Review by Shaun Langevin, Common Sense Education | Updated January 2019


Solid adaptive instruction in reading and math, with data at the ready

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts
  • Math

  • Critical Thinking
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (19 Reviews)
Privacy (See details)

Take a look inside

12 images

Pros: It's a one-stop shop for deep, well-organized, CCSS data collection and differentiated instruction in math and literacy.

Cons: If overused, i-Ready will lose effectiveness; the developers recommend 45 minutes per subject per week.

Bottom Line: Quality, responsive instruction and the deep dive into data make this a strong contender for classrooms.

It's best to use i-Ready as a way to gather data on your students that will be helpful as you differentiate the instruction in your class. The deep dive into data can help savvy teachers target instruction, build intervention groups, and track the effectiveness of their instruction. Consider using i-Ready as a way to fill in gaps in students' learning or even to push some learners to the next level. Depending on your classroom setup, you could set up an i-Ready station where students rotate through while others work on activities and conference with you. Have your students use the reports to reflect on their learning and set goals. These reports could also be helpful when meeting with parents. Keep in mind that you could also use individual i-Ready lessons, projected for the whole class, as part of your instruction around a topic.

A significant issue around programs like i-Ready is when they're overused. Student and teacher burnout on adaptive programs like i-Ready can be a problem. When this happens, it's usefulness as an instructional and assessment tool is significantly diminished. i-Ready wasn't developed to replace teacher instruction or an already established curriculum; it's meant to be used as a supplement to teaching. The developers recommend 45 minutes per subject per week, which is best split into two or three sessions, though a teacher may need to adjust this to keep i-Ready effective.  

Continue reading Show less

i-Ready is a set of CCSS-based diagnostic and instructional tools for both math and English. Upon starting the program, students take an adaptive placement test. i-Ready then uses this data to create individualized instructional pathways for each student. Teachers can let i-Ready personalize instruction on its own, or they can customize the experience for individual students, groups of students, or even an entire class. Teachers can expect to have fine-grained control over the lessons taught as well as the overall scope and sequence for their students. Additionally, i-Ready offers teachers a range of diagnostic reports. Data is provided on growth, performance, instructional progress, and much more.

Upon finishing the diagnostic test, students' experience is friendly and includes a simplified dashboard, where they can pick a theme and a coach and even have learning material read to them. Each lesson includes a diverse cast of animated characters that walk students through every task. Lessons start with an overview of the learning objectives, followed by a guided learning experience. Kids can review lessons at any point but won't be able to skip ahead. In math, many tasks are aimed at helping kids develop conceptual understanding across a range of topics. In the reading program, students will read with the aid of a notepad, a dictionary, and some annotation tools. 

i-Ready is a great bet for an adaptive, supplemental learning tool. Its main strength lies in the way it diagnoses students' needs, then targets personalized practice and instruction for each individual. Teachers' ability to further personalize and customize the experience is key here, whether for individual students, groups, or an entire class. As students work their way through lessons, they'll interact with animations every few minutes. This could help some kids maintain focus, though others could tire and want to just get on with the lesson. Throughout, the instant feedback to students is helpful and includes both audio and visual supports. i-Ready's question types align well with what kids might encounter on Common Core assessments. It's reasonable to see i-Ready as a test-prep solution, though it does aim to teach conceptual understanding. 

Nevertheless, the program offers teachers a comprehensive look at student data, giving a clear view of students' overall growth and achievement. Ideally, this will help teachers plan in a way that meets real classroom needs. Printable lesson plans are available, should teachers want them. Also, the system's reports offer a range of data. i-Ready clearly has spent some time making this data organized and easily accessible for teachers, allowing them to find the information they want. Overall, i-Ready delivers learning content in an engaging and rigorous way. This combination will likely serve kids well if -- and here's the catch -- teachers use i-Ready with fidelity alongside their own quality classroom instruction.

Overall Rating

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

Students will enjoy the animated instruction and tasks with age-appropriate characters. i-Ready is best used sparingly, however: no more than 45 minutes per subject per week.

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

i-Ready adapts to student progress and offers a comprehensive way to address Common Core math and literacy skills. Reports provide actionable data, enabling teachers to decide on next steps for students.

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

Each learning task is modeled for students, with verbal and animated feedback based on their answers. For teachers and students, help is available on every screen. 

Common Sense Reviewer
Shaun Langevin Technology coordinator

Teacher Reviews

(See all 19 reviews) (19 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Sherry D. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
Cumberland Road Elementary
Fayetteville, United States
Great option for Data Driven Teachers!
I like this program for two main reasons: ...
Read full review