| Captain’s Log MindPower Builder
Q. What is TNT Reading for?
A. TNT Reading trains the important elements used in learning how to read. The system was designed for children PreK-3rd grade. It can be used to help a child learn to read or to help improve their reading skills, both with phonics and reading comprehension. This system is designed in a structured hierarchy that trains different areas of reading as the child progresses, allowing the child to achieve mastery.
Q. How Does it Differ from the TNT Reading Tutor?
A. The TNT Reading Tutor is the home version of TNT Reading Pro. It is licensed for two players for one year at a time. The TNT Reading Professional version has many more customizable options than the TNT Reading Tutor; it enables educators and professionals to easily “fine tune” training for each child.
Q. Who created TNT Reading Tutor?
A. TNT Reading has been created by an experienced team consisting of a neuropsychologist, developers, programmers and graphic artists. It focuses on the core reading skills specified in the National Standards of Learning.
Q. How often should a child use TNT Reading?
A. It is recommended that a child work about two hours a week if the goal is to improve their reading abilities in about three months. If possible, it is best to have a child work for about a half hour each day. Each exercise takes about five to ten minutes to complete and the vary significantly in order to provide variety. The program remembers the last exercise completed so your child can start right where they left off.
Q. How do I know if a child is ready for TNT Reading?
A. TNT Reading is suggested for children ages 4-9 or PreK-3rd grade levels. A child can use TNT Reading to prepare for Kindergarten, to get ahead, or to further improve reading skills.
Q. Where should a child start in the program?
A. It is recommended that the child first take the TNT Reading tests in order to determine what areas need to be trained. The test will give recommendations that are used by the TNT system to easily and automatically create a training plan. By using the test results, training can be targeted to focus on the specific areas that need to be improved. As training progresses, each training step becomes increasingly more difficult than the last step.
Q. Does a child need to know the alphabet to use TNT Reading?
A. No, TNT Reading teaches letter recognition for each letter of the alphabet. Both uppercase and lowercase letters are trained. The training is done in small sections of five or six letters at a time to help achieve mastery.
Q. Is there any research that TNT Reading is based on?
A. TNT Reading is based on many years of research. There are numerous research studies that show the effectiveness of the seven components of reading that are used in the TNT Reading System. These research studies show that the training of letter recognition, phonemic awareness, phonic skills, mental processing speed, auditory discrimination, working memory and attention are all effective in helping beginning readers and poor readers become great readers.
Q. Does TNT Reading work with children who have learning disabilities?
A. Yes! TNT Reading offers extensive training in areas such as phonics and decoding, which many children with learning disabilities have trouble doing. In addition, it is possible to set the passing grade level so that children of all ability levels can succeed and receive certificates and video game rewards for making progress.
Q. Why would my child like this program?
A. TNT Reading is fun to play because the exercises are designed to play like games. The players earn points by making correct responses and can earn the high score on the Top 10 Player Rankings list. There are over 1,000 different exercises and each one is unique. In addition, children are rewarded with fun video game breaks and colorful certificates whenever they demonstrate success.
Q. Is TNT Reading compatible with the school curriculum?
A. TNT Reading is designed to train the areas of reading as specified in the National Standards of Learning. Using TNT Reading in addition to the reading instruction that a child receives in school can help improve reading skills.
Q. How will I know that my child is making progress?
A. There are two ways to keep track of a child’s progress. First, there is a Progress Report Menu. This menu displays a child’s progress in a colorful, printable chart that allows you to easily see the number of tests that have been passed in each TNT Reading step. This is a quick and easy way to keep track of a child’s progress. Second, the Exercise Results Menu shows more detailed information regarding the child’s progress. This menu displays the name of the exercises completed, the date they were completed, the grade percentage, the result (pass or fail) and the passing goal (or difficulty level). The data management system in TNT Reading also allows you to filter the types of exercises you want review and to examine all test results in detail.
