No matter what grade level or subject you teach, chances are you have students in your classroom who struggle with reading. While you know multiple ways to help discouraged readers, such as re-reading, using context clues and incorporating graphic organizers into your teaching, you have to admit these strategies are not fun for students. Thankfully, numerous online tools are available to help generate interest for your struggling readers.
Tumblebooks and TumbleReadables are two resources that every school library should consider. With Tumblebooks, students and teachers have access to a large selection of animated picture books for students to read or have read to them. A selection of read-along books and graphic novels are also available for older students. TumbleReadables is a collection of read-along books for students at the elementary, middle school and high school levels. All books come with audio narration and sentences are highlighted as the books are read.
Starfall was designed with beginning and struggling readers in mind. Focused on elementary students, children can go through multiple activities to help them learn to read and improve their reading skills. Students who need help with beginning reading skills will find animated stories and games designed to teach phonics, vowel sounds and sight words. Once students master those concepts, they move up to short poems and simple picture stories that focus on key words and short sentences. Longer passages and stories are available for students who become more confident readers.
Funbrain’s reading section contains games and online versions of popular books for kids. Struggling readers can practice their parts of speech by filling in MadLibs and creating silly stories or playing a round of Grammar Gorillas. Other games reinforce word roots, commonly confused words and key vocabulary words to help students develop their reading skills. Books include selections from the popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and Camp Confidential as well as comics such as “Lost Side of Suburbia.”
Often struggling readers become even more frustrated because they attempt to read books that are above their reading level, making even more difficult to understand what they are reading. When students know their Lexile levels, they have the ability to choose books to read that will be easier to understand. The Lexile Framework for Reading offers the “Find a Book” feature to help students find books that fit their reading level and their interests. Students who do not know their Lexile levels can still use the feature by entering the grade-level and answering a few simple questions.
Scholastic offers help for struggling readers with its selection of Listen and Read books and articles from Scholastic’s magazines. Both collections provide struggling readers with engaging non-fiction texts. The Listen and Read books offer audio narration for struggling readers, while the magazine articles put complex topics in kid-friendly terms and provide teachers of all subjects with materials they can incorporate in their lessons to help struggling readers without compromising their standards.
Give these sites a try and post your comments below. Thanks for reading the educational technology blog Teach Amazing!