The First Cognitively Based Reading Programs

SkateKids™ and Ramps To Reading™ are online digital game-based reading programs built to stimulate and develop the cognitive processes necessary for learning to read while students build critical literacy skills, with a unique focus on reading comprehension.

Educators often refer to decoding and fluency and comprehension as the basics of reading.  But there is no single part of the brain dedicated to decoding or any of those other “basics” of reading.  And many readers struggle with comprehension even when decoding and fluency are strong.   There are multiple underlying cognitive processes that we may not even be aware of that have to be working well for us to become good readers.

SkateKids and Ramps To Reading were developed based on the work of Dr. Jack Naglieri and the cognitive processes that he has identified as being crucial to learning in general.  These programs, embedded in a fun and engaging video-game format, develop essential cognitive processes along with key reading processes.  Users develop and apply cognitive processes along with the kinds of strategies that are the hallmark of excellent readers.

SkateKids and Ramps To Reading can be used at home, or in a school or learning resource setting, and are sometimes used by clinicians to provide practice and reinforce automaticity of skills.

WHOSkateKids is designed for ages 7 to 12. The program helps the user progress from very simple basic reading to reading at a 6th-grade reading level. Ramps To Reading is recommended for ages 4 to 7. In Ramps To Reading, no independent reading ability is required. A license for these programs allows either program to be used. If SkateKids is too hard, the player can move back to Ramps To Reading. When he/she gets to the point where they are ready, they can move up to SkateKids.
WHATThese cognitively based reading programs offer a unique approach to the development of reading skills, particularly comprehension. As supplemental reading programs, they are compatible with any direct instructional reading curriculum. Ramps To Reading™ (Ages 4 to 7) takes early readers from initial pre-literacy levels to basic word reading and comprehension. Engaging games help learners acquire and practice skills in a developmentally appropriate sequence. SkateKids™ (Ages 7 to 12) cultivates early readers in an immersive environment that scaffolds reading levels as it helps learners develop critical thinking and metacognitive skills.
WHENThe recommended usage is about an hour a week. Often users find it convenient to schedule 15 to 20-minute sessions throughout the week, adding up to an hour or so in total.
WHERE SkateKids and Ramps To Reading run in a browser on a computer, a PC, a Mac or a Chromebook. Chrome is the preferred browser. The computer must have speakers. A headset and a mouse are recommended.
Scientific research has demonstrated that a series of cognitive processes are involved in learning to read, including:

Planning:  The student decides how to attack a task, exerting cognitive control over processes and knowledge with intentionality.

Attention: Focused cognitive activity and resistance to distraction are essential in the process of learning to read.

Simultaneous and Sequential Processing: Reading, like many other tasks requires the brain to simultaneously process a mass of information and then to take in and manipulate the sequence of information, from the letters in a word to the sentences in a paragraph.

SkateKids and Ramps To Reading explicitly develop Planning, Attention, and Simultaneous and Sequential Processing to enable students to make rapid gains in the acquisition of literacy skills, along with the skills identified by the National Reading Panel.

These highly effective programs complement any existing reading program by ensuring that students can build effective learning strategies, while developing the cognitive skills necessary to become proficient readers.

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