Yesterday's blog featured a number of apps that could prove useful for teachers making their way through the Common Core State Standards. Today we'll provide a few additional resources in the area of reading instruction.
Reading instruction is no easy task. It doesn't help that most teachers receive an inadequate foundation in research-based reading instruction...a foundation from which they'd be empowered to build successful teaching strategies. Resources can only help!
The University of Texas at Austin houses a large resource library for all grade levels. The resources provided can be filtered by topic area (eg, reading instruction, math instruction, writing instruction, ELL), resource type (eg, lessons, presentations, podcasts, relevant book chapters, and guides), and audience (eg, parents, general education teachers, and researchers). Below are just a few examples of the materials available to a general education elementary teacher interested in reading instruction. Some resources place more emphasis on certain students like those with disabilities or English language learners:
- Strategies for Improving Students' Reading Fluency (Book Chapter)
- Reading Support for Spanish-Speaking Students in Elementary Classrooms (Video)
- A Comparison of Responsive Interventions on Kindergarteners' Early Reading Achievement (Journal Article)
- Building RtI Capacity: Instructional Decision-Making Procedures for Ensuring Appropriate Instruction for Struggling Students in Grades K-3 (Guide)
- Preventing and Remediating Reading Difficulties: Perspectives from Research (Book Chapter)
- A 3-Tier Model: Promising Practices for Reading Success (DVD)
For both teachers and parents, we've featured a couple of apps below that could aid in their effort to ensure that reading is both fun and interesting for young readers!:
My Beastly ABCs
This colorful app was featured in USA Today's Top 10 iPad Apps for Kids 2012 and has been compared to Where the Wild Things Are. The pages are interactive and present children with a full story, complete with a beginning and end. In telling the story, creators have incorporated some rhyming and given children the opportunity to practice using bigger words. Children can either read to themselves or be guided by a narrator. One user wrote, "A great, fun, entertaining book with educational value! This app has amazing animation and great music to keep my children's attention. They ask for it every night at bedtime." (iTunes)
Children can select from more than 300 e-books in areas ranging from music to historical figures. Parents are empowered to track their child's progress via a dashboard. Children have the option to read on their own or be guided by narration. To keep things interesting, creators have included video clips from the show to further engage young readers. One user wrote, "This is marvelous. It has everything I've been looking for but failing to find in a reading app for my nearly 4 y.o. daughter. There are hundreds of books in all manner of styles about a wide variety of subjects, from whimsical fun to exploratory science." (iTunes, Android)
While these resources are valuable, good reading instruction requires a teacher empowered with the critical tools to teach. Please check out our Change.org e-petition to see how you can lend a hand in making sure that teachers are given the necessary tools to ensure all children can read.