Fostering Reading Skills Online

Since 2020, classrooms all across America have experienced seismic changes and disruption. Many schools went online for the first time during the pandemic, attempting to build a cohesive online curriculum with inadequate time, training, or resources.

Individual results have, as they say, varied.

While we know that learning losses often occur during summer breaks or extended vacations, virtual learning gives us the opportunity to improve skills even when we can’t be together in the classroom. Read on for three ways that you can support online learners as they develop their reading skills.

Prepare with Care

For teachers, preparing the virtual classroom experience takes a lot more upfront work. Assessments and assignments must be carefully developed to be engaging and interactive, and teachers must be proactive in providing students with support resources to avoid causing students frustration. Particularly for the younger students, clear instructions are essential for students learning at home alone.

Democratize New Vocabulary

In the classroom, students can ask questions in real time if they don’t know what a word or concept means. For students to continue to grow as readers in a virtual or hybrid learning environment, we must give them the tools they need to find answers to these questions.

Many home automation devices make it easy for students to ask for how to spell a word or for a definition, but not all students have them. Fortunately, there are other online resources available as well to help students. Make sure your students know how to access Merriam Webster and Google Read & Write, free online tools to support readers. 

Track Student Progress

Tracking student progress in a virtual or hybrid classroom requires special set of tools. Some teachers use Google spreadsheets or similar tools to create online reading logs or to organize reading assignments. What these tools can’t do is provide real-time insights on student progress.

Readlee is a tool designed to provide teachers and students with real-time feedback as students pursue their learning goals. When students read their assignments out loud to Readlee, the software records, analyzes, and reports on how students are improving in fluency, complexity, and confidence.

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