Currently I am in a graduate course completely about literacy…comprehension, phonics, fluency, the whole shebang!
Well, anyone who knows me knows that I only taught reading for one year before moving into the world of MATH! I love to read for my pleasure and I enjoyed teaching reading, but it was slightly too unstructured for me (I don’t know, I guess I am just a control freak!).
Today I was looking at my BIG assignment for the week and realized that the weakness I discovered last week in my school’s literacy instruction would be the stem of my research for this week. The weakness I found was the lack of use of digital literacy. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good paper book. I love the smell and feel of a book from the library or right out of the printing press. There is nothing like a paper back book at the beach, but young people today have grown up in the digital world. They do not know what card catalogs are (I can remember my mom teaching me how to look up a book’s location at the library with all of the wooden drawers and cards in alphabetical order), or why newspapers are important to adults (they get their news on facebook). So I have compiled a list of my favorite websites and resources for online literacy.
This website has tons of children’s books being read aloud by actors. It is slightly animated and the videos can be paused throughout. I love to show these to students, pause them at points and ask questions. This is a great way to have the students listen to someone new and hear the difference in fluency between readers.
Storia is sponsored by Scholastic. This is a great resource of online books (many free titles), dictionaries (for vocabulary), reading reports (assisting with RTI), and much more. Many times with the accounts you can earn points for books. This can also be used at home.
Schlastic also has a ton of resources (some FREE and some not) for teachers, parents, and students. I love their book wizard. It will tell you the level of books. I also like to use some of their interactive lessons. Flashlight Reader is great! It has 9 well known books full of activities.
This website leads to all sorts of interactive games where students can practice certain reading comprehension skills. I loved to use this during tutoring because it was not a paper pencil task. Students got to interact with the SMARTboard and did not realize they were practicing their reading skills.
I LOVE Study Island! This website is not just for reading, but everything. Sad part, you must pay for a membership. If your school has extra funding (or you want to write a donors choose project –check out this blog post for more information!) I highly recommend this membership. Each subject is broken down by skill and standard. It quizzes students and when they have gotten a certain percentage they can play games. It has lessons (some with videos!) for each skill. My students always loved this website. I have clickers in my classroom which allows me to see individual students answers and run reports. We have a ton of fun here!
Some less interactive, but still digital resources can be found below. I suggest pulling these up on an interactive white board, or just projecting them on the screen. Read through them together, discuss them, answer the questions, OR—print them out and use them as paper reading tasks also.
It is time that we bring reading into the digital age. Their will never be anything that replaces a real book, but we must face the facts that students today live in a digital world and are more interested in digital things. Reading must become digital.