How I Use It
I am using it with both general and special education students during my language arts block. They each have a book they are reading independently and we also are going through a book together. Going through the book together leads to deeper discussions about the book and this leads to more student engagement. I also create questions as we read and they respond to them in the think section. Sometimes they answer independently and sometimes we answer together so that correct responses can be modeled. I will then go to the section where I score their short response and we will go through the rubric and decide which score to give ourselves. (I have apple tv in my classroom) Struggling readers/writers need support with this program, but I imagine students reading/writing at or above grade level would need very little modeling of how to write a correct response and little monitoring as they answer comprehension questions.
The biggest difficulty has been that the think can disappear quickly if they touch the screen. This causes them to have to start all over again.
I think this product is excellent. As one student told me, "you can't escape reading." He means that when a teacher says read for 15 minutes, many students will pretend to be reading. This program does not allow for that as the teacher can monitor the student in real time. I like that students can download the app for personal use at home. I am using the nonfiction text we read as a group as a springboard for our nonfiction writing unit and am excited to see how that goes. Given that the SBAC assessment requires students to type answers I like that they can begin learning to do this on a simpler keyboard.
I have a few students whose reading level (but not comprehension ability) is so far below grade level that I wish they could listen to the whole story. Maybe this feature is there and I do not know how to access it. Also, the dictionary feature is way beyond the ability of my special ed students. They can't understand the definition.
LOVE the program