About Amira Learning

Amira is the first reading assistant that combines reading science and machine learning to listen to, assess, and tutor children learning how to read. With Amira's capabilities, students have productive reading practice with personalized feedback to accelerate reading growth.

Like a great teaching assistant, Amira provides teachers with data and insights. We like to think of Amira like a "force multiplier" -- saving teachers 90+ hours across the school year by automating assessments and running records. Only Amira can read with your students and produce the same results as a human tutor would, every single day.

Here is a quick guide to getting started:

STEP 1: Log In

  1. Go to either your district's Single Sign-On (SSO) or HMH Ed (https://www.hmhco.com/ui/login/)

    1. 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

  2. Select Country, if needed

  3. Enter State

  4. Enter District/Independent School

  5. Click/Tap Next

  6. Follow additional instructions for logging in

STEP 2: Start with Practice

Amira Practice has students read stories aloud to Amira. While students read aloud, Amira provides in-the-moment feedback with over 35 micro-interventions that build student skills and accelerate student reading growth.

Students can begin their journey with Amira by completing Practice reading sessions in order to become familiar with Amira prior to completing a Benchmark assessment or Dyslexia Screener. Without an assignment assigned on the Tracking Report, students will be given the option to Read a Story with the Practice mode after they log into Amira.

We recommend starting with an assessment if your students are not yet reading connected text, or at least a Fountas and Pinnell equivalent of Level B.

STEP 3: Assign the Assessment and/or Dyslexia Screener

Amira guides each student through completing an assessment on the student's device. By default (and when assigned), the student will be given a passage at the the student's grade level. Amira will adaptively re-level based on the student's performance on the first page of the passage.

Modeling Checklist

Prior to students using Amira, students should become familiar with the purpose, instructions, logging in, and reading aloud and modulating their voice.

☐ Set the Purpose: Tell students that they will be reading aloud to a computer and that you will listen to their recordings to help you know what they can do, so they should try their best.

☐ Configure the Headset: Verify students have a headset with a working microphone at the appropriate volume settings. Students should speak clearly into the microphone ("say the sounds of the words you see") and keep their hands off the buttons and mic.

☐ Model: Use the video below to show students what they can expect on the assessment. Pause and think aloud as you review the instructions for the test. For example, say, "If the passage feels too tricky, you can say 'skip' or 'I don't know yet'." Or: "Make sure to click on the green arrow right when you finish reading the last sentence on the page."

Use this video to introduce the Dyslexia Screener and assessment to students.

For grade-level specific assessment walkthroughs, use the following videos:

☐ Encourage a Growth Mindset: As you model, think aloud the behaviors you want students to exhibit when they get stuck or frustrated, such as "I may not know that word -- yet -- but I'm going to try my best and sound out the sounds I know." Tell them to make sure they are doing their very best reading. "Your teachers and parents will be able to hear the recordings and can’t wait to hear how you are growing as a reader!"

☐ Start Staggered & Spaced Out: Ask students to begin the assessment in "waves" -- this will prevent students from reading the same words at the same time, which can confuse them (and Amira if the students are sitting nearby one another)

☐ "Ask 3 Then Ask Me:" Model troubleshooting behaviors for what to do if:

  • Students are unable to log in or forget their password

  • The test says "good work" and logs them out at the end

  • An "I can't hear you" message comes up (this is likely a muted mic)

For more ideas, see How do I prepare devices?

See this video for a walkthrough:

The Dyslexia Screener and Assessment and Progress Monitoring assessments are assigned to students within the Tracking Report.

1. From the Teacher Portal, click/tap Reports

2. Click/Tap TRACKING REPORT

3. Select the class of choice from the drop-down menu, if needed

4. Click/Tap student name(s) or Select All

5. Click/Tap Assign [ ] assessments

NOTE: If an assessment is accidentally assigned, the recommendation is that the student complete the assessment, and then the teacher can re-assign the assessment when ready. All of the relevant reports will refresh with the most recent assessment data.

NOTE: You always have the option to make a judgment call to reassess by re-assigning an assessment. Follow the above steps to re-assign an assessment.

STEP 4: Listen to Student Recordings

By default, access to audio recordings for reading sessions are available to teachers for review. Student recordings can be accessed within the Benchmark Report, Progress Report, and Scoring Practice screen.

How to Access Student Audio Recordings from the Benchmark Report

  1. From the Teacher Portal, click/tap Reports

  2. Click/Tap BENCHMARK REPORT

  3. Click/Tap Student name of choice

  4. Click/Tap play icon

  5. NOTE: Teachers are not expected to rescore assessments, but should listen to the recording fully to ensure students performed their best. If rescoring would be necessary, best practice is to rescore yellow flagged words, but rescoring should not be necessary very often.

