The results are in. Ooka Island was integrated into the literacy curriculum at all 11 sites of the Toronto District School Board’s (TDSB) Model School for Inner Cities summer school in 2016 and the learning outcomes were impressive!

The Model School for Inner Cities (MSIC) summer school program ran a morning program in July that focused on literacy, numeracy and STEM related activities for students in Kindergarten through Grade Eight. Ooka Island was used with 544 students who were mainly in the Kindergarten and Grade One age range to improve their foundational reading skills through daily play time during the July program.

You can dig into the full TDSB MSIC report but here are a few of the results that stood out to us:

Students who played Ooka Island a minimum of 10 hours improved overall by 12% in phonological skills and 7% in comprehension.

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An accelerated improvement of 17% in phonological skills and 11% in comprehension skills occurred when students played Ooka Island between four and ten hours. This extended play time occurred when students continued to play Ooka Island at home in August after the summer school program was complete.

Closing the Gap

Ooka Island is dedicated to supporting the TDSB’s mandate of all students reading by the end of grade one. Our game-based reading program is a guaranteed way to add an element of fun for students while developing strong early reading skills and their love of reading. It is a Canadian-made, digital resource with 24 levels of game-based learning and an e-library of 85 levelled books that teach phonemic awareness, vocabulary, and comprehension.

Assessment for Learning

On Ooka Island, there are detailed, individualized reports available for each student in a class so an educator can monitor reading progress in real-time and use the data to help inform instruction. Here’s real-life data of a student we have anonymized and will call “Jody”. Jody played Ooka Island in the classroom and at home for a total of 21 hours this summer and Ooka Island identified and corrected a potential reading issue. Here’s how…

In reading, Jody began at approximately a DRA Level 1 on Ooka Island. After she read the first six books, her skills were analyzed and she scored below what was required to be moved ahead in reading level for her age and grade. But after plenty of review and practice in the next five books and phonological activities, Jody’s scores were analyzed again at Book 10 and she made a breakthrough. As a result, Ooka Island moved Jody ahead to approximately a DRA Level 3-4 and in those next 10 books, she scored 100% in comprehension and 91% in acquiring sight vocabulary. Jody is currently reading books at approximately DRA Level 6 and has scored 78% in comprehension and 100% in sequencing. The next 49 books on Ooka Island will give her many opportunities to practice her new skills and secure them before graduating Ooka Island reading at an approximate DRA Level 18.

Engaging the Parent Community

Over 20% of summer school students extended learning into their home. For these students, their time spent on Ooka Island increased, on average, by two hours with some reaching 30 hours by September. The parent community was further engaged when additional materials were sent home based on Ooka Island’s personalized programming.

See the full TDSB MSIC report.

“Teachers liked using it because it was easy to use and they could see how it enhanced their literacy program. The fact that it uses personalized programming and provides real-time, precise data benefits teachers as a way to respond to each students’ needs.”

– Alison Rutherford, Model Schools for Inner Cities Coordinator

Thank you so much for all of your support and help with Ooka Island. Your customer service and professionalism was amazing. The students so enjoyed the game-based reading activities and learning. It has been a pleasure working with you!

-Cathrina Schoenfeld, Model Schools for Inner Cities Teaching Coach

See the full TDSB MSIC report.


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