Before having students read or hear stories independently, it's best to work closely with them, either one on one or in small groups, to model the story reading process. When working with multiple students, the tool can be a great way to more easily assess reading and listening comprehension as students read silently. On the creative side, working with students to write original stories is a fun process, and can also help kids become more metacognitive about narrative structure, aiding in their reading comprehension. As you create stories, help kids develop good questions for an adjoining assessment. Creating a quiz for one of their original works is a great exercise in higher order thinking and processing.Continue reading Show less
StoryPals is a reading comprehension and story-creating app that uses supports to help guide students towards independent reading and comprehension. Students can choose from 24 lively, animated stories, each with interactive illustrations. The stories are leveled (Flesch-Kincaid) from 2nd to 6th grade. Students and teachers can also create their own stories and assessments, adding to the 24 included in the program. The basic version doesn't offer text-to-speech highlighting as the story is read, but supports digitized (recorded) speech in user-created stories. The full version offers text-to-speech highlighting for every text, which signals words as they're read aloud. After kids read, they can take a brief assessment using who, what, when, and where questions -- responses are recorded and time stamped. Teachers can then assess students' listening and silent-reading comprehension, monitoring progress over time. Up to six kids can be entered and tracked.
StoryPals is a good app to support kids as they develop reading comprehension and response skills. As kids learn how to respond to "wh" questions, they can gain a deeper understanding of content. But, with only 24 stories included, the app's usefulness may be limited. With repeated use, and without adding original stories, kids may begin to memorize the stories, rendering the quizzes invalid. While the ability to create your own stories is a nice feature, it can be time consuming. Nevertheless, it can be a worthy creative tool for students and teachers who would like to co-write stories.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to narrate a single event or several loosely linked events, tell about the events in the order in which they occurred, and provide a reaction to what happened.