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Curriculum Details for
VersaTiles Reading/Language Arts

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Program
Description
Practitioner Expert
Review
Content Expert
Review
VersaTiles Reading/Language Arts
Publication Date: 2008
Grade Level: 1–6
Content Focus: Literacy/Language Arts
Costs: Starter Set: $79.95; Starter Set with Leveled Books: $221.95-$298.95; Full Grade Lab: $325; Full Lab with Leveled Books: $895-$1,233
The costs shown were accurate at the time of the review. Please check the publisher's web site for current prices.
Developer Contact Information
ETA/Cuisenaire
500 Greenview Court
Vernon Hills, IL, 60061
800-445-5985
www.etacuisenaire.com/versatiles/versati
les_reading.jsp

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Design Summary

VersaTiles is designed as a supplemental literacy program for both classroom and afterschool settings.  The program combines the challenge of a puzzle with the practice of a workbook, offering many activities that allow students to practice skills independently and at their own pace.  Students use an answer case to complete activities, in which numbered tiles are used to indicate answers to the activity’s multiple choice questions. Once all questions in the activity are answered, the answer case is flipped over to reveal a pattern on the backside of the tiles. The pattern is used to check for accurately answered questions.  This way, students receive immediate feedback and may rethink solutions to the incorrectly answered questions until they are successful. The ability to make mistakes and self-correct fosters motivation and engagement in students.  Skills focused on include: reading comprehension, vocabulary skills, reading confidence, phonics, spelling, study skills, and grammar.

Curriculum materials can be purchased in different forms, depending on targeted skills, grade level, and format.  Materials include student activity books, leveled books (with select labs), self-correcting answer cases, teacher resource guides, and posters.

Costs and Staff Training

VersaTiles is available in many different formats. The Reading/Language Arts lab costs $325 per grade level. The Reading/Language Arts Resource Library, including the full labs for grades 1-6, costs $1,695. Starter sets are available for a cost of $79.95 per grade level.  Extra answer cases cost $119.95 for a set of ten.

VersaTiles Rising Readers labs may be purchased with corresponding leveled books for a total cost of $1,135-$1,233 (depending on the lab level) or without the leveled books at the price of $234.95 per lab.  VersaTiles Comprehension & Vocabulary labs may be purchased with corresponding Scooters Books for a total cost of $895 or $1,160 (depending on the lab level) or without Scooters Books at the price of $220.95 or $298.95 (depending on the lab level).

VersaTiles Reading/Language Arts Teacher’s Resource Guide offers program training and support designed to assist new or established reading/language arts teachers and staff. The guide features classroom management tips, detailed descriptions of each activity, background information and suggestions for incorporating VersaTiles in the classroom, student/class record charts, blackline masters, Scope and Sequence, and four reproducible tests with answer keys.

Staff Qualifications

Formal teaching experience is not required to implement VersaTiles Reading/Language Arts. Content expert reviews agree with this. Practitioner expert stated that she has had high school students, serving as assistants in her summer school classroom, use VersaTiles effectively with younger students.

Standards Alignment

  • National: National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE); International Reading Association (IRA)
  • State: None specified

Research Base

VersaTiles Reading/Language Arts is based on research linking conceptual understanding, practice of skills and concepts, and problem solving. The IRA and NCTE Standards serve as the foundation for VersaTiles for Reading/Language Arts. Student activity books for grades 1–6 are organized into four strands: Phonics, Word Attack and Vocabulary; Spelling; Comprehension and Study Skills; and Grammar, Usage, and Mechanics. For the full article “VersaTiles: A Research-Based Program for Targeting Practice in Mathematics and Reading/Language Arts” visit http://www.etacuisenaire.com/pdf/grant/vtpositionpaper.pdf

Evaluation Details

None specified.

Overall Strengths/Overall Challenges

Strengths
  • Motivational and engaging for students.
  • Appeals to different learning styles.
  • An instructor can use this in an afterschool program with little training ahead of time.
  • Targets specific skill sets, and breaks down different parts of comprehension.
  • Tied to the skills needed to become an expert reader.
  • Easy to move and transport
Challenges
  • Could be challenging with students who have behavior issues.


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