Saturday, March 18, 2017

Tech Tools: ReadWorks

Have you used Readworks? If you haven't you really need to check it out!

In today's tech suggestion I'm going to be discussing Readworks and why it is such an amazing free digital tool for teachers.

Last year, I was told by another teacher to check out the site Readworks. I instantly fell in love! This site allows teachers to find texts to use in class based on subject matter, grade level, lexile level, type of text, or even skill. I started using this as a way to choose text and easily differentiate based on my students needs. It has a variety of both fiction and nonfiction passages that are of high interest to students.

This past year I have been using the Readworks Digital option in class. It has been a game changer. In my school we are one to one chromebook devices which makes this digital option an amazing tool. I can create a digital class on Readworks and select a text and questions for my students to answer. I love that it allows me to post it to Google Classroom so students can immediately click the link and log in for their assignment. It also is easy to differentiate the readings based on the students reading level. In some cases you can assign the same reading at different levels. The best part is it automatically grades the multiple choice questions for you. As a teacher, all I need to do is go in and hand grade the short responses. I use this tool when I have substitute or when I'm pulling groups. Students might read the text with me and then do the questions at a separate rotation or even on a different day. I have also given harder texts to challenge my higher level readers. They read and take notes independently. Then when they come to small group we reread and discuss before they begin the questions. Readworks Digital allows students to highlight the text and make notes as they go. I actually taught my class as a whole group how to use these tools using a 3rd grade text. They are so easy for the students to use and allows them to continue to use the note taking skills I teach them even on the chromebook. They love to mark up the text using different colors and even reference them in their answers to questions saying things like "this is shown in the text as I highlighted in yellow." I love it because it makes looking back in the passage fun because they get to use the highlight tool and to some of them just enjoy using technology in different ways.

Making an account is so easy and most importantly it is free. Once you have an account you can save articles, stories, or passages so you can use them later on in the year or even the following year. They have other resources that you can use such as Article of the Day that focuses on reading fluency and note taking skills. They also have lesson plans to go with popular books or novels for grade levels that interweave paired Readworks Texts to support different skills. There is even a way for you to find lessons or passages that focus on specific standards. Need I say YAY! Though I don't teach younger grades using the Readworks Digital you can search for readings that students can have read to them which can be a center in itself. There feel like a million ways you can use this tech resource that I highly suggest you look into it right away!

If you have any questions about how I use Readworks or if you have another tech suggestion feel free to message me on Twitter @teaching_power or email at

Also check me out on Periscope @teaching_power for my Sunday morning coffee talks!

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