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Help with Reading

Reading associatesScientific Learning’s updated Reading Assistant’s Auto Initial Assignment tool can not only accurately assess a student’s abilities but automatically puts them in the best reading level material. All the student has to do is read passages into a computer’s microphone and the system does the rest.


Freebee Friday: Pet Play becomes Word Play

Worst petLearning happens like magic when it is fun, and Curriculum Associates’ World’s Worst Pet app can teach vocabulary while kids play a silly game. Based on CA’s iReady technology, the program is free and good for kids in grades fourth through eighth but can help advanced younger students or lagging older ones. The game is built around the academic vocabulary for Common Core standards as well as extra words of science and social studies.

iPad Reader

Ilit cPearson’s iLit app can help get a class of early readers up to speed. Created with Mutual Mobile, the service works on an iPad tablet and allows the teacher to customize who reads what for a learning strategy that’s individualized for each student. Based on Common Core standards, the program has six modules that lead each student down the road to fluent reading.

Freebee Friday: iPad Vocabulary Booster

Screen480x480 (1)The key to fluent writing and reading is a rich vocabulary and the Wordly Wise 3000 Online app for the iPad picks up where the print edition leaves off.  Good for improving vocabulary for second through 12th graders, the Worldly Wise iPad app is free, but schools will need to subscribe to the content.

The New Book Club

Srcfan-smallIt’s time to welcome an old friend with a new name. Scholastic’s iconic Book Club is back and retooled for the 21-st century as the Reading Club. It now has a catalog that is organized by reading level from Pre-K through 5th grade with each work classified using Lexile, Graded Reading, Accelerated Reader and Developmental Reading assessment criteria. The new Reading Club material is aligned with each state’s Common Core reading standards and has specially selected SpotLit books chosen by a group of 24 child literature experts.

ISTE 2013: Read and Test

Newsela Screenshot aIf you need a slew of nonfiction passages for students to read, absorb and get tested on, Newsela can deliver appropriate reading material and assessments. The service has reading material in a variety of categories, from law to science, and is currently undergoing beta testing. You can use it for free.


ISTE 2013: E-Reading Clinic

Lexia bLexia’s Reading system is now available on the iPad and can be downloaded from Apple’s iTunes App Store. It covers the company’s Early and Primary Reading programs and tunes the reading material to the student’s abilities. It has built in assessments and can predict which kids will be reading on grade level by the end of the school year. It works on all iPads, except for the original version and is free.


FETC 2013: More Mature Readers

Wtl_logoPearson’s WriteToLearn literacy software has a new feature that can help kids learn to read more fluently. The program includes the company’s Reading Maturity Metric that measures a student’s ability to understand and analyze increasingly complicated informational readings. It’s on display at booth 1001.

Digital Classics

Eprovidence aLady Macbeth’s inability to wash the blood from her hands takes on new impact and meaning with Providence eLearning’s iBook of the classic Shakespeare play. There are iBooks for Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Poetry of William Blake, Frankenstein, and Shakespeare’s Sonnets. The company is working Pride and Prejudice, The Confessions of St. Augustine, and companions to C.S. Lewis’s works. Each iBook costs $10 and has audio narration, video lectures, quizzes as well as the entire original text.

Wanderful World

Tortoise and hare aWhat if early reader stories could grab and pull children into the story? It can’t be done with the typical book but Wanderful’s iPad app can do exactly this because just about every element in the stories have been make interactive, including a dozen pages of word games and 500 clickable words. The stories can be read to kids or just used for playing and each page has a special animation surprise. A big bonus is that the stories can move back and forth between English and Spanish. At the moment, the series has a update for the Tortoise and the Hare as well as Arthur’s Teacher Trouble and Little Monster at School. All are available at the iTunes app store for $5.



Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Tech Tools are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.