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Introduction to Adaptivity

Adaptivity is at the core of the Amplify Reading program. Our differentiated instruction system provides instruction and practice that is responsive to variability in students’ skills across the multiple skill domains that contribute to literacy.

What is the adaptive algorithm?

Within Amplify Reading, student assessment data is used to place students into our learning map, so that students are focused on the skills they need most. As students play Amplify Reading, the adaptivity system moves them through our unique sequence of instruction, allowing them to progress at different rates through each skill domain, based on their performance.

How is Amplify Reading adaptive?

Every student in Amplify Reading follows a path through skill games and content that is driven by their needs. Our system maintains a rich profile for each student as they master or struggle with each skill level, and tailors the content they see in games, based on their individual strengths and opportunities for improvement. Amplify Reading also provides adaptive support for students, meaning that the degree of scaffolding, instruction, and practice adapts within games based on student performance, to ensure your students get targeted practice in the skills they need most.


What does adaptivity look like in action?

Video: What does adaptivity look like in Amplify Reading?

How students experience adaptivity

The Amplify Reading student experience is adaptive at every point, both within individual skill games, and across a student’s journey through the learning map.

Adaptivity in games

Adaptivity in games takes the form of targeted scaffolds, feedback, and practice, based on live student performance within a game level. For example, if a student is playing Connect It and struggles with choosing the correct connective to use in a sentence, they will be given a definition and detailed explanation of the word in question, along with a series of example sentences to practice using it in context.

Adaptivity in quests

Though all students in a class will encounter the same set of quests in the same order, the skill games and activities they practice within quests will vary according to their individual needs.

When a student excels in a particular skill area, they are progressed through the learning map to more challenging skills and applications of mastered content.

On the other hand, if a student struggles with a skill, the adaptive algorithm will take note and give them a break from that particular skill; in their next quest they will see games that cover related skills in the learning map, to ensure that they’re prepared to tackle the challenging content when it comes up again in a later quest.

Adaptivity and the Teacher Dashboard

The Amplify Reading Teacher Dashboard helps you to track your students' progress through the 13 skill domains they practice in the program, while providing you with insight into each student’s strengths and struggles along their reading journey.

The dashboard includes a variety of features to help you understand your students’ unique experiences in Amplify Reading:

  • Color coding to indicate whether an individual student is engaging in , at-, below-, or above-grade level content for each subskill and skill domain

  • Detailed information about their time spent using the program and their growth over time

  • A view of each student’s projected personalized path through the learning map and their subskill mastery goals

  • An overview of a student’s recent activity, including their current quest and which games and subskills they are actively working on

  • Insight into student’s trouble spots, with downloadable enrichment resources for targeted skill practice outside of the Amplify Reading experience

Click here to learn more about your Teacher Dashboard.

Subskill mastery goals

Subskill mastery goals show whether your students are progressing through their expected content for the school year.

Each student’s goal is calculated based on their grade, where they were placed in Amplify Reading’s adaptive learning map, and the recommended amount of time a student is expected to use the program. Goals are based on research showing the relationship between subskill mastery and student growth, and take into account the variety of content students will encounter — including difficulty level (trouble spot likelihood) and time required (subskill size). This goal is the minimum number of subskills we expect students to reach; it is very likely that they will surpass these goals.

Not to worry — when students surpass their goals, they will continue to be served further content along the adaptive learning map!

What if my student is struggling? What should I do if I have concerns?

It's natural for students to struggle in Amplify Reading, as in all instructional moments. If there were no struggle, we'd be concerned that students are not being challenged enough.

We recommend that students without diverse learning needs play at least one quest in Grades K-3 or at least 3 games in Grades 4-5 to allow them to experience instruction and practice across multiple skill domains and to get acclimated to the program. Rest assured that Amplify Reading will support and engage them in this challenging work -- as the program tells them, “Keep going, you’re growing!”

Unlike other programs, Amplify Reading enables students to progress across different skill domains, even if they struggle in some areas. Just because a student is struggling with one particular skill, doesn't mean they will be blocked in Amplify Reading or will struggle with all of the content they see. For example, a student may be struggling in vocabulary but will continue to progress in their early decoding content.

We expect most students to encounter trouble spots throughout the year. This indicates that your students are being adequately challenged by the content within their adaptive learning path. However, when you notice students repeatedly struggling with the same subskill, this may be a good opportunity to work with those students in a small group or one-on-one to address that particular skill. While Amplify Reading adapts to the needs of your students, targeted one-on-one instruction allows you to participate in the program and better support your students’ growth. Your Teacher Dashboard will help you identify where students are struggling via Trouble Spots (see below). Your Dashboard also includes a robust resource library of suggested materials and targeted practice activities to use with students who struggle with Amplify Reading or more generally in your core instruction.

Note: If your students have diverse learning needs or if you believe they need to be replaced for a different reason, you can always contact us to request that.


Understanding Trouble Spots

Note: Click here to read our FAQ on trouble spots

What does a trouble spot on my Teacher Dashboard mean?

