitely patient; It will reinforce repeatedly, without prejudice. Second, instruction takes place in a non-threatening environment. Students can get the instruction they need without the stress, anxiety, and fear of knowing they "still don’t get it" but are afraid to ask. Fortunately, they are not afraid to ask the computer. Finally, talking software immediately places frustrated at-risk nonreaders in a secure environment. Students may utilize the program no matter what their level of competency. No reading prerequisites are necessary. This is especially important for older nonreaders who are very cautious of what their reading peers think of them. They don’t want to be seen as different. They want to do what their "reading peers" are doing. This software allows that to happen.

We have been very satisfied with the Failure Free Reading Program and intend to add additional components of the program next year. This program is not the total solution to our students reading needs, but it allows the students to learn in a way that they feel the most comfortable and can be the most successful.

By Harold Roach, principal of Bryan County High School

 

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