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7 Tips That Will Help You Effectively Implement iReady

Don’t you just hate it when you finally get the hang of a reading or math program and your district (or admin) decide it’s time to start using something new. I mean you’d think they’d know better than to mess with a teacher’s software…

 

When that happened at my school, we were told to “trust the process”… The only problem is that while the process is going on, we’re in the trenches having to figure out how to make it work.

 

It took me a while to get the hang of iReady, but I can FINALLY say that I have figured out a system that’s been working for me and my kiddos!

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

 

So, if you’re feeling frustrated with iReady just know that YOU-ARE-NOT ALONE! Hopefully, by the end of this post you’ll have a few new ideas to add to your bag of tricks.

 

For any program to be effective, parents have to buy in to what you’re doing.

They need to understand that iReady is tailor made for their child… It’s like free tutoring! If you show them where their child is at, compared to where they’re supposed to be, I’ve found that many of them have ah-ha moments… and some even OH NOOOOO moments! THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT!!!!

 

So, here’s what you gotta do… once your students take the Diagnostic/ placement test, print individual Student Profiles. This report is easy enough for parents to understand and will allow them to see their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Follow these steps. They’re pretty simple…

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!
iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

 

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

 

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

After you’ve printed the report and reviewed it, schedule individual parent meetings. Begin by focusing on the “overall performance” section. Explain the green “On Level” area. (This is where their child should be) Next, explain their strengths (where they’ve Tested Out) and weaknesses (their lowest performing domain). This report makes it all pretty clear!

 

 The next step is to set up student folders.

You’ll need a folder for each student,  self adhesive fasteners, printed iReady labels, and a copy of the iReady student recording sheet you see down below.

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

 

 

 

i-Ready Tracking sheet

The last thing you’ll need is to print out your students’ individual assignments. I’ll be honest, this does take a little time, but once you get the hang of it it’s not so bad.

 

Here are some pictures to walk you through it…

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

 

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

You’ll want to take a screenshot of this page so that you can include it in your child’s folder. What’s so great about this report is that it shows you the sequence of the lessons, its level, and the estimated time to complete the lesson. Parents and students both love that they can tell how long their lessons are going to be!

 

When you meet with your students to plan assignments for the week, seeing the estimated time will help you determine how many lessons to assign. Also, when you see those lengthy reading passages, warn your little nuggets and let them know to break it up over a period of a few days. Without this form your parents and students are left guessing how long each assignment is going to take, and that’s NOT.GOOD.AT.ALL

 

Updated: According to iReady, students performing on level should receive 45 min. of instruction weekly, those 1 year below 60 min., and anyone more than a year behind 75 min. per week.

 

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

 

Now you’re ready to assemble your folders… Here’s what they should look like on the inside.
iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

 

On the Diagnostic Scores form, record the date of testing, the students score on the reading and math assessment, and make a line to mark where they fall on the bar graph. (You can see the dark green line in the picture above) DO NOT SHADE IT IN! When you meet with students, have them shade in their own graphs. This helps them take ownership over their work and progress!

 

Mid year, when they take the diagnostic test for the second time, print out the new assignments on colored paper so you can tell the difference. Then record the date of test, score, and have students once again shade in their graph. This is the moment of truth! Where they can see how much all their hard work has payed off.

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

It’s time to get the kids to buy-in.

Now that your parents are on board and your folders are ready to go, it’s time to start working on your kiddos and getting them to buy-in to the process. Next to your parents, student involvement is key!!!

 

Begin by discussing the results of the diagnostic, making sure to point out the on level area and their performance. It’s important to be encouraging and positive! It’s your time to put on your cheerleading hat and root for your children. If they are working way below grade level, it’s time to get R.E.A.L. Don’t sugar coat it!Let them know that they are behind and in order to catch up they are going to have to work hard.

 

But it’s okay because you believe in them and you’re going to work together to make it happen. Help them understand that in order to improve, they have to stay focused and pass their lessons. Finally, come up with a realistic goal for the next diagnostic test.

 

Teach students how to check and track their own progress.

Many students and parents really don’t have a clue how to do this and it’s a shame. It’s so easy to do, but unless you show them your kiddos are not going to look. Trust me… I speak from experience #sadtruth. This is part of the reason I have them record their progress in their folders.

