Our literacy coach sent out an email recently asking for volunteers to try out a new web based silent reading program designed to help students develop better fluency and comprehension skills. Several of my kids immediately came to mind, and since we have the netbooks, I saw this as a great opportunity for the Cove! I submitted 5 names for the trial study, and Mrs. Evans quickly got them set up and registered.
The program is called Reading Plus, and is the only subscription based program we have used this year. We are part of the pilot, as our county is considering a purchase for next year. At first my kids were a bit hesitant. However by day 3 of using it, they are hooked! The program is very engaging. After logging in with a unique password, the kids “warm up” by participating in some tracking activities in which they must count digits and letters which flash on the screen in a left to right sequence. Another activity involves having them read a story which appears line by line in a rectangular box across the middle of the screen. A blue bar slides automatically from left to right covering the words as they go. The kids are then given comprehension questions pertaining to the story. The better they do, the faster the blue bar slides on the next story. The program lets them know how quickly (wpm) they are reading and how accurately they are comprehending the material. They LOVE it! It is fast paced with short stories and motivational feedback. They are often given the message, “You’re doing great! Keep up the good work!” There are also audio components to the program which is always motivating to my kids. Since we are able to take our netbooks home now, the kids can have fun learning to be better readers at home as well! These five dedicated kids will be working with this program for 20-30 minutes a day, and we are hoping to see great improvement in their reading abilities. I’ll let you know the results!