Reading is perhaps the most foundational skill in education. It is the basis upon which many other skills are built. If education were a house, reading would be its foundation. Fittingly, reading standards make up a significant core of elementary curriculum, and these skills continue to be reinforced and strengthened throughout later grades. Traditionally, much of this learning has focused on print-based reading. This continues to be an effective and fitting way to introduce reading to students. However, because so much of our daily reading has become digital, it is important to go beyond printed text and teach students how to read effectively in both print and digital environments. It’s also important to leverage the powerful digital tools available. These tools can give students valuable digital reading practice, and they can provide teachers with great analytics and powerful adaptive software to make reading instruction not only more effective but also more efficient.
The sites listed below offer an introduction to online instructional materials for reading. Each site offers something slightly different. You might find one that meets multiple needs, or you may decide to use a combination of these resources. Some sites offer teacher materials, like lesson plans, while other sites offer various interactive features, like self-paced learning modules that often provide students with instant feedback and teachers with accessible analytics. Of course, this is only a small list of what’s available, but it can be a great place to get you started. Begin your journey here, search online for more, and connect with your colleagues to brainstorm additional options.
- Biblionasium: This site is a social reading community for teachers, students, and parents. Create bookshelves, log reading time, find recommendations, create reviews, suggest books, create challenges, and more. This free site is teacher- and parent-moderated.
- Freckle: This site offers differentiated instruction across math, English language arts, social studies, and science. Students join with a class code. Basic level analytics are free.
- Lalilo: This free, research-based phonics and comprehension program is intended for students in grades K–2 and was a 2019 Common Sense Education Top Pick for Learning.
- Parts-of-speech.Info: This interactive site allows students to practice identifying parts of speech, and it is based on the Stanford Log-linear Part-Of-Speech Tagger.
- PBS LearningMedia – English Language Arts: On this site, you will find resources for literature, informational texts, reading skills, writing, speaking and listening, and more. Filter by grade levels or media types, such as video, interactive lessons, lesson plans, media gallery, or audio.
- ReadTheory: This site provides activities to improve K–12 and ESL students’ reading comprehension through personalized exercises.
- Starfall: This website is designed for students in pre-K through 3rd grade. Resources help students learn to read with an “emphasis on phonemic awareness, systematic sequential phonics, and common sight words in conjunction with audiovisual interactivity.”
- Teach Your Monster to Read: The desktop version of this game is free, and it includes enough phonics games for 2 years. It teaches letters, sounds, blending, and other phonics skills.