Amira Practice has students read stories aloud to Amira. While students read aloud, Amira provides in-the-moment feedback with over 25 micro-interventions which build student skills and accelerate student reading growth.
To prepare for Practice, students should be given an introduction to the Practice feature in order to build an understanding of what to expect and what is expected of them.
Preparing Students for Practice
Prior to students using Amira Practice, students should become familiar with how to use Practice from the point of logging in, to reading with Amira, and to finishing the Practice session. Feel free to use the information below with students to begin their journey with using Amira Practice.
Tips for Getting Students Ready to Use Amira Practice with Success
System and Device Readiness: Ensure the Amira Readiness Checklist has been completed
Headset with Microphone: Ensure students have a headset with a working microphone at the appropriate volume settings; explain to students that they should speak clearly into the microphone and keep their hands away from the mic or mute button (if applicable)
Click or Tap Directions: Keep in mind to give directions for 'clicking' or 'tapping' depending upon what type of device the students are using (computer, laptop, iPad, etc.)
Student Location: Plan enough space between students for clear audio as well as free of possible distractions
School Day Schedule: As much as possible, schedule sufficient time for Amira sessions free from bell schedules, announcements, fire drills, etc.
Student Questions: Set student guidelines for what to do:
If unable to log in (i.e. raise hand)
If an error message appears on the screen (i.e. raise hand)
After finishing a Practice story (i.e. read another story; raise hand; read a book; move to next rotation station; log reading on a bar chart, sticker chart, or journal, etc.)
Expectations: Have an expectation for how many Practice stories a student should read in one sitting while keeping in mind that best practices and research indicate that students should read approximately 10 minutes per day (45 minutes per week) and that each story is approximately 4-7 minutes each, so reading 2 stories per day would achieve the recommendations for successful reading growth.
Steps for Using Amira Practice
STEP 1: Build Background Knowledge of Using Amira Practice
Explain to students that
They will be using their computer/iPad and headset/microphone to read aloud stories which appear on their screen
While they read aloud, Amira will be listening to them read
Amira will be giving them feedback just like when they read with you (their teacher)
Amira will help them in different ways, including helping them sound out words, giving definitions of words, asking questions about the story, etc.
Show students this video which has a student and Amira reading together
Explain to students that they will see the student and Amira reading together while Amira and her friend help the student
Explain that the students will see a cursor or line underneath each word as the student reads; after students say the word, the text will turn from black to gray; sometimes, the cursor and the words being read might not be the same which is okay; Amira is still listening to the student read and knows exactly which words are being read aloud even if the cursor isn't exactly underneath the same word being said
STEP 2: Logging in
Visit either the district's Single Sign-On (SSO) or HMH Ed (https://www.hmhco.com/ui/login/)
❗Note: International schools and after school programs will have staff and students log in via https://www.amiratutor.com/, and type their username and password
Select Country, if needed
Enter District/Independent School (this field will appear after selecting State)
Follow additional instructions for logging in
STEP 3: Accessing the Microphone (if first time accessing Amira)
The first time an account accesses Amira on a device, the browser asks for permission to access the microphone.
Step 4: Begin Reading a Story
If this is the first time Amira has been accessed on a device, Amira may take several minutes to load.
Click/Tap Let’s do it
STEP 5a: Choose What to Do (reading with Amira Practice for the first time)
Click/Tap Read a story to read a Practice story
If reading a Practice story for the first time, Amira will automatically begin the story after clicking/tapping Read a story
If not reading a Practice story for the first time, Amira will give the student story choices. See STEP 5b below for directions.
STEP 5b: Choose What to Do (reading with Amira Practice after the first time)
Click/Tap Read a story to read a Practice story
Select story of choice from Which story would you like to read?
STEP 5c: Choose What to Do (see progress)
Click/Tap See progress to see reading progress
❗Note: Amira will show progress in terms of speed (words read correctly in a minute - WCPM) and accuracy for the most recent story read.
The goal is to read with 95% accuracy to make sure the student reads well enough to be able to focus on the meaning of the text.
Speed may vary as story leveling adapts to your student’s reading; there is an expectation that speed scores will differ from story to story.
STEP 6: After Finishing a Practice Story
Students should wait for a moment or two before closing Amira as only saved stories are available for leveling, scoring, and viewing.
Amira will display a report of reading progress at the end of each story for the student. Older students could use this screen to record for their own goal setting.