Yesterday I told you that I currently have 2nd-5th graders in my class. Therefore, I have had to get really creative to differentiate my class! This blog mini-series is about 3 websites that saved my sanity this school year by helping me differentiate easily. The best part? They are all FREE! Yesterday’s blog was about Khan Academy, so if you missed it jump back to that post. On to website number two…
Readworks is amazing! I started using Readworks out of sheer necessity. My youngest student was struggling to read anything at the beginning of the year, and I couldn’t find books that he was able to read and that interested him. Readworks has tons of reading passages and questions, kindergarten through high school, and fiction and nonfiction, from every topic imaginable! Just print and go! Plus, I have found so many other uses for Readworks just by writing this blog post!
The Basics of Readworks
- The teacher creates a free account.
- Reading passages (with questions and answers) can be searched by grade, Lexile level, keyword, topic, or skill.
- Has sets of paired passages (perfect for guided reading or close reading).
- Easily matches question sets to standards.
- Has some novel studies available.
- Includes full lesson plan sets for 19 reading strategies and strategies (most have lessons for grades K-6).
- Has comprehension lesson plan units for grades K-5, that include many excellent picture books and novels.
- Includes an “Article-A-Day,” section, which are sets of articles (usually 6) that are all related in some way. There are many ways to use these in the classroom (includes a guide).
Benefits for Differentiation
- It is easy to pick different passages for groups of students, even about the same topic.
- Select passages include something called “StepReads.” This is the same passage(s), written at a lower Lexile level. This is perfect for times when you want your whole class to read the same article, but need different reading levels.
- Each passage includes many different types of comprehension questions. It would also be easy to assign certain students to complete only some of the questions for a passage.
- Each passage includes a list of vocabulary words and their definitions (which are especially great for ELL students)!
- The grade level and Lexile level are clearly labeled for each passage.
- If you use “Article-A-Day,” students can choose which article they read each day, allowing for natural differentiation.
Ways to Use it in the Differentiated Classroom
- Reading workshop mini-lessons
- Guided reading groups
- Warm up or morning work
- Novel units
Have you ever used Readworks in your classroom? How did you use it? Leave me a comment below and let me know!