DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR
MARBLE FALLS — There he was standing in front of the Colt Elementary School third-through-fifth-graders. They had read about him and even interacted with him while using the free, computer-based reading and math tutoring program called Istation.
But now, Justin Time — a character from the program — was on campus to honor the Colt Elementary students for their reading efforts. Istation recognized Colt for being one of the top five campuses in use of the tutoring program in April.
“You are one of the top five schools in Texas,” said Michael Benson of Istation. “There are about 5,000 schools in Texas, so this achievement is pretty impressive.”
Colt Elementary Principal Keith Powell agreed.
“You all worked extremely hard for this,” he said. “You should be proud. I have the best teachers, staff and students in the state.”
Istation is a free reading and math tutoring program available to Marble Falls Independent School District third-through-eighth-graders. The elementary campus uses the program for reading assessments, Powell explained.
The students take a 30-minute assessment which looks at the critical areas of phonemic awareness, alphabetic knowledge, vocabulary, comprehension and fluency. The program utilizes interactive animation and storytelling to better engage the students. Not only does this help them pay better attention during the assessments, but they typically retain more than without the animation and storytelling methods.
The system utilizes Pixar and Disney animation, according to district officials.
During the recognition ceremony, Istation characters Page Turner and Justin Time presented a custom-made banner to the campus and students.
One of the things Powell and other educators like about this program is when school’s out for summer, students can still use it. MFISD students can log on from home, the library or anywhere they have access to the Internet. If a student can’t remember his or her log-in information, officials said a parent just needs to contact the child’s campus.
Powell said a program such as this really helps students during the summer.
“We encourage parents to actively engage their children in some type of learning during the summer,” Powell said. “This program is a great way to do that. Sure, it’s summer and we want students to have fun, but we also want them to keep learning and come back next (school) year ready to learn and without slipping much.”
Educators often refer to the “summer slide” when students lose some of the knowledge they gain during the academic year. Istation helps alleviate that slide in a fun and engaging manner.
Go to mfisd.ss3.sharpschool.com for more information on Istation or other ways to help curb the “summer slide.”