I am a special needs teacher of high school students whose reading levels range from kindergarten through grade 8. My colleagues and I implemented Reading Horizons two years ago. We were part of a two-day training (hands-on and fun) and were astonished at the simple, yet effective, approach; which made it easier to immediately implement into our current classroom schedules.
We introduced it to 9th and 10th grade Inclusion classes (containing struggling readers), and with all 9-12 self-contained classes (where the students' levels were much lower). The students, naturally, were none-too-thrilled to find out they would be required to work on this regularly, but soon realized that they enjoyed it. What they found to be the greatest "hook" was the immediate feedback they would get from lessons and passages, which led to them challenging themselves. On days that we were not working on the computer program, they would ask, "Can we do Reading Horizons today?" or "Can you log in and check my Reading Horizons?
You're going to be surprised!"
I have success stories, but one, in particular, stands out. One of my 9th grade students came to the high school reading at a 1.3 grade level. By the end of his freshman year, he was reading at the 3.5 level on Reading Horizons. What made this such a success was his willingness to work on the program at home and during his Resource Class, not just during English.
His motivation? He said he wanted to be able to text his friends and understand what was being texted to him by the end of the year. He also said he found it fun to challenge himself and set personal goals for each month. This year, as a sophomore, he continued with the program and his reading skills continue to grow.
When I asked my students to describe the program, they said the following:
"This has really helped me be a better reader."
"At first I thought this was going to be boring, but then I liked challenging myself."
"I like it!"
"I like seeing the results right away."
I would recommend this program to any teacher who wants their students to become more motivated about their own reading progress.