The school where I previously taught was fanatical about March is Reading Month. They planned assemblies with motivational speakers, coordinated month long reading projects, and held a competition among the grades to see who could read the most. While many schools and teachers won’t have the energy, time, and commitment to organize such a large event, there are several great places online to encourage your students to read this month. Here are a few sites to use in your classroom for encouraging beginning readers this month:
Children’s Storybooks Online
I used this site last year while working in an after school title one program. It was nice because most of the books are short, and relatively easy reads, but more importantly there are three interactive stories at the top of the list. The Witch’s Stew and the Three Big Pigs are two flash books that allow the reader to click on the images and alter the path of the story in a “choose your own adventure” like manner. The Farm Animals is another interactive story that lets the reader click on the words to hear them spoken aloud. Quite handy for those students still struggling with decoding on their own and needing accommodations.
I’ve written about Starfall before, but it’s one of the sites worth mentioning from time to time as it is a wonderful resource for helping emergent reader’s with their decoding and independent reading skills. It’s broken up into four different levels based on the reader’s ability. A reader could use Starfall for their ABCs, and then progress to “Learning to Read” before going on to “It’s Fun to Read” and “I’m Reading”. The ABCs are particularly nice as each letter of the alphabet takes the reader through a series of pictures and words starting with the letter as a narrator reads along with. The same holds true for all of the Starfall books; almost every word you see can be read unaided, or by clicking on it you can hear a prerecorded voice read along for you or with you. The Learn to Read section has numerous levels that focus on different onset and rime patterns.
I’ll also put up a few more sites on the Fresh Links page. For those of you teaching later elementary, middle school, or even secondary students, I’ve got a few ideas to share with you in the coming week.