Boost

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Great news! Kids at your school now have access to a brand-new app that helps build automaticity in early reading skills.

Fluent reading requires students to become automatic in their reading skills. But becoming automatic requires spaced practice outside of instruction and it’s challenging to find the time in the day to provide that practice. We get it. That is why we developed Boost.

Boost is an app with a set of games that gives students spaced practice on skills such as Letter-Sound Knowledge, Blending, Irregular Word Recognition, and Advanced Phonics. It is a practice-only app (meaning it does not provide instruction), so it’s a great complement to any core curriculum.

All Kindergarteners and First Graders can benefit from Boost. Second and Third Graders who scored Well Below Benchmark and need more practice with decoding can also benefit.

If you can get 4-5 iPads into each K-3 classroom, the easiest way to use Boost is as a center.  If your school doesn’t have enough iPads for centers, you can still give kids access via parents’ and caregivers’ iPhones, iPads and/or iPod Touches. The logins work at home.

Ready to dive in? Watch this short video to learn how you can get kids started.

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FAQs

Jump to:

  1. Why should you use Boost?
  2. Which students should use Boost?
  3. Which devices does Boost work on?
  4. How often should students use Boost?
  5. How do I log in to the practice app to see how it works?
  6. How do I get my students started with Boost?
  7. What skills are my students working on?
  8. How do I lock games?
  9. How do I unlock games?
  10. What do the percentages on the dashboard mean?
  11. How were the words chosen for Boost?
  12. Can I edit the words in Boost?
  13. How do I get kids started at home?
  14. How do I keep my kids invested in and excited about using the practice app?

Why should you use Boost?

Fluent reading requires students to become fluent (automatic) in their reading skills. But becoming automatic requires spaced practice outside of instruction. Boost provides students with that spaced practice.

Which students should use Boost?

All kids working on decoding can benefit from using Boost. In most schools, this means all Kindergartners, all 1st Graders and below grade level 2nd and 3rd Graders.

Which devices does Boost work on?

Boost works on iPads, iPhones and iPod Touches. It doesn’t yet work on Android devices or laptops, but we are considering developing versions for those platforms.

How often should students use Boost?

Ideally students practice at least 4 days/week. We recommend 10 minutes/day for kindergartners and 15 minutes/day for 1st-3rd graders.

You can set up kids to use Boost as a center during rotations or before and after school. Some schools have gone as far as squeezing it into the lunch block. Kids can also practice at home on nights and weekends.

Note: Some kids may not be interested in ongoing daily practice. If your kids’ interests wane, it’s better not to force them to play.

How do I log in to Boost to see how it works?

Log in using the same username and password you use to enter mCLASS. As an educator, you will have access to all the games, even those your kids will eventually unlock as they advance through the skills progression.

How do I get my students started with Boost?

  1.  Find a Time When Your Students Will Practice with Boost
    We recommend Kindergarteners practice 10 minutes/day and First, Second and Third Graders practice 15 minutes/day.

    • If you can get access to 4-6 iPads every day, use Boost during center time.
    • If you can provide one iPad for each student in class, have all kids use Boost at the same time.
    • If you have kids who arrive early or stay late, you can offer Boost during that time.

2. Have Your Tech Coordinator Download Boost Onto Your Classroom iPads.

You can do this yourself by going to the app store and searching for “Amplify Boost”. The app looks like this.

3. Print Kids’ QR Codes

A. On your PC or Laptop, go to mclass.amplify.com using Chrome or Safari.

B. Select mCLASS:DIBELS Next

C. Select the Instruction tab

D. Select Boost Dashboard

E. Select Dashboard

F. Find your class in the Class or Group dropdown.

G. Click Print QR Codes.

F. Print kids’ QR codes

4. Make it easy for your kids to get their codes every day. One of our early users hung this near her centers.

5. Put the iPads and headphones in an easy to access place (Boost requires headphones).

6. You are ready to go!

How do I lock games?

You can update the settings for each kid’s app in our teacher dashboard.
Here’s how:

1.  Go to the Instruction tab.

2. Click on Boost Dashboard.

3. Choose your student’s class in the Class or Group dropdown

4. Click on the name of the student who has access to games you want to lock

5. Click on Game Configs
6. Remove the checkmark from the games you want to lock


7. Click Save

What skills are my students working on?

This visual shows you how games map to skills:

How do I unlock games?

Teachers and interventionists can manually unlock games for students if they want kids to focus on a skill that Boost hasn’t yet unlocked. To do this:

  1. Go to the Instruction tab. Click on Boost Dashboard.
  2. Click on the lock symbol below the skill you’d like your kid to work on. Then click on the green check mark.

What do the percentages on the dashboard mean?

The percentages tell you how much progress students have made in each early reading skill.

We use students’ scores on Boost games to calculate progress. For example, if a student has scored high enough to unlock half of the letter sounds, you’ll see 50% in the Letter Sounds ring.

Note: you may see 34% in the Letter Sounds ring before students start playing Boost. The dashboard does this because 9 letter sounds are unlocked by default. This allows your students to get practice as soon as they start playing.

How were the words chosen for Boost?

Amplify’s product and research teams used Burst lessons to choose most of the words in Boost.

Can I edit the words in Boost?

Boost doesn’t currently allow you to edit the words in games, but we may add that option in the future.

How do I get kids started at home?

Kids whose parents have an iPad, iPhone or iPod can use Boost at home. Print QR codes for each kid’s parents and attach them to our parent flyer in English, Spanish or French like this:

How do I keep my kids invested in and excited about using the practice app?

As your kids play games, recognize their progress with statements that promote a growth mindset. When kids unlock eggs, praise students’ effort with specific feedback such as “I can tell you’ve been working hard on letter sounds!” Kids who haven’t yet unlocked eggs should also receive feedback that reinforces effort and risk-taking. For example, if your student has trouble with a game, help him or her and then say “I like how you keep trying!”.