Reading Comprehension

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Winner of
4 Awards

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Nobody's sharper than Marko the Pencil when it comes to helping students learn to read for meaning and prepare for tests. His tips are super effective and his outrageous antics keep students on task. With Marko's guidance, students ace a practice test by learning how to read passages, find key words, and determine the best answers. Students stay calm and relaxed knowing they have the tools they need to succeed!

Grades 2–4
Approx. 46 minutes.

DVD

RL200

$19.99

  • Marko the Pencil helps students learn to read for meaning and prepare for tests. His super-effective tips and outrageous antics keep students on task. With Marko's guidance, students ace a practice test by learning how to read passages, find key words, and determine the best answers. This animated pencil may be a No. 2, but he will help make any student Number One!

    A team of teachers known for consistently getting top performance from their students on standardized tests helped us create this DVD video. We carefully examined reading tests in several states to identify winning strategies for boosting scores and reducing anxiety.

    Preparing for state-mandated tests is not a favorite activity of teachers and students. But now it can be fun with an entertaining character. Vic Mignogna plays the voice of Marko the Pencil. Vic is well known for his award-winning acting in anime cartoons and video games, and is a past recipient of Best Actor, American Anime Awards.

    As a special reward at the end of Reading Comprehension, Marko makes an appearance at the Golden Stylus Comedy room to show just how sharp he can be! His kid-friendly jokes will have everyone laughing. Kids love telling jokes to others, and Marko has some of the best school-related jokes on the planet.

    Included with Reading Comprehension is Marko's website for downloading a practice test and answer key, learning more tips for doing well on standardized tests, and finding other helpful tools for scoring high on a reading test. Until now, there has not been a highly entertaining DVD program that helps students overcome frustration and get totally prepared for a standardized reading test.

  • Reading Comprehension includes:

    • Reading Comprehension
    • Identifying the Main Idea
    • Using Context Clues
    • Making Inferences
    • Recalling Details and Sequencing
    • Drawing Conclusions
    • Following Directions
    • Mastering Standardized Tests
    • Bonus: Marko's Jokes at the Golden Stylus Comedy Room
  • Review 1 of 9

    Test-taking skills are increasingly important as high-stakes testing becomes the norm. This program teaches students solid test-taking strategies in the subject area of reading. Computer-generated 3-D animation introduces a young girl about to take a test, and her test mentor, Marko the Pencil. Marko is enthusiastic, optimistic, and chock full of testing tips. He recommends reading the questions first, then reading the selection while looking for the answers required. He suggests reading all possible answers before choosing the correct one, and using inference skills when necessary. Marko then walks viewers through three passages and the questions that go with them, while applying the skills he has discussed. Along the way, students are reminded to be neat and to erase completely when necessary. The strategies are solid and would be useful in test-taking. Students will enjoy the occasional light humor and appreciate the program's clear, specific content. The review at the end covers 13 test-taking tips, and if you hang around during the credits you get to hear Marko's comedy routine, consisting of very bad riddles. While not perfect for all test-taking situations, this program presents some important skills in an interesting way, and would help to relieve students' testing anxiety - Review from the School Library Journal Teresa Bateman, Brigadoon Elementary, Federal Way, WA

    Review 2 of 9

    Tests make some students extremely nervous, but the test-taking strategies offered by Marko the animated pencil will make them seem less daunting. Among the useful tips are reading the questions before you read the text, underlining, and looking for clues to answer the questions more effectively. Marko also offers relaxation tips. When a practice test is given, Marko hovers close by, helping youngsters apply the skills he has taught. Neatness counts, and Marko stresses that mistakes must be completely erased. Music and humor will engage viewers. The review at the end covers all the test-taking strategies , and while the credits roll, Marko does a standup routine that includes jokes and riddles. A good choice for use in classrooms and at home. - Review from the School Library Journal Mercedes Smith, Kernan Trail Elementary School, Jacksonville, FL

    Review 3 of 9

    This product had very good educational content. It accurately reflected the test-taking strategies my daughter learned in third grade last year. It even used the same terminology! - reviewer for iParenting Media Award

    Review 4 of 9

    What an interesting concept. As a tragic test taker, myself, I know the anxiety it can bring. What a great way to get the "point" across to the kids at a young but vital age. Here in Texas they are taking some major tests at this age, and this would help calm their nerves and help them carry some strategies with them. - Carol P.

    Review 5 of 9

    "This is a unique and clever approach for grabbing the attention of students, showing them excellent test-taking strategies, leading them through an actual practice test, and giving them practice at reading for meaning. Marko's 'best tip of all' towards the end of the program may just be the key to solving one of the biggest challenges facing the education of our youth in today's overly wired world." – Robert L.

    Review 6 of 9

    "A spectacular and brilliant way to get students ready for standardized reading tests!" – Carolina E.

    Review 7 of 9

    "Truly a first-of-its-kind product for those who need an effective way to get students to learn the skills for scoring high on a standardized reading test." – Jamie M.

    Review 8 of 9

    "This product is a wonderful learning aid to help young children learn how to prepare for reading tests. It is also great for struggling readers, to help them form new study habits. It is easy to follow, and you can pause along the way. I was also able to print copies of the test to use with individual students that I am tutoring this summer as well as my own daughter. I love the fact that you are able to download and print the practice material. This gives children the wonderful opportunity to practice what they learn from the DVD before they actually use their skills on tests in the classroom. It is rare that videos not only talk about test taking strategies but also show what to do. It is the only video I have seen that addresses standardized or multiple choice tests." - reviewer for Teachers' Choice Award for the Family Program

    Review 9 of 9

    "This DVD teaches students to read questions first on a test. Read the questions carefully and, look for important words like EXCEPT. Underline sentences that seem important. Usually the main idea is at the beginning and the end of a passage. Scan for context clues… read sentences right before and after something you don't understand. Be a detective, look for clues! Put the answers in the fill-in-the-blank questions, and see which one sounds right. If you think you know the correct answer, you still need to read the other options. Use clues that the author gives you. Look for transition or order words: first, next, then, finally, etc. Children learn a variety of reading strategies to help them perform successfully on standardized assessments. It also teaches them reading comprehension through the use of cool songs, fun humor, and much practice. Parents can view along with their children and understand where their child may be having difficulty." - reviewer for Teachers' Choice Award for the Family Program

  • iParenting Media Awards, Outstanding Products

    Family Review Center, Platinum Award

    Coalition for Quality Children's Media, Kids First! Endorsement

    Creative Child Magazine, Preferred Choice Award

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Correlation to COMMON CORE State Standards | click here

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.2.1

Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.2

Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.6

Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1

Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2

Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.3.4a

Use sentence-level context as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

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