How I Use It
I used this as a test-taking preparation activity for an 8th grade group. These students covered a wide variety of reading levels and it was good to get a benchmark for where their reading abilities were, compared to the standards. I assigned the high interest articles, info-graphics, and videos and let student practice retrieving and answering questions from each article. I set a "due" date so that students knew what to expect throughout the week. I gathered information based on student performance, which then led me to reteach several test taking strategies.
The site is limited in the articles that are provided without a subscription. I thought that, in general, the reading passages were challenging. Because of this, I assigned the lower grade level equivalent to my lower level students (my 8th graders were reading 4th grade articles). I liked that I could assign individual students an article or the entire class. The articles were interesting enough that even though they might be reading on a lower level, my students were still engaged. Some of the paid subscription services that are missing from the free version: I would like the ability to search through other articles based on those missed standards, so that students can practice them until they are mastered. Additionally, I’d love to see a life-time ability for students to discover trends or standards that they regularly missed. I could manually click between article question results to determine which standards individual students mastered, but if there was a way to pull a report with this information, that might make it an easier tool to use to pull data. Additionally, I would love to see more done with the vocabulary component: words are introduced with the article but are set aside in the free version of the site.