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

 

 

 

Make sure to explain that a green bar is good! If the bar is red it means that the student did not pass the lesson and i-Ready will give them a second chance. The next lesson they will be given, will be a repeat of the same lesson they failed. It’s important to make this clear to your students and parents, otherwise you might receive a few letters from parents telling you that there’s something wrong with i-Ready because their child “keeps getting the same lesson”.

 

Nope… nothing wrong, your child just needs to make sure he’s focused throughout the lesson so that he receives a passing score 

If students are distracted, have them take notes in a notebook.

When my students first began iReady, I found that many of them were racing through lessons and performing poorly. Not because the material was too hard, but because they weren’t paying attention. So in an effort to keep them focused and accountable, I encouraged them to take notes during the tutorial.

 

This was very helpful especially, for the vocabulary lessons. I even told the kids that they could use their notes for the quizzes at the end of each lesson. (Since they’re usually not allowed to use notes for quizzes, they thought this was the best thing ever!) #teacherwin #freemotivation

 

If you want students to do the work, you need to monitor them.

If you want your students to complete their iReady lessons, then you have to check their progress on a weekly basis and give them some sort of feedback. Otherwise, they’re going to think that you don’t even care and they’ll stop trying altogether… Can you blame them? To avoid this problem, I have weekly check-ins with my kiddos. It’s quick, pretty painless, and keeps them accountable…

iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!

On Mondays when they arrive to class and are busy copying homework I call on 5 students to log on to their iReady home screen. One by one, I go down the line checking their progress from the previous week. I congratulate those that have completed all their assignments and achieved passing scores (green bars)! I even have a bulleting board where they get a sticker for each lesson passed.

 

For students that fail any of their lessons, I use this opportunity to ask them what happened?  Was it lack of focus, effort, or both? I then remind them of their goal and ask them what they’re going to do differently this week? The time that you spend talking with your students is crucial! It lets them know that you care, that you’re going to be keeping an eye on them, and gives them a reminder that in order for them to improve they’re going to have to put in the time.

 

After our little chat, I highlight student assignments for the coming week. For students that are on grade level, I highlight lessons equaling about 45 minutes. The exception is when they have a Close Reading passage that tends to be about 70-80 minutes long. When this happens, I only highlight the Close Reading for the week and warn them that it’s going to be a doozy so NOT to complete it in one sitting. (My kiddos really hate these passages to be honest!)

 

Ever since I’ve started these weekly check-ins with my students, I feel that they have been working harder to please me and get those green bars on their progress. Kids like to be rewarded and praised… they like to know you care! I’ve even noticed an improvement in my strugglers. I also think that because I give them a heads up about longer lessons, they’re better prepared.

Motivate and reward your students for their hard work and effort.

I LOVE to see my students succeed! So if it’s going to take bribery incentives to get them motivated and working hard, then I’m going to do it…
iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!
This year I’ve decided to use a bulletin board titled “Reading Takes Us Places” to keep track of their assignments. It’s not too complicated, easy to track, and doesn’t involve a great financial investment on my part. It also goes with our traveling theme.

 

Every student is represented with a car hot glued on a push pin. Basically, as students complete their weekly iReady lessons they travel around various stops across the US. (This ties into our Social Studies lessons on the 5 Regions) They receive an incentive on every other stop. Some incentives are as easy as a sticker, a special pencil, a no homework pass, a cookie, a snack, computer time, lunch with me, etc… They never know what it’s going to be so that in itself motivates them… Sometimes they even help me decide what the treats for the week should be.

I hope, you’re leaving here today with a few new tips!

Do you use any of these tips or strategies? What do you do to make sure your students are using iReady effectively?  Let me know in the comments below.
 iReady is a technology based program used to improve students Reading and Math performance. However, in order for it to work, you have to know how to effectively monitor and track students' progress. This post has great ideas on how to do this in order to ensure your kiddos succeed!
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26 Comments

  • Reply
    Susan Fletcher
    December 17, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    We are implementing iReady for the first time this year. This article is SO helpful! I have forwarded to my principal and assistant principal. Thank YOU so much!!! I love the labels!
    Susan in NC
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

    • Reply
      Melissa
      December 1, 2017 at 9:22 pm

      Susan,
      I’m so glad you found my article helpful! You’ve totally made my day. When we first started out with i-Ready I was overwhelmed and frustrated. Didn’t know where to start or what report to look at. I’m so glad that I was able to help out and hopefully give you a few ideas to start off with.
      ;0) Melissa

  • Reply
    Paula
    September 13, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Melissa,
    Thanks so much for your article. I found your ideas very helpful because iReady has been such a challenge for me to implement effectively. Do you have an editable copy of the iReady Student Recording Sheet? I teach another grade level and thought I’d ask before trying to create my own : ) I love the idea of the kids seeing and tracking their progress.

