Review Of Readworks

WOW! This amazing site is free with tons of bells and whistles, informative articles, student supports, and teacher resources!

ReadWorks is a not-for-profit company with a vision that “Every child in the United States can read well with deep comprehension because all educators teach reading effectively with the superb reading content and curriculum they need.” There website does not disappoint.The website is research based and the site lists current world-class academic advisors and research articles supporting their resource available here. The site lists these research pillars which influence the structure of the program:

  • Development of background knowledge to support comprehension.
  • Explicit instruction in academic vocabulary.
  • Gradual release of responsibility.
  • Scaffolding to support students.
  • Emphasis on text structure/syntax.

After a brief login process, you will be directed to a page which appears like this:

On the left dashboard you can filter by grade-level, lexile, type of article (informational or literary), or product. The product choices include the following:

Audio–all articles include audio, but to filter for human audio instead of a synthesized human voice you would need to click the appropriate box.

StepReads–these are less complex versions of the same content. StepReads articles use the same question set.

Paired Texts–these are made of two articles based on a common topic, theme, or literary elements. These come with a custom question set drawing connections between the texts.

Article-a day–This is a 10-15 minute daily routine for K-8 designed to increase student background knowledge, vocabulary, stamina. This includes digital, print, or projectable articles. Weekly articles are related by topic. Students jot down 2-3 things they would like to remember. Students share what they learned from reading.

There are options for setting up your class from a google sign in or a roster. From this menu you can add ELL support in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, or Korean. The teacher then begins to assign an article. Find the article you would like to assign, click assign and check the appropriate boxes with your choices. Articles may be assigned to specific students or the whole class.

Articles contain common core standards for easy reference. Clicking on the vocabulary link at the top introduces the vocabulary with a definition (simple and advanced) and examples of the word used in sentences. Clicking question set gives the student multiple choice and short answer comprehension questions.

One of my favorite attributes is the highlighting and commenting feature. Students can highlight in four different colors, then click on the comment button and write to the side.  The different color options are great when teaching annotation. You can assign one color to main idea, another to supporting details, and a third to vocabulary–or use whatever strategy you are working with in your classroom. The super bonus is that the TEACHER CAN SEE THE ANNOTATION!  WOW–great in a free program.

The teacher result/record book is extremely well thought out for any program and hard to believe in a freebie! After clicking on class results, you have the option of clicking by question to see how students answered each question. By clicking on the note button the teacher can provide constructive feedback on a student’s answer. The site automatically grades multiple choice answers.

ReadWorks eBooks have a read aloud modeling good fluency with rich and engaging text.

There are also lessons and units available–comprehension units, novel study units, and skill and strategy units. They are printable and based on superb books and paired passages for grades K-6.

This program is high-quality, research-based, and comprehensive. One possible improvement would be allowing student selection of articles.

Looking for differentiated articles to develop background knowledge and reading skills?

Click cover to redirect to resource on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Questions for each passage appear in standardized test format, helping students to prepare for high-stakes testing. Each passage contains these types of questions
 Main idea
 Vocabulary
 Organizational patterns
 Inference
 Summarizing

Nonfiction passages are based on an event which occurred on this day in history. May 30, 1868, Memorial Day was observed widely for the first time in the United States. This passage is completely stand alone and appropriate for any day of the year. Mix and match by purchasing the topics you want or save with monthly bundles and give your students daily opportunities to develop background knowledge and improve their comprehension.

Passages have been evaluated using a minimum of 5 different readability formulas. The first passage is the most challenging, with an average reading level of 9th-10th grade. The second passage has an average readability of 8th grade. The third passage averages a 6th-7th grade level. With teacher introduction and background information, the passages have been used successfully with younger readers.

One subject for the class with differentiated passages allows the teacher to discuss, develop background knowledge, show a video clip or engage the full class yet provide for individual differences.

Students and teachers using multiple passages can assess student progress. Diagnostic charting shows teachers and students patterns of errors with main idea, vocabulary, organizational patterns, inference, and summarization. Compiling data is easy and motivating with student completed charts.

Included in the lesson:
➢ A nonfiction passage written at three different grade levels
➢ Questions over the passage for each level.
➢ An answer key
➢ A chart to monitor progress and collect data in the five assessed areas (main idea, vocabulary, organizational patterns, inference, and summarizing)

Each of the above titles (and more) available for $3.00 here.