Welcome to Reading Specialty!
As a classroom reading teacher in a district with a significant financial and time commitment to technology, I have constantly been on the lookout for ways to combine the learning targets of my class with technology. I started this blog to showcase technology resources which are free (although some may have a premium version also or in this case allow a limited time free subscription) and complement the needs of a reading classroom.
The Whooos Reading website is free for a two month trial. If you want to use it for a longer period, the cost is $15.00 per month.
A motivational site for my students was Whooos Reading. When you first create an account, you will be asked to provide some basic information and you will be asked for the grade level and current areas you are studying. From there you will be asked to enter students from your class. When you have completed this task, go to your dashboard. I selected second grade and my area of study was “plot and setting.” A variety of activities populated my screen.
One of the really nice features from this screen is the ability to either assign the activity directly to your students or print and use in a more traditional manner. The teacher dashboard also includes a turn it in tray so teachers can easily keep track of what has been graded.
The cute little owls are actually avatars. The students can earn “wisdom coins” to decorate their owls with all kinds of cool accessories. I’ve even had high school students motivated to deck out their avitar.
On the class shelf, students write reviews of books they have read.
The teacher dashboard tells how many quizzes the student has taken, their answers, the last quiz, and dates of activities. There is a print as well as a screen option.
To add custom journal activity questions, click on your name in the upper right corner and click My Account. Click questions and type your custom questions in the box and select the correct skill set and click save.
Open ended questions can be answered while a student is reading. They are divided by skill set or standard and can apply to any text your student is reading.
The description of the categories copied from the website describes the types of questions: Quizzes will include questions within the Skill Sets you choose. Below are descriptions of each skill set:
Curiosity: Question the world and then seek answers to those questions.
Events and Ideas: Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Main Ideas: Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
People and Characters: Analyze how and why people or characters develop and interact over time.
Plot and Setting: Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Text to Text Connections: Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Themes: Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
Arguments and Evidence: Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
Inferences: Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
Medias and Formats: Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
Purpose and Point of View: Assess how the point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Self and World Connections: Apply details from the text to find connections to self and to the world.
Text Structure: Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
Vocabulary: Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
There is an option to have questions and feedback read aloud automatically, allow students to select to have the question read, or to eliminate this option.
Why do I like Whooo’s Reading?
- It is skills specific.
- It gives the option of online graphic organizers/activities or print.
- Good data to give feedback to your students
- It’s free! (for two months–and reasonable $15. per month for 30 students)
- My students like it.
- It works with any book the student is reading.
Check out this independent reading resource available from my TPT store:
This kit has all you need to establish an effective and successful independent reading program. Included in the tool kit:
*conferencing notebook cover
*instructions for conferencing notebook
*suggested sources for adolescent list
*reading conference log
*words per minute (instructions for students to easily compute WPM)
*sample and instructions for oral reading during conferencing
Establish a complete independent reading program that works–even In a secondary setting.
Engage your students and keep them accountable for their independent reading with 52 task cards. Cards are color-coded depending on the topic and students can track the categories as they write using the included progress chart. Students address the areas of setting, characters, and plot elements. A scoring guide for journal entries is included.