Not a good program for most elementary students
The lessons are very focused on exploratory learning, not explicit learning with gradual release or modeling (I do, you do, y'all do, you do). The students are expected to jump in and do problems without the gradual instruction pattern. The materials the teachers have and what the students have on their books are not always the same, so it is hard for the students to follow along and the teachers to find what the students have in their books. The books don't have visuals, pictures, or models besides the base ten blocks. It is not interesting to the students and does not provide visual learning like other programs do. The students struggle to connect with the math and stay focused on the lesson. It doesn't encourage real-world application of math. There are very few word problems, so it doesn't prepare students for real life, or allow them to connect to the math. The problems and slides flow together without much structure or compartmentalization, so it is confusing for the students. Very little of the trainings from the i-Ready company I received as a teacher were helpful. They never modeled how the material should be taught. They did not lay out the material or lessons in a straight-forward way. In the program, there is a firehose of information and the teacher needs to sift through all the materials to find what is helpful to the instruction.
How I Use It
I am a fourth grade teacher in a school with high poverty and multi-language learners. We switched from a more effective program to i-Ready. The program is good for exploration based learning. There is a time and a place for that, but not all the time. It fails at most needs.