Review by Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Education | Updated November 2013

Achieve3000: KidBidz3000

Boost access with variable text complexity; repetitive format may tire

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2-5 This grade range is a recommendation by Common Sense Education and not the developer/publisher.
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Pros: Text complexity is customized for every student according to reading level.

Cons: Though the learning modules are designed with good pedagogy in mind, more variety in the student experience could boost engagement.

Bottom Line: An individualized, if repetitive, way for kids to practice reading fluency, interpret texts, build vocabulary, and form arguments.

KidBidz3000 can be adapted to many classroom setups, whether a 1-to-1 device program or a shared setup where groups might rotate through stations. Most, though not all, of the "five steps" in each reading assignment could be completed individually or as a class, with or without computers. Many assignments could be used as homework or as launching pads for discussion or exploration.

One engaging feature allows teachers to publish opinion polls before and after reading. Questions about the results might include "Why did kids vote the way they did?" and "How many changed their minds after reading the article, and why?" Based on the writing portion of the five-step process, teachers could consider extending aspects of the curriculum into full-blown, formal essay assignments.

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Achieve3000: KidBidz3000 is focused on helping second- through fifth-graders develop reading comprehension, vocabulary, and writing skills. Assignments follow a five-step literacy routine: Introduce a topic; read an article; complete a multiple-choice comprehension quiz; respond to a thought question with a written and/or oral argument; and take an opinion poll and provide support for responses. KidBidz3000 is only one part of a group of literacy programs from Achieve3000; all use the same format but target slightly different audiences, from middle and high school students to ELL, special education, and advanced learners.

All students begin by taking a Lexile placement test (an independent measure of reading level). Using the results, teachers can assign one article for the whole class to read, but the text complexity will be automatically individualized for each student. This means that everyone in the class can access the same content with an individualized level of reading difficulty. Teachers and administrators can view progress reports and other usage data. Detailed progress reports allow teachers to track both whole-class and individual students' progress.

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Achieve3000: KidBiz3000 excels in using a set formula to guide kids through reading, understanding, and analyzing a text, as well as forming text-supported arguments. However, the curriculum is somewhat formulaic, as students repeat the same five-step instructional process repeatedly throughout the program, which could cause some students' interest to wane. That said, most of the included articles are about high-interest, real-world issues that will easily capture kids' attention. And for those looking to bolster kids' cross-curricular literacy, many of the readings easily tie into other subjects such as science or history. Teachers will appreciate the Lexile assessment system in classes that require more differentiated instruction. The tool (via the website or Chrome app) allows teachers to challenge each kid at just the right level, while still allowing the whole class to explore a unified topic.

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Overall Rating
4

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?
3

Kids are more likely to feel engaged when learning meets them at their level. High-interest articles are appealing and focus on real-world topics. However, every unit follows the exact same formula and could feel repetitive.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer?
4

Variable text complexity tailored to individual reading levels will likely boost learning. The transition from comprehension into forming an argument makes good sense. More opportunities for student interaction could further benefit learning.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students?
3

Teachers have access to detailed data and reports on student use and progress. Correct answers for reading comprehension questions can be hard to locate. User and general information guides could use improvement.


Teacher Reviews

5
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Featured review by
Sandy W. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
5
Great On-Line Program for Blended Learning in Reading

Achieve3000 is an answer to differentiated non-fiction reading. Yes, it does have a hefty price tag. However, the data I obtain from the program from Lexile growth the standards growth is worth it. The program is loaded with data that can be easily accessed and printed. Information can be used to group students, for RTI and conferencing. We are now in our 4th year of using the program and have created a blended approach in our school.

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