    • Reply
      Melissa
      September 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      Howdy, Paula! I totally get it and understand how difficult it is sometimes to monitor and track your kid’s iReady use. Trust me, it took me some time before I was finally able to figure out something that worked. I’m so glad that you were able to get a few ideas from my post. Also, I totally don’t mind sharing a copy of the student recording sheet. Just email me at moretime2teach@gmail.com and I’ll get that right out to you.
      :0) Melissa

  • Reply
    Brynn Skaggs
    November 8, 2017 at 7:47 am

    This is excellent! I’m finding that I need a way to keep my students accountable and I’d love to implement this. Do you have to go into iReady and assign the lessons shown on their lesson plan? I printed a lesson plan for one of my students and I wasn’t sure how they were supposed to access the specific lessons picked on their plan. I appreciate any guidance you can give me. Thanks again!

    • Reply
      Melissa
      November 12, 2017 at 2:29 pm

      Howdy Brynn :0)
      I’m so happy you found my post so helpful… Once your students take the diagnostic test, the lessons are automatically assigned based on the student’s areas of need. So don’t freak out when you see that your students all have different lessons, lol! Then when they log in, they will have to select either Reading and Math. Once on the reading page, it’s as easy as clicking on the green square in the middle of the page. The lessons are automatically cued for the students. Pretty simple, huh! That’s why I love it so much. Now, if a student fails a lesson they will have to retake it. You don’t have to do anything because i-Ready will automatically assign it. Let me know how it goes!

      • Reply
        Sarah
        February 20, 2018 at 4:29 pm

        Melissa,
        At the end of this post you mention students having to retake a lesson if they failed it the first time. What do you do when a student fails a lesson the second time she/he takes it?

        I-ready is brand new to my school this year, and we are slowly figuring out how to best use it. Thanks!

        • Reply
          Melissa
          February 20, 2018 at 7:37 pm

          Great question, Sarah…
          The first thing I do when one of my students fails a lesson for the second time is to have a quick conference with them. This lets them know that I’m monitoring them and that I care. I ask them what happened, was it a matter of focus, that they weren’t paying attention to the actual lesson, or that they didn’t understand something. For some, I’ve even suggested that they use their reading notebooks to write down anything they think is important or worth recording throughout the lesson. Next, I’ll go to the extra lessons tab and reassign the lesson they failed. Make sure to tell the student that you’re doing this and let them know to click that blue Extra Lesson button. Otherwise, it will not show up under their regular lessons (green button).
          Hope this helps :0)

  • Reply
    HJ
    November 16, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Hello!
    This is such good information! We have conferences coming up…and they are very short (15 mins). What do you feel is the best report/graph/info to share with parents at this point in the year? *Ready and iready are new to us this year! 🙂 Thank you! (I have third graders.)

    • Reply
      Melissa
      November 17, 2017 at 8:02 pm

      Hello HJ-
      I also teach 3rd grade and I love the Student Profile Report for parent conferences. It’s pretty simple to understand and has a great visual that shows parents where their child is with regards to being On Level. The report is fairly detailed and shows parents where their child’s strengths and weaknesses are which also comes in handy for guided reading groups or for tutors. I usually only print page 1 and 2 for my parents and have it present during our conferences. Also, I usually review what the levels stand for since their going to be seeing it in the child’s i-Ready folders. This allows parents to follow their child’s progress. Overall, my parents have had positive feedback about this report. It’s pretty easy to understand and has a lot of useful information.
      Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Crystal
    December 1, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    I was so excited to see this since we just started iReady this year!!! We are about to take our mid year benchmark so this will be great to start implementing!

    • Reply
      Melissa
      December 1, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      Hi Crystal-
      It’s funny you should mention the mid-year benchmark because I just started testing my students today! We finish on Monday and the kids are so excited to check their progress in their i-Ready folders. Yes, now’s definitely a good time to start implementing some form of monitoring system. Let me know if you have any questions along the way!
      Good luck!

      • Reply
        Crystal J Hall
        December 4, 2017 at 7:06 am

        Thank you very much will definitely keep you posted!