Q. Does TNT Reading teach spelling?
A. There are several TNT Reading exercises that train the spelling of simple sight words. Phonics training provided in TNT can also help to improve spelling skills.
Q. Do I need to sit and help the child for every lesson?
A. Helping a child learn how to use TNT will only take a parent or teacher one to two sessions. Initially, TNT starts up in Wizard Mode to help guide you through the registration and licensing of the software. You will then need to help a child initially by creating a Player’s name and entering some other information, as guided in the Wizard. It is recommended that you use the TNT wizard and complete three or more of the TNT provided reading tests. These test results will then be used by TNT to create a customized training plan. The child will be able to pick an interesting icon to represent them that will appear on the desktop that can then be clicked on to start the TNT training plan automatically. The program remembers the last exercise completed so the child can continue training the next day where ever she left off.
Q. What do I need to supply?
A. The TNT Reading software comes on a DVD-ROM that can be installed on your computer. Authorization and registration must be done via the internet, but internet access is not required to run TNT.
Q. What are the Computer System Requirements?
1.6 GHz or faster PC processor
100 GB hard drive with at least 10 GB free space
512 MB of RAM or more
Windows 7 / 8 / Vista / XP
DirectX compatible video and sound cards
Keyboard and Mouse (TouchScreen Optional)
Headphones or External Speakers
Q. What if I have trouble using the program. How do I get help?
A. You can contact BrainTrain technical support via email by clicking here
or call 804-320-0120. Technical support is available Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm EST.
Q. How are the reading tests in TNT Reading normed?
A. The TNT Reading system programs are based off of the Virginia Standards of Learning requirements for reading at each grade level. The training exercises were constructed to address the Standards of Learning criteria for each skill level and then the tests were derived from the training exercises. The pass/fail status for each test is a simple criterion measure, i.e., you fail if you don’t reach above a certain percent correct level. The criteria are not based on what the average person at that age would know, but rather on what the SOL says they should know and the need to exhibit that knowledge.
Q. How were the reaction time requirements arrived at?
A: The reaction times were initially guesses, but have been refined from real-world, empirical feedback from working with kids in the program and
through a pilot study done at a local school. Initially, we found that targets were disappearing from the screen too quickly for the majority
of students so the target time frames were adjusted to allow more time. After adjustments, the average child did have enough time to respond to
the targets. Of course, there are still outliers in that some children were still unable to reach those targets, but further training should
improve those times, and reaction and processing speed are integral components to the system.
Q. How can I change the reaction speeds in TNT Reading?
A. The reaction speeds cannot be manually adjusted at this time.
Captain’s Log MindPower Builder
Q: How much time should be devoted to training? How much training time should there be before I can expect to see some results?
A: As is the case with going to the gym and working out or with learning to play a musical
instrument, improvements through mental exercise are gradual and take time. Clinical
experience has shown that a minimum of two hours per week is needed to make progress
with this training system. More training time is better, and the training can be done
intensely up to two hours per day. If you wish, training can be broken up into two or three
15-minute segments per day. Very brief training, such as one half hour a week will in all
likelihood do nothing to enhance a person’s cognitive skills.
Any generalization of results or benefits is not expected until at least twenty hours of
training have been completed. The rate of improvement is different for each individual.
The focus is to keep moving up the levels. Formal evaluations should be done after 20,
40, 60 and 80 hours of cognitive training to assess improvements and re-evaluate training
Q: I use BrainTrain’s Cognitive Training System in a computer lab or classroom. Will the
noise from other computers and people in the room interfere with the effectiveness of the
A: It is not necessary to work in a totally quiet environment. All school classrooms and
workplaces are distracting visually and auditorally, so it is important to learn to remain
focused in these kinds of situations. You can use the external noise to help reinforce
training the subjects not to be “fooled” by distractions but to concentrate regardless of
what is going on around them. External rewards (toy money, small prizes, etc.) may also
be used to reward particularly focused work. In this way, the environment can actually be
put to work to enhance the effectiveness of the training.
