W. J. Gurganus Elementary School is one of 15 elementary schools in Craven County, NC. WJG is a Title 1 school with 496 students, including 55% free and reduced lunch district-wide. The school purchased a building license to Tales2go one year after one of its classroom teachers had found success using Tales2Go in her classroom.
Meet North Carolina State standards, raise reading scores and get students excited about reading and listening. The school’s mission is to prepare students to be lifelong learners in the 21st century through challenging, active and relevant learning experiences.
3rd grade teacher, Ashley Alicea, has been teaching at WJ Gurganus for ten years. Ashley is always on the lookout for innovative ways to integrate technology into her classroom to help her students learn. Initially, Ashley won a contest that allowed her to use Tales2go with her students. Based on success in Ashley’s classroom, school administrators subsequently purchased a building license to Tales2go. Ashley had been aware of the new listening standards within her state, and understood that listening was a skill unto itself, requiring separate instruction. Further, she understood that in order for students to be good readers, they first have to be good listeners, since listening develops critical vocabulary, fluency and comprehension skills.
“The best part about Tales2go is they don’t even know that they’re learning. They love to be able to listen to Tales2go and they’re getting all those vocabulary connections. They’re getting that fluency and comprehension practice. Visualization is huge. It teaches them how to visualize the story for the lower level learners without the semantics of struggling with the text.”
– Ashley Alicea, W.J. Gurganus Elementary
The students in Ashley’s classroom use Tales2go in many different ways. Ashley says, “…it is yet another 21st century tool in their toolbox. I use it as part of my guided reading rotations. I usually create two Tales2go groups that I assign a book to. In other words, I will make a small group that needs to work on identifying main idea, for example. I’ll give them an iPad, a Rockstar (which is a headphone splitter, and is a MUST if you don’t already have any,) and assign a particular book…I always pair the listening of the story with the completion of a graphic organizer and comprehension questions. This way, I can be certain the children are tuned in and retaining the information that is being listened to.”
Ashley’s class also uses Tales2go in other creative ways such as listening outside while walking around the school track, listening and repeating sentences for fluency practice as well as listening at home.
Ashley’s students can now read 145 words correctly per minute by mClass standard, exceeding the goal of 100. All of Ashley’s students are at or above grade level in their reading assessment.