To prepare students for the Early Reader Skills Scaffold, students should be given an introduction to the feature in order to understand what to expect and what is expected of them.
Preparing Students for the Early Reader Skills Scaffold
Prior to students using Amira Benchmark, they should become familiar with what to expect when completing the skills scaffold components.
Tips for Student Success with the Early Reader Skills Scaffold
System and Device Readiness: Ensure the Amira Readiness Checklist has been completed on student devices; most likely, readiness has already been completed prior to the student using the Early Reader Skills Scaffold
Headset with Microphone: Verify students have a headset with a working microphone at the appropriate volume settings; explain to students that they should speak clearly into the microphone
Click or Tap Directions: Give directions for 'clicking' or 'tapping' depending on what type of device the students are using (computer, laptop, iPad, etc.)
Student Location: Prepare enough space between students for clear audio and for students to be kept as free as possible from distractions
School Day Schedule: As much as possible, schedule 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 an Early Reader Skills Scaffold set of tasks (i.e. raise hand, read a book, etc.)
Steps for Using Amira Early Reader Skills Scaffold
STEP 1: Building Background Knowledge Before Using Amira Early Reader Skills Scaffold
Explain to students that:
Amira will explain what to do before they begin the Skills Scaffold
They will be using their computer/iPad and headset/microphone to read aloud to Amira and that the words, pictures, and stories will appear appear on their screen
After they say a word, the text will turn from black to gray
While they speak and read aloud, Amira will be listening to them
When they are finished with each task, Amira will explain to them that their work is being saved; Amira will then progress to the next task with directions
For the very last task of reading a story, Amira will explain that their work is being saved, and Amira will take care of logging them out
Show students this video which models Amira reading aloud with a student (Echo Reading; the student completing a Word List; and the student reading a Letter Story
STEP 2: Logging in
Go to 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. Learn more about allowing access to the microphone here.
Step 4: Completing the Early Reader Skills Scaffold
If this is the first time Amira has been accessed on the device, Amira may take several minutes to load.
Amira will explain the directions for each Skills Scaffold task including encouraging the student to try the student's best to read out loud, sound out unknown words, skip words, etc.
Amira will count down by saying Ready, Set, Start!
When reading a story with Amira, a progress indicator along the bottom of the screen shows how many story pages have been completed
When the student has finished each task (reading a story with Amira, Word List, and Letter Story)
Amira will thank the student for reading and will display a Great work! screen
Best practice is to have the students keep their browser tab open for a minute to ensure the data saves