Kiro 7 News featured our Amazing Grace campus this week! Susan Thompson and her 2nd-grade students were part of a segment on the use of the Microsoft Immersive Reader. This free add-on tool for Microsoft Word has allowed our students to take huge strides in reading efficiency. This technological innovation has enabled our teachers to work with students on their reading skills in a new capacity, making it easier for some children to learn.
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The Microsoft Immersive Reader serves multiple purposes. Not only does it read-along with students, highlighting the text as they read, but it also provides a phonetic component. Students like Karrick, who was featured in the Kiro 7 News story, was able to demonstrate this by using the read-aloud function. This function aided him in learning how to pronounce the word “beehive.” This read-aloud feature can also be used with students’ writing. Students can have their writing read back to them, giving them a better idea of where changes should be made in the flow of the story or where to edit for better clarity.
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For students like Karrick, the Microsoft Immersive Reader was a life saver. As he struggled with identifying letters, words, and sounds, the Immersive Reader provided one-on-one support. Further, they can do so without the intimidating factor of other peers or the teacher. Giving students control over their learning and their own progress encourages self-accountability. With ownership over their own education, students become invested in learning in a new way.
We were doing a variety of things including typing their mystery stories into OneNote right next to our rubric and then copying it into another OneNote editing page to let Immersive Reader read back what they typed. Immersive Reader helped students revise and correct their writing. Yesterday one student was listening to her story being read back to her by Immersive Reader and she heard it read back “exited” as she typed it. She had a funny look on her face, realizing that she had misspelled excited. During the time the news crew was in our classroom, others were making Sways about our Water Is Life Global Goals for Sustainable Development connected with the dance program. One student was making a PowerPoint, so we had a good representation of what goes on in class. And another four students were making a blueprint in Minecraft Education Edition for our STEAM project. Karrick did great in sharing what he had learned and demonstrated it for the news reporter. I put a copy of his Student Treasure story in OneNote for him to use. The cameraman noted how the students were my troubleshooters as well. The students definitely rose to the occasion.
– Susan Thompson
Sometimes parents and even other educators may express concern about students learning on a digital device. However, this Microsoft tool has proven that students will take their digital learning into the physical world. Now, Karrick is reading hard copy books at home. At Renton Prep, we take this as further proof that it is the quality of the screen time with which we should be most concerned. Furthermore, familiarizing students with tools they will use in the real world is an added benefit.
If you’re interested in learning more about Renton Prep and Amazing Grace Christian Schools or the Microsoft Immersive Reader and its educational impact, we invite you to contact us today. Enrollment is currently open for all students.