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10 online literacy programs to make reading more engaging

These programs personalize learning to help struggling students reach grade level

Online literacy programs are made more engaging by interactive activities and can personalize learning by tailoring reading assignments to students’ interests. Here are some programs to help struggling readers reach grade level:

  1. ABC Music & Me (Kindermusik International) is an early childhood literacy and language curriculum that uses 30-minute lessons with music and movement to teach language, listening and social skills. It has been especially effective for students with autism in the Madison-Oneida Board of Cooperative Educational Services in Verona, N.Y., a state initiative that provides cost-effective, supplemental education programs. Students participate more using in-depth, music-based literacy curriculum than they do in general music classes, says Renee Worn, assistant director of special education.
  2. Amplify ELA is a rigorous digital software curriculum that is native to the Common Core standards. It includes reading and writing tools that expose students to new vocabulary, dozens of immersive games, and an e-library with hundreds of titles. The software makes it easy for the teacher to initiate the learning objectives, see each student’s work, and comment on it.
  3. The Fountas & Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention (Heinemann) is a small-group, supplementary program for the lowest-achieving K4 students. The program combines reading, writing and phonics lessons with language modeling to bring students to grade level in an average of 14 to 18 weeks.
  4. iLit (Pearson), short for “inspire literacy,” is a complete iPad program for struggling readers. It tracks progress, and includes a digital library, lessons with personalized support based on each learner’s needs, and a built-in rewards system to motivate students.
  5. Lexia Reading Core5 (Lexia Learning) covers the six areas of reading for pre-K to 5 students of all abilities. Students work on listening and reading comprehension activities, and get immediate feedback. Adaptive placement personalizes a learning plan for each student. Within the first month, teachers know a student’s likelihood of meeting end-of-year, grade-level benchmarks, and are given resources to help at-risk students.
  6. Literacy First (Catapult Learning) is a pre-K to 12 teaching and leadership framework that helps accelerate reading achievement. A Literacy First reading expert works with administrators and teachers to create a three-year strategy to boost student reading and writing success, and provides professional development and curriculum materials. More than 85 percent of Literacy First schools make Adequate Yearly Progress in the first year using the program, according to
  7. myON reader (Capstone) is an interactive digital library with more than 4,000 books for pre-K to 12. The program creates a profile for students based on their reading level and interests, and generates a recommended book list. In the St. Vrain Valley School District in Colorado, reading in and outside of school has skyrocketed thanks to myON, says Assistant Superintendent Regina Renaldi. Schools that have read the most have shown the most overall growth in test scores, she says.
  8. Reading Assistant (Scientific Learning) allows students to receive individualized reading coaching every time they use the software. Patented technology provides real-time corrective feedback via speech recognition, enabling students to self-correct as they are reading aloud.
  9. The Reading Wonders (McGraw-Hill Education) program combines research-based instruction with interactive tools designed for the Common Core Reading/Language Arts standards. The program helps students find and use text evidence, and engage in collaborative conversations.
  10. SRA FLEX Literacy provides teachers with insight into student progress through use of the Lexile measurement system, a widely adopted measure of reader ability in text difficulty.