    1. To rescore, click/tap a word to change/toggle/mark the word (accuracy will adjust automatically)

      1. Green (Correct)

      2. Red (Incorrect)

      3. Yellow (Un-scored due to possible audio interference)

      4. Gray (Not Read - usually the end of a passage)

      5. NOTE: The last word is not clickable and will not impact the score

    2. After rescoring, the Assessment Status on the Tracking Report will be marked as RESCORED to indicate a change has been made from the original scoring by Amira

  6. Click/Tap SAVED

How to Access Student Audio Recordings from the Progress Report

  1. From the Teacher Portal, click/tap Reports

  2. Click/Tap PROGRESS REPORT

  3. Select class of choice from the drop-down menu (if needed)

  4. Select student of choice from the drop-down menu

    1. NOTE: Type the first few letters of a student's first or last name to narrow the student dropdown menu choices

  5. Click/Tap on a dot or click/tap on an Activity Type (Assessment or Tutor) to be directed to the Scoring screen for the reading session selected

  6. Select Story or Running Record

  7. Click/Tap the play icon

  8. Click/Tap SAVED

STEP 5: Analyze Student Progress

Amira provides many reports for analyzing student progress. This article highlights the use of the Progress Report which displays each individual student's performance over time across assessment and practice sessions along with a projection of expected performance tied to key metrics. The Progress Report can be used to analyze a student's reading behaviors across multiple practice or assessment sessions, track growth, and set goals. If you are interested in training or self-paced learning resources for the Progress Report, refer to the Progress Report slide deck presentation and/or video (10 min).

Please refer to the Report articles for details of the other Amira reports and how those reports can be used to analyze student progress.

Where to Locate the Progress Report

  1. From the Teacher Portal, click/tap Reports

  2. Click/Tap PROGRESS REPORT

  3. Select class of choice from the drop-down menu (if needed)

  4. Select student of choice from the drop-down menu

    1. NOTE: Type the first few letters of a student's first or last name to narrow the student dropdown menu choices

Analyze Student Data Using the Progress Report

Score Configuration

Use the Score Configuration sidebar to change the display for different metrics, score types, scales, and benchmarking norms.

When a score configuration option from the sidebar is changed, the y-axis will update the Predicted Ability (blue line), the latest score information, and the display of the data. For more information regarding the Score Configuration options, visit the What are the metrics in Amira reports? article.

Graph

Each dot on the graph represents one assessment or Practice session along with the corresponding score. Student performance can be tracked by paying careful attention to which dots represent an assessment (controlled and timed) and Practice/Tutor (fluid and flexible).

The graph is interactive based upon the action taken.

  • Hover over a dot to get additional information about a specific reading session

  • Click/Tap on a dot to be directed to the Scoring Reading Activity screen

Latest Score

A student's most recent score is displayed above the chart. This score can be used to compare the Predicted Ability and prior performance. This may be a good discussion point for goal-setting with the student.

Predicted Ability

Amira generates a Predicted Ability forecast below the chart to project end-of-year performance. The more data points there are, the more accurate the prediction.

Percentile Rank

The percentile ranks are based on national norms, as displayed in the benchmark section of the Score Configuration sidebar. For more information on the source of the percentile ranks, visit the What are the metrics in Amira reports? article.

Activity Details Table

Below the progress graph is a table listing all activities the student has completed within the current school year, ordered from most recent to least recent. Use the Score Configuration options in the sidebar to update the metric and scale displayed in the table. Additionally, click/tap on an Activity Type (Assessment or Tutor) to open the Scoring screen to listen to a student's reading.

STEP 6: Continue with Practice

Continued reading with Amira is highly recommended for accelerated student reading growth. The suggested daily usage for students working with Amira Practice is for students to read with Amira for 10-15 minutes daily with the goal of 45-60 minutes total per week. The recommendation is based on Carnegie Melon University's Project Listen research on growth outcomes.

To start, the recommendation is for the student to read at least two stories a day. On average, stories take 4-7 minutes to complete; however, story lengths and student speeds will vary. Families, teachers, and students can monitor if two stories per day are enough to meet the weekly goals for usage and increase expectations and goals along the way.‍

As students complete stories, Amira will level the next stories presented to match performance. Students must complete a story for the session to save and leveling to occur.

STEP 7: Monitor Progress

Continuing to monitor student progress is important for student success and growth. The information noted above in Step 5: Analyze Student Progress can be followed in a regular cadence to ensure students remain on track to become motivated and masterful readers. Additionally, refer to the Amira Progress Monitoring articles for more information on how to use the Progress Monitoring features.

STEP 8: Set Goals

The Progress Report can help teachers and students track goals. Refer to the How do I use the Progress Report to monitor Assessment and/or Practice sessions over time article. To help students track and monitor their own goals, below are suggested goal-tracking worksheets as well as a digital copy to be used with Google Classroom or Seesaw.


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