How I Use It
I used Actively Learn to provide my second-grade students with opportunities to enhance their reading experience. This amazing platform provides teachers with a great selection of fiction and nonfiction books with the choice of both free and paid versions. This platform offers a variety of content suitable for grades 2-12 to enjoy.
I used this platform to create an extension activity for a story we had read in our Journey's reading series. I wanted to provide my students a chance to explore nonfiction content while also being provided with differentiated reading opportunities. For this activity, I added the story "My First Animal Library Beavers" by: Mari Schuh. I spent about 30 minutes highlighting key words that I wanted to emphasize, I added knowledge checks to gauge reading comprehension along the way, and I also pinpointed graphic and text features. I provided students with the option to read the story or to have the story read to them. This provided my struggling readers with the opportunity to have the story read aloud to them. This option not only allowed them to better understand the material, but to also view the highlighted text and make connections to what was being read. Another feature that I felt was helpful was the option to add questions along the way. I chose to add knowledge checks to help emphasize the main idea, author's purpose, key terms and give students opportunities to make predictions. I also felt that providing knowledge checks often allowed me to break the content down into smaller chunks of information. This increased student understanding and broke the monotony of being required to read long excerpts of material to recall.
Overall I felt that this platform was wonderful for providing struggling readers with opportunities to feel successful. This platform allows teachers to personalize the reading experiences and provide students with choices. Having the opportunity to tailor reading selections to meet student needs is crucial for growth and development. I am now able to provide students with better opportunities to develop and enhance their reading vocabulary. I can assess student understanding and mastery of key concepts and track progress along the way. Advanced readers can read the story, while struggling readers have the option to have the story read-aloud to them. Students can progress at their own pace while also having opportunities to read stories on their instructional reading levels. I would highly recommend this platform to all educators because it is a wonderful tool for providing students with more personalized learning opportunities.