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Home > Reading > PCI Reading Program Software

Special Education Reading Program from PCI Education

PCI Education Reading Program Software

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Software on Disk Available for Level I and II, See Level III Here

  • Interactive, multimedia presentation of the program that teaches students with developmental disabilities, autism and significant learning disabilities to read. 
  • Includes all lessons and activities in the print version
  • Can be used alone or with the print materials

The interactive lessons in each level teach students to automatically recognize 140 high-frequency and real-world words within a comprehensive program of instruction, practice, and assessment. Nonreaders of all ages become readers through a system of repetition, review, controlled reading, and high-interest activities.


 Click to download the software demo  Click to see product options


The software is accessible for students who are single-switch and scan, touch screen, or mouse users. Its simple design and navigational features make it possible for students to work independently.


There are a variety of settings in the software that allow the teacher to adapt the lesson presentation for each student or for an entire class. These include the ability to set the scanning size, color, and speed; change the font size; have verbal cues repeated; and turn sound effects on or off.


After completing all the activities for one word, and again after each Posttest, a student is given access to the library, where he or she can make independent choices. The student can view all the certificates he or she has earned, monitor the growth of the Word Wall as the program advances, select books to read, and play a word-matching game.


The software offers formative and summative assessments. The teacher can enter scores and anecdotal notes for any PCI Reading Program activities completed away from the computer. All scores can then be reviewed or printed out for use in parent conferences or for Adequate Yearly Progress reports. A teacher can easily communicate a student’s program progress to a parent by generating a printed report.




A variety of PDFs are included to support student learning. The CD for each level of the software includes 140 Word Cards, a student workbook, additional “Add a Picture” Practice Activities, Student Certificates, Word Lists, and a Teacher’s Guide. In addition, the Level Two CD contains 14 Review Stories to assess retention of the Level One words.




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The first step in the lesson cycle is the Word Building Lesson. These lessons begin by introducing a new word in isolation. They then provide scaffolded word-identification and reading exercises. One line of text is presented on the screen at a time to focus student attention. Lines require students to either identify the new word from one or two distractors and then say the word, or to read the new word in isolation. Additional lines review previously learned words in isolation and in controlled phrases and sentences.


Students learn to recognize and read each word in the program through the visual discrimination approach presented in the Word Building Lessons. Students identify, repeat, and read the new word and previously learned words. These lessons feature errorless discrimination. Incorrect answers are removed from the screen, and the student is prompted to make another selection.

Click Here for a complete list of words.

Once students have practiced identifying and reading the new word, they move to the Trace and Read lesson for tactile reinforcement. The student selects a color for tracing and uses a virtual marker to trace the newly learned word five times. After each tracing exercise, the word is displayed as part of a controlled phrase or sentence constructed from previously learned words and/or pictures. Students read the new word in context, increasing their comprehension of the word’s meaning and usage.

In this step, students trace the new word and then read it in a phrase or sentence. Tracing the word helps cement it in a student’s mind, increasing recognition and recall. Reading the word in context helps reinforce its meaning. The software includes three lesson presentation options for tracing activities. The teacher can select whether the student will trace independently using the mouse or touch screen, watch a tracing demonstration before completing the tracing activity, or watch as the Reading Buddy completes the tracing activity.


Having learned and traced the new word, students are now ready to further explore the meaning and usage of the word in Guided Word Practice activities. There are four Guided Word Practice activities in Level One: Card Activity, Read-Aloud, Real-World Connection, and Matching Review.

In this step, students engage in activities related to word usage, meaning, and receptive and expressive language. First students use the new word, along with previously learned words and pictures, to construct phrases and sentences. Pictures show real-world objects that help students see the new word used in context. Next, the Read-Aloud presents five phrases or sentences using the new word and previously learned words. After finishing the Read-Aloud, the instructor guides students through the Real-World Connection activity. This is an offline oral-language activity that focuses on the word’s meaning and usage. In addition, every tenth lesson includes an activity called Matching Review, where students demonstrate comprehension of the most recently learned words by matching phrases and sentences to pictures.

PCI Reading Program Software - Level Two includes the four activities in Level One Guided Word Practice and introduces two new activities. These new activities, Skill Discovery Lessons and Build and Read Words, are added to Level Two to support the introduction of new reading skills such as inflectional endings and compound words.

