FCAT Explorer

FCAT Explorer includes five reading programs: two each for elementary and middle school, and one for high school. At each of these levels, FCAT Explorer offers an interactive program designed to provide students with the skills practice they need to succeed on the science FCAT. Developed by the Florida Department of Education with help from Florida's reading teachers, these programs support Florida's Sunshine State Standards.

  Reading Timeline

High School Reading

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Reading Timeline: 10th Grade Benchmarks features a scrolling timeline navigation. After choosing one of several time periods, students will read about history, science, social studies, geography, technology, and other subjects from the Sunshine State Standards. Reading Timeline also provides remedial lessons on eight skills, including Main Idea, Synthesis, and Context Clues. The program includes a pre-test, post-test, and post-program test for monitoring student progress. Reading Timeline includes a glossary, sidebar materials, performance task items, and a skill review.

  Reading Factory


Middle School Reading

Reading Factory: 6th Grade Benchmarks features a visually stunning interface with 27 passages and related graphics, an engaging interface, vocabulary games, and multiple reading levels. Additional features include word-click audio, embedded questions, and passage highlighting for incorrect answer choices. Each passage begins with direct vocabulary instruction, and students complete game-like vocabulary activities after completing groups of passages.

  Reading Boardwalk


Reading Boardwalk: 8th Grade Benchmarks features passage highlighting for incorrect answers on multiple-choice and embedded questions. This program also includes multiple grade levels of content (4th through 8th), adaptive support, main idea workshops, passage-based vocabulary building activities, and an engaging theme park interface.

  Teacher with student

FCAT Explorer's Scientific Programs Offer:
  • passage-based vocabulary activities and games
  • instructional support, including answer-specific feedback and highlighted clues
  • benchmark-based lessons
  • progressed-based rewards
  • adaptive support levels which remediate students when needed
  • all item types, including written response practice
  • the option to assign lessons and reading levels to students
  • reports and monitoring tools in the Teacher's Desk
  • interactive glossary with Spanish and Haitian-Creole translations
FCAT Galactic Library

Elementary School Reading

Galactic Library: 3rd Grade Reading Benchmarks was launched in 2003 in three phases. The program uses a playful and age-appropriate science fiction metaphor as a consistent thread to focus and motivate students as they move through the program. Instructional features include individualized, adaptive levels of support for decoding and comprehension; an innovative highlighted clues; strategy for providing instructional support following incorrect answers; and research-based vocabulary-building activities preceding every passage.

FCAT Reading Odyssey

Reading Odyssey: 4th Grade Reading Benchmarks—an enhanced version of Space & Safari Reader, the original 4th grade reading program—was launched in May 2004. The program features individualized, adaptive levels of instructional support and an interplanetary theme. The program includes vocabulary-building exercises and games, highlighted clues for incorrect answers, embedded questions, and a motivational interface and storyline.

Extensive Tools for Teachers

On the FCAT Explorer Teacher's Desk, an array of tools and resources support data-driven instruction. These features give teachers the ability to:

  • Create classes and add or delete students as needed
  • Print benchmark or skill-based progress reports for individuals and classes
  • Review and print reading passages and practice items by passage, benchmark, or skill for use in class activities
  • Review and print practice items by theme, strand, or benchmark
  • Download and print Teacher's Desk manuals, parent letters, student sign-in names and passwords, student achievement certificates, and open-response items
  • Link to Department of Education FCAT-related materials
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