Students receive content that's appropriate for them within each quest, based on their initial placement and subsequent performance.

If a student struggles with a particular subskill (three failed attempts on a given skill game level), the associated content set is removed from the quest and presented to the student later on, after they've had more practice with prerequisite skills. If the student is still not able to master the subskill when they encounter it again, the Teacher Dashboard will indicate that the student has encountered a trouble spot.

How can I see what my student was struggling with?

You can click on any student’s name to open their Student Detail View; from there, clicking on the Trouble Spots tab will display a list of that student’s past and current trouble spots.

You can also use the Trouble Spots feed in the Insights page of your Dashboard to view details about individual students’ trouble spots; just click on any student’s name to see details about the subskill they are struggling with and access instructional resources for extra practice.

Can my student keep playing? What do I need to do to support them?

Yes, students can (and should) keep playing! The adaptive algorithm will continue to offer students appropriate content that helps them build some of the precursor skills necessary to tackle the challenging content again later in their learning progression.

You can use the more detailed information about the challenging content and the targeted instructional activities linked in each student’s Trouble Spots tab, but you can also be assured that Amplify Reading will expose students to this content again later in the program when they’ve had more time to practice the prerequisite skills.


Beyond adaptivity: How Amplify Reading supports a wide variety of students

Amplify recognizes how crucial it is that all students learn to read and have access to high quality literacy instruction that meets their needs and improves their literacy skills. Amplify Reading’s approach to personalization, engagement, and instruction was designed with this guiding principle in mind. Amplify Reading is committed to supporting learner variability by celebrating and meeting the unique needs of students from diverse backgrounds and with various learning abilities and differences.

Multisensory scaffolding

Amplify Reading includes a variety of multimodal and multi-sensory scaffolds that are embedded into our instructional content. For example, many Amplify Reading activities include multiple representations of content, such as text, visuals, animations, audio, and on-screen manipulatives, to aid comprehension for students of varying abilities and reading levels. In particular, English learners and struggling readers will benefit from read-aloud functionality, picture supports, on-screen manipulatives, and images of mouths to support sounds.

Images of mouths support phonological awareness and phonics skills in the game, Picky Goblins.

Skill games like Zoom Boom pair sounds and images to teach rime spellings.

Close Reading activities, the eReader, and many skill games include read aloud options

Supports for English Learners

Amplify Reading supports English learners (ELs) through adaptivity and multimodal scaffolds. Our focus on explicit phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension process instruction is particularly vital for EL students. In fact, a study of our program has shown that Amplify Reading helps English learners close the opportunity gap.

The program offers several types of scaffolds to provide extra support for EL students, including Spanish language voiceover for many games and narrative experiences, as well as definitions and illustrations for challenging or unfamiliar vocabulary words.

Note: Click here to see how to enable or disable Spanish voiceover in the student experience.

Spanish voiceover in the Automatic Placement Tool (APT)

The APT has Spanish voiceover available for both the narrative sections and the skill measures.

If you have a student who should take the APT in Spanish, you will need to toggle Spanish voiceover on for that student before they log in for the first time and take the APT. If your student has already played the APT in English and you would like for them to retake it in Spanish, please contact our customer support team.

Spanish voiceover in K-5 Quests

Students propel the storyline in Amplify Reading forward as they take on quests in the town of Bookerton (grades K-3) or Olivia Wen’s mysterious Workshop (grades 4-5).

This narrative is available in both English and Spanish, allowing students to access the full engagement experience even at the earliest stages of their English learning journey.

Spanish voiceover in skill games

In addition to the overall quest narrative, 31 of our skill games offer instructional voiceover in Spanish:

Reveal words

Spanish-language voiceover is not the only tool available to EL students using Amplify Reading. Contextual definition support for challenging and/or unfamiliar vocabulary words (including academic and Tier 2 vocabulary words) are available in the integrated eReader, Close Reading activities, and some skill games. These definitions are written in simple English and include both read-aloud audio and image supports to ensure they are accessible to students who are learning English.

Diverse representation in Amplify Reading

Amplify is dedicated to equitable education and celebrating differences in life and thought. Therefore, Amplify Reading reflects the diverse histories, cultures, and identities that students bring to the classroom. Throughout texts and storylines in Amplify Reading, students are exposed to different histories, backgrounds, and cultures, preparing them to be full participants in our increasingly global society.

Amplify Reading’s content includes representations of various ethnicities, mental and physical abilities, socio-economic levels, and family structures as well as stories, histories, and perspectives from a variety of cultures and time periods. We also give careful consideration to avoid stereotypical images, language, roles, or characteristics of any given group. In this way, we support and motivate students from a wide variety of backgrounds, particularly celebrating the various cultures, physical and mental abilities, and family structures that our students bring to the classroom.

The characters in the Amplify Reading storyline represent a wide range of ages, races, and body types.

Our eReader features diverse protagonists and topics to ensure that the texts are relevant and relatable to students.

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