The Skill Discovery Lessons are carefully integrated into the Guided Word Practice activities to teach students how to read wrapped text, interpret end punctuation marks, identify and read inflectional endings (-s, -ed, -ing), and identify and read compound words. As a follow-up to the Skill Discovery Lessons, students practice reading words with inflectional endings and compound words in the Build and Read Words activity.


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Following Guided Word Practice, the student participates in two or three Practice Activities that involve identifying, reading, and comprehending the new word and previously learned words. The program includes seven different types of Practice Activities in Level One, and an additional three activities in Level Two.

Step 1D:  Practice Activities
This step promotes independent word identification practice and review. There are seven different Practice Activities in Level One and ten in Level Two. The variety of activities includes basic visual discrimination as well as several comprehension exercises.


After completing each of the Step 1 (Learn the Word) activities for one word, the student repeats the same progression of activities to learn more words. In Level One, the student repeats Step 1 four more times to learn a set of five words. In Level Two, the student repeats Step 1 nine more times to learn a set of ten words.


The software inserts a Building Reading Skills activity into the lesson cycle following selected Practice Activities. These supplemental activities present foundational reading skills and are included to support the student’s reading development. A teacher may individualize instruction by selecting lessons that address specific needs.

Step 1E:  Building Reading Skills
All of the Building Reading Skills are scaffolded to support the student in the acquisition of important basic reading skills. Some of the supplemental skills provided in the Building Reading Skills lessons are concepts of print, phonemic awareness, environmental print recognition, letter-sound knowledge, and fluency.


After learning a set of five words in Level One or a set of ten words in Level Two, students prepare for the Posttest by reviewing the words in an interactive activity called The Word Game.

Participation in The Word Game prepares the student for the Posttest. The game play includes the Reading Buddy as an opponent in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. During the game, each word on the upcoming Posttest is reviewed. The Word Game is followed by the Posttest.

Posttests are provided to ensure mastery before moving forward in the program. Students are expected to score 100% on the Posttest. The software will recommend a sequence of review activities for any word missed. A teacher may follow the recommendation or create a customized review based on the Posttest results and the student’s specific needs.


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After mastering the Posttest, students are ready to read a book featuring the newly learned words and any previously learned words. The books include full-color illustrations that focus on adolescent characters in a variety of real-world settings. Students relate to these characters as they read the stories and learn about the characters’ everyday lives. In addition, scripted book lessons designed to foster and assess comprehension are provided in the Teacher’s Guide.

Step 5:  THE BOOKS
One of the motivational keys to the PCI Reading Program is the frequent availability of vocabulary-controlled books for students to read. A new book is available after every five words mastered in Level One and after every ten words mastered in Level Two.  Because the books use only words students have learned, reading success is guaranteed. In addition, the books focus on real-world characters and situations, adding an important life-skills feature to the program. The initial introduction to each book is done offline and one-on-one with the teacher. Actual books are provided in addition to digital books within the software so that the student can enjoy the experience of holding a book while reading. Afterwards, the student can reread each book in the program’s virtual library.


PCI Reading Program Software - Level One includes:

• Program Disc
• Quick Install Guide
• Teacher’s Guide
• Real-World Connections Book
• 28 Controlled Vocabulary Books
• CD Containing PDF Resources

The lessons in Level One take place at the PCI Reading Ranch. A western dude ranch theme is reflected in the reward animations, which include horseback riding, cow roping, campfires, hayrides, and more. A female teenage Reading Buddy helps guide the student through the activities, offering assistance and encouragement.


PCI Reading Program Software - Level Two includes:

• Program Disc
• Quick Install Guide
• Teacher’s Guide
• Real-World Connections Book
• 14 Controlled Vocabulary Books
• Fluency Lessons
• 5 Home Connection Books
• CD Containing PDF Resources

The lessons in Level Two take place at the PCI Reading Resort. A tropical ocean resort theme is reflected in the reward animations, which include body boarding, riding a watercraft, fishing, whale watching, and more. A male teenage Reading Buddy helps guide the student through the activities, offering assistance and encouragement.

   Reading program Software Slides from CEC 2010
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