      • Reply
        Crystal
        December 4, 2017 at 5:42 pm

        I was working on filling out the sheet and I noticed there was a spot in the top corner for a target score. How do you determine the target score for your students>

        • Reply
          Melissa
          December 4, 2017 at 7:10 pm

          I use a chart created by i-Ready that is called “Using i-Ready Diagnostic as a Student Growth Measure 2017”. The tables help you determine how much scale score growth your students should achieve. For example, the growth 3rd graders should demonstrate in reading if you are looking for 1 years worth of growth is between 30-44 points. If you’d like, just email me at moretime2teach@gmail.com and I’d be happy to forward you a copy of the table 😃

  • Reply
    Samantha Intorre
    January 6, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Hi! I teach 6th and 8th grade. I would love to use your student data chart for my kids but need the “on level” to be different for them. Is there any way you could send me an editable version or could you change that for me?

  • Reply
    kelly
    February 12, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I love these charts, especially for showing parents where their child is, and where they need to go! Is it possible for you to send one that I can edit for Kindergarten?

    Thank you for your help!

    • Reply
      Melissa
      February 13, 2018 at 10:49 am

      Thanks, Kelly :0)
      Yes, you nailed it! Parents don’t really know how their child is in relation to others. I love being able to show them EXACTLY where they are and where they need to be… so eye-opening!
      Shoot me an email at moretime2teach@gmail.com and I’ll get that file to you.

  • Reply
    mary
    March 6, 2018 at 2:01 pm

    Hi,
    I want my son to do good in iready. He joined from mid of session. How can i encourage him to do well? They are not allowed to do it at home. iready is very important in their school. please help me.

    • Reply
      Melissa
      March 7, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Howdy, Mary…
      Yes, i-Ready is very important in my school as well!!!! So I totally understand where you’re coming from :0)
      I have a few questions for you… Are you able to see your son’s progress on i-Ready? I mean how do you know how he’s doing? You might want to try asking the teacher if she can assign some Extra Lessons which he can complete at home. That way you’ll be able to get a better understanding of what the program is like and it won’t interfere with the lessons that are automatically assigned by i-Ready. The best way to motivate him is to actually see how he’s performing on the lessons. Also, by having him read books AT HIS LEVEL you can help your son!

  • Reply
    eileen m marotte
    March 7, 2018 at 9:37 am

    We are having a hard time coming up with a schedule to be sure students are getting in their recommended time. (45 min a week in math 45 min a week in reading) many students only go on at school (lack of technology) we have 12 students, have you come up with an effective rotation schedule?

    • Reply
      Melissa
      March 7, 2018 at 5:57 pm

      WOW 12 students!!!! I’m jealous, I have 24… Depending on how many computers you have if you set up a rotation schedule you might be able to get them on the computer a few times a week. I know sometimes we have to get a bit creative to figure out how to schedule 45 min for math and another 45 for reading a week during the school day.
      A trick I used last year, was to stack 5 cups at each computer with a student’s number written on it. (You can use their names instead if you wish.) The students knew that the minute they walked into the class if their number was up, it was their day to go straight to the computer and log on to i-Ready. Most of the time they could get in a good solid 25-30 min. When their time was up, they moved their cup to the bottom of the stack leaving tomorrow’s number ready to go. Another idea is to have an i-Ready center during reading or math groups. If you have a computer lab, maybe you can schedule a weekly visit where students can work on reading for 45 min. I have a friend who allows her students to go to her classroom before school to work on i-Ready. A few years ago, we also spoke with our administration and the agreed to allow students to go to our school’s library before and after school to work on their lessons. One final suggestion I have is to remind parents that they can visit a public library and use the computers there. I’ve actually had a few students that have done that.
      I hope I’ve been able to give you a few ideas!!!
      :0) Melissa

  • Reply
    Anaisabel Gajon
    June 11, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    Hello there! This idea is exactly what I have been looking for. This is my first time implementing i-ready in my classroom. I have kindergarten through 5th-grade students. I have printed your diagnostic scores sheet but you do not have one for kindergarten. Do you have these for sale? I am highly interested in using all of these for my students. I am the lead teacher at an afterschool learning center, and I would love to show these folders to my students and parents weekly to keep them motivated and informed.

    • Reply
      Melissa
      June 28, 2018 at 11:38 am

      Hi there!!! So glad you were able to find my post on i-Ready. I know that when we first began the program a few years we had very little guidance. So I know what you’re going through. I’m happy to help you in any way that I can. I’ve just added a kinder recording chart. If you email me at moretime2teach@gmail.com I’d be more than happy to get that out to you ASAP.

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