How I Use It
I use this in place of the basal reader my district uses. I teach a strategy-based mini lesson before sending students to their computers to read the article and do the activity. I conference with them as they read and as they complete the activity. When students struggle, I force them to think by encouraging them to problem-solve. To borrow a term from psychotherapy, I am nondirective. I don't lead them. I say things like, "What is this asking you?" "How can you figure this out?" "Is there a strategy you can use?" My students use Achieve3000 every day. The key for me is that with this program, students are actively reading for most of the reading period.
If my district ever drops Achieve3000, I will look for work elsewhere. I'm not even kidding. That's how vital this program is. There is nothing else out there that meets kids at their individual Lexile levels and then adjusts the level each month as the students improve. I've seen students grow 500 Lexile points in a single year. In short, expect miracles! Another plus is that so much of what Achieve3000 does requires very little work from the teacher. The only grading teachers have to do is the answers to the TDQs or Thought Questions. That being said, you can't just sit back and let your students do Achieve without some sort of guidance or motivation to do well. You get out of it what you put into it.