Q: If the Player can do an exercise successfully for a few minutes, what is the point of
continuing for the entire length of the exercise’s preset training time?
A: It is very important to increase the length of training for the purpose of improving
sustained attention and on-task mental discipline. The experience of remaining focused
for longer periods of time presents a whole different kind of challenge from the short
bursts of attention required in the earlier stages.
Q: How do I interrupt BrainTrain’s programs in the middle?
A: The Captain’s Log MindPower Builder programs can be exited in a number of different ways. Press the
Escape key to exit and not count the scores or results in the Summary section. Use
Control-Q to quit and count the scores in the Summary section. Note: Control-Q stops
the program and returns you immediately to the program control screen; the player stage
is not changed in any way. Control-Q will not tell you if the criteria to pass the stage
were met or not. However, you can also use Control-E to exit any program and you will
then be provided with your scores.
If you use Control-E, the player will be evaluated as to whether he/she passed or failed
the current stage, and the stage level will change accordingly.
Q: What if the player has to leave the room?
A: You may use the “P” key to pause any program and a message will be displayed. All
program activity including timing stops. To resume press “P” again. All scores and other
timing data will be accurately recorded, as if the player never left.
Q: What is the difference between Attention Skills, Developmental and Attention Skills: The
A: Attention Skills: The Next Generation, consisting of three programs, is significantly
harder than Attention Skills, Developmental, consisting of eight programs.
Q: What do you recommend when a Player seems to “peak out” and can’t seem to get past a
A: Sometimes an individual will be unable to get past a level even with repeated help from
the Trainer. If he/she makes repeated tries and fails to reach a goal on three separate
training days, you may choose to (1) modify the criterion for passing by reducing the
Program option called Difficulty Level to Easy, (2) have the person practice at lower
levels again, or (3) substitute another exercise.
Q: I am a special ed teacher and do not have enough time or computers so that all of my
students can work at the exercises regularly. What should I do?
A: In this case, pick the students you feel will benefit the most and target them regularly.
Don’t try to work with everybody in short increments just to include everybody. This type
of limited training is unlikely to help anybody.
Q: A Player had an extreme reaction against using the cognitive training program. Should I
make him continue?
A: At times, almost everyone will get frustrated or bored with an exercise. However, if a
child has an extremely negative reaction (i.e., wets his/her pants, throws a major temper
tantrum, etc.) this stress reaction may necessitate an evaluation, therapy or medication.
The exercises should be discontinued until the problem is corrected. If the person is just
having a “bad” day, then a short break may reduce her stress. Also, the reminder that
failure to work will result in the loss of a prize (i.e., negative reinforcement) will often
work to help the Player get “back on track.” Finally, sometimes allowing a person to play
her favorite program will help her feel more confident and ready to proceed again with
the protocol training exercises.
Q: Does health insurance cover training with Captain’s Log MindPower Builder?
A: Insurance coverage varies according to insurance company and state, but all major carriers now cover Cognitive Rehabilitation. It is billed in 15 minute units with fees paid at $35 to $55 per unit, depending on the region of the country. A treatment plan is required and progress must be documented. In addition, the patient needs to be qualified to show that he or she can possibly benefit from this form of treatment. Currently, neurological disorders, strokes, cancer treatment (medicines used to treat cancer are toxic to the brain) and traumatic brain injuries are covered. Alzheimer’s is usually not covered. It is recommend that a prescription for cognitive rehabilitation be obtained from the treating physician and that the clinician also call the insurance company involved if there are specific concerns regarding the client’s policy.
Development of cognitive skills to improve attention, memory, problem solving (includes compensatory training), direct patient contact by the provider, each 15 minutes.
Sensory integrative techniques to enhance sensory processing and promote adaptive responses to environment demands, direct patient contact by the provider, each 15 minutes.