How I Use It
I’m writing this review as a parent of three children using I-Ready in the classroom. We use it to supplement in class learning.
If you have kids who love math, please read this so you can get them to the level they want to be at. From our personal experience, I-Ready will place your child at the beginning of the grade level regardless of how your child performs on the beginning of the year diagnostic (can’t speak to if they perform under grade level for math). It looks like I-Ready errs on the side of caution for assigning lessons after the diagnostic (i.e. if your child performs as well as a higher grade level, I-Ready math won’t compensate to challenge your child). However, it did build in a mechanism for teachers to adjust the grade level. So, if your child is ready for the next grade level and your teacher agrees, the teacher can manually move your child to the desired grade level. Teachers can also manually assign specific lessons to your child without adjusting the grade level. When they are done with the assigned lessons, the children will still be at the same grade level that they started in. Teachers are also able to see the next 20 lessons for your child, so you can know if the child is close to finishing the grade level. We just experienced an issue where one of my kids who was ahead of grade level and performed well on her mid-year assessment got placed back in grade level after the diagnostic. We were concerned that this would mean that the child would have to repeat all of the work that the child has completed over the past couple of months. Tech support believed that the child did not lose the work; rather it would be resumed once the child had completed work in a specific domain at grade level that hadn’t been completed previously. Bottom line - If you suspect that I-Ready is too easy for your child, please work with your child’s teacher to adjust and readjust as necessary. The program won’t do it for you automatically. As a way forward, I would recommend I-Ready consider a “challenge” function where kids can get placed according to their diagnostic score and not automatically at the beginning of their assigned grade level on I-Ready math at the beginning of the year. I-Ready says that it does this but I have yet to see it happen. Also, please be aware that your child will automatically go to the next grade level after they finish all of the lessons in that grade level during the school year. Nothing that you or your child’s teacher will need to do if they finish all of the lessons. If your child’s teacher assigned specific lessons as opposed to moving up all or part of a grade, your child will not get the successive lessons to the ones that they completed automatically, the teacher will have to assign them. Nor will they move up a grade level, based only assigned lessons.
UPDATE: My first grader began to use I-Ready Reading mid-year. Her diagnostic test scored her at 70th percent for her grade level. When she started using the program, it placed her in learning the letter “Y” Level AA (Kindergarten). Teacher corrected the issue for my child and placed her in first grade. The placement algorithms for I-Ready Reading and Math need to be updated so that the students’ placement is reflective of their capabilities to promote learning.