Children's Online Reading Practice: A Tough SellOnline Reading Practice: A Tough Sell
Without a doubt, children would benefit from sustained reading practice (20-30 minutes each day, or more). As facilitators, teachers, or parents, it would be nice if every student would use this time to read a book that was right at his or her reading level, thus benefiting as much as possible from the reading activity. In reality, a wide range of participation is observed. On one end of the spectrum, children are reading without any intervention, and are moving along just fine. One the other end of the spectrum, the children might not be reading at all. These students are staring at the pages, or looking for some other distraction to avoid reading.
This is a difficult situation to handle. You have some children that are engaged in the activity, and other children that are avoiding the activity. Furthermore, the children that might benefit most from the activity are the ones trying to avoid it. Since silent reading time might not be effective for all children, this online reading resource was developed to give reluctant readers a chance to participate in reading. These online reading videos give a child a different approach to reading, and it might help them break out of the pattern of disengaged reading practice.
Online Reading Practice VideosReading Videos for Kids
This online reading resource for children
will give readers a chance to participate in the reading activity. Unlike many other online reading resources, these reading videos transform the student's role from passive observer to active participator.
Ipsie & Ito
Ipsie & Ito
Participation In Small DosesParticipation In Small Doses
The online reading practice videos on this website are short and sweet. If the student understands the purpose and how the purpose will be accomplished, the activity will be over in 5 minutes. The reading videos don't ask the student to read for 30 minutes straight without stopping. Instead, the videos ask for the student's undivided attention while repeating the words on each duplicate slide. Next, take a short break. Then, watch the video a second time while focusing and pointing at the words. The more the students participate, the more the reading activity will be a success. Keep in mind that it takes time and repetition to get used to this online reading resource. If the student can practice consistently, things will begin to make sense and improvement will come. Also note, some of these activities are available as a Reading Program for iPad
. A similar format is used, only the reading practice carried out on an iPad in an ebook.
Raising the Participation BarRaising the Participation Bar
To raise participation to the next level, switch the reading video from the Lil Rep Practice to the corresponding online story that doesn't have duplicate slides (found on the reading index page). Then, turn off the volume and allow the reader to read each page unassisted. Have the reader say the words aloud and point at them, as this will engage the student even more. You may have to watch the Lil Rep Reading Video a few times before getting to this point, but this exercise will build confidence and improve skills.
It's Not "What" You Do, It's "How" You Do ItIt's Not "What" You Do, It's "How" You Do It
When practicing reading online
, many of the obstacles do not reside with the activity or the program. Many obstacles reside with "How" the activity is carried out. If the student is actively engaged in the activity, then the student can only stand to benefit.
Framing the ActivityFraming the Activity
Before beginning the online reading practice, it is helpful to explain to the student the purpose of the activity, and how this will be accomplished. In this case, the purpose is to practice reading and improve reading skills, and this will be accomplished by reading along with the video, pointing at the words, and saying the words out loud or in your head. This seems obvious, but oftentimes, the activity loses its purpose. Persist as a facilitator, and hold students accountable for engaging in the activity. If you stick to a routine, this becomes easier to manage because children will know what is expected each time they practice. At the same time, try and keep things light and fun. Learning to read requires tons of patience, encouragement, and positivity.
Purposeful practice becomes especially important when talking about practicing with an online reading video. Our natural impulse when watching a video or TV is to space out. The student needs to understand that this activity requires his or her full attention, and that he or she needs to read along with the story by pointing at the words and saying the words when the duplicate slides appear. Improvement might not come right away, but with practice and repetition, the student will become comfortable with the format and start to see results.
Find a RoutineFind a Routine
Finding a reading practice routine makes a big difference. When practicing reading becomes a regular, unquestioned part of the day, the student is less likely to resist the activity. Struggling readers
benefit from short reading practice, and if you practice for 5 minutes after dinner (no exceptions), the student will benefit. A little bit is better than nothing. Even if you only practice 5 minutes, you could watch one Lil Rep Reading Video 2 times. By repeating the same video, the struggling reader will become more familiar with the words.
Online Reading Resource ExamplesOnline Examples of a Reading Activity for Children
Here are some of the most popular online reading resources for children
. Repetition and participation are the keys to getting the most out of the reading activity.
Seeking Professional HelpSeeking Professional Help
Keep in mind that students can struggle for a ton of different reasons, and one solution will not fit each and every student. If you are a teacher or parent with a reluctant reader or struggling student
, you may want to seek help from a Reading Specialist
if you are having difficulty improving reading skills.