Reading Horizons Discovery is an interactive platform for Reading Horizons, a multi-sensory curriculum used to rapidly increase reading skills

App of the Week
Formats: Windows, Mac OS, iPad

Website: Reading Horizons

What does it help with? Reading Horizons Discovery is a versatile direct instruction and software program that provides teachers with the resources to give young students the foundation to build strong reading and spelling skills and put them on the path to reading success.

What grade and age range? Reading Horizons Discovery is designed for beginning readers in kindergarten through third grade.

Is this core/supplemental/special needs/extra-curricular/ professional development or what? Reading Horizons Discovery is implemented in a variety of instructional settings, including the general classroom, intervention settings, after-school and summer programs, and with students learning English. A variety of professional development options are available.

What subject, topic, what standards is it mapped to?  Reading Horizons Discovery fulfills 92% of the standards for foundational reading skills for students in grade K–3, as well as other standards outlined by the Common Core State Standards. It is correlated to the findings of the National Reading Panel.

What lesson time does it use?  Lessons take an average of 20 minutes, depending on the grade level and the amount of instructional time available for foundational skill instruction. Lessons on the software help teachers differentiate and customize instruction for each student. The Reading Horizons Discovery lessons can be taught to the whole class, small groups, and one-on-one using direct instruction or software.

What is the pricing model? Reading Horizons software provides unlimited access at $100 per student, with discounts available at quantities of more than 24 students and as part of a schoolwide package. The Reading Horizons Discovery iPad app is a free way to access the software from anywhere that has an internet connection.

Are there services around it? The software provides a fun and interactive way for students to improve reading by offering an age-appropriate interface, with characters Max and Maya to guide and encourage students’ performance. Students earn coins for completing assessments, lessons, activities, vocabulary words, and reading in the library. They can track their own progress on the “Treasure Map.”  

The Reading Horizons Accelerate web portal provides teachers with all the resources they need to effectively teach the program. Resources include instructional videos, a lesson center and dynamic instructional planner, downloadable resources, and a community forum where teachers can ask questions and share ideas.

What makes it unique? To make this framework engaging, appealing, and sensible for students, Reading Horizons Discovery incorporates multi-sensory, Orton-Gillingham principles of instruction and a unique marking system into its approach. Reading Horizons Discovery is also unique in that it offers engaging software to enhance teacher instruction and differentiate instruction for students.

A description of the characteristics—how is it designed for user interface, user experience?  What instructional design principles are at work here?

Reading Horizons Discovery has a simple, modern design. Much time was put into making it both fun and engaging for students. Each screen has easy-to-use navigation that assists the student’s progress through the program. Each lesson in Reading Horizons Discovery includes a response to instruction loop to adapt instruction for each learner as well as inform the teacher about the student’s experience in the software. Teachers and students using the software can access it anywhere they have an internet connection. The software can be used on any computer, as well as iPads and other mobile devices.


A teacher’s review:

“I love that the Reading Horizons Discovery software reinforces the direct instruction that occurs in the classroom. The students enjoy the way the material is presented because it is engaging and rewarding. Students love to see their progress on the map, earn trophies, and decorate their Treehouse. Also, since the software can be accessed at home through the internet, parents can experience what the students are learning.”

—Teri H., a third-grade teacher in Utah

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