Article

Getting Started With Storia: An Overview

A quick guide to the many ways you can use Storia in the classroom

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

Welcome to Storia, Scholastic’s next generation reading product designed to motivate and inspire all of your students to become lifelong readers. This overview provides a quick guide to the many ways you can use Storia in the classroom—and how integrating Storia into your reading program will benefit your students and you.

 

5 Quick Tips for Using Storia

 

These highlights will help you manage Storia with ease. If you need additional help, the FAQ section of Storia’s site offers a comprehensive guide for downloading and getting started with Storia.
 

  • Storia is available for use on PCs, iPads, and Android devices. You may have some speed or performance issues if you are using the earliest version of the iPad. Macs are not yet supported but will be.
     
  • You must to be connected to the Internet to download Storia and Storia e-books.
     
  • You do not need to be connected to the Internet to use Storia. 
     
  • Projecting your e-reader on an interactive whiteboard is a great tool for whole-class instruction. It will work better if you connect your PC through the external monitor port of your laptop using a VGA (or video or video out) cable.
     
  • To interact with Storia on a whiteboard with your iPad, you must first connect your iPad to a computer. If you connect only through your iPad, your whiteboard will act as a projector only, and students won't be able to touch the whiteboard to interact with Storia. 
     
  • After selecting and downloading your e-books, you must place them in bookshelves for your students to access them. You can set up 40 bookshelves with your Storia account. 

 

Integrating Storia Into Your Reading Program

 

E-reading with Storia enables you to supplement and enhance your traditional reading program. Your painstakingly collected classroom library of print books is as valuable as ever. In fact, it remains essential to your students’ reading success. But Storia e-books, with their unique features and reports, will provide you with innovative ways to teach and communicate with your students. And the Storia library will inspire your children to read, while expanding their interests as they browse the ever-growing library of enriched e-books.

 

Managing Storia in Your Classroom

 

Each Storia account comes with 40 bookshelves so you can set up a bookshelf for each student in your class. We recommend that you assign each student an individual bookshelf because customizations, features, assessments, and reporting tools are managed through the bookshelf. If you have extra bookshelves, you can designate them as genre shelves, leveled reading shelves, or shelves with a content-area focus.

After you have set up your bookshelves, work with your students to assign books to their shelves. A book must be assigned to a bookshelf in order to be read. To help students make informed choices, Storia comes with detailed information about each book, including reading levels in several leveling systems, plot synopses, and even Storia-generated recommendations.

If your classroom has a laptop or iPad for each student, you can download your Storia account to up to 40 devices, so each student can work on his own device.

If you have only a few devices, that’s fine, too! Information is saved on a student’s individual bookshelf, so a student can easily access his own Storia bookshelf on a shared device.

You also can purchase multiple copies of the same book to enable the whole class or students in a reading group to work on the same Storia book at the same time.

 

Using Storia Features Effectively

 

With Storia, you not only get to access a library of thousands of picture books, chapter books, and leveled readers on your PC, Android device, or iPad, but you also get tools and enrichment activities that provide your students with an enriched reading experience.

Storia’s Dictionary Tool

  • Storia's dictionary enables students to look up any word and hear it pronounced.
  • In picture books, the dictionary provides natural-voice readings of definitions that are easy for young readers to understand. It also uses the word in context and will often show a picture of the word. 
  • In chapter books, the dictionary tool has additional features, including more advanced word definitions, as well as synonyms and parts of speech.

Storia's Notes Tool

  • You can use the notes tool to leave messages and instructional prompts for your students at strategic points in a book or set instructional focus at the beginning.
  • Readers can use the notes tool in any book to make notes about important words, sentences, or ideas.
  • This feature helps get students in the habit of taking notes while they read, reflecting on text, and writing in response to reading.

Storia's Highlighter Tool

  • The highlighter tool is available in every Storia book.
  • It enables students to mark key passages, specific words for word study, or lines related to an instructional focus or an instructional prompt.
  • When you set up genre- or leveled-reading shelves, students can see each other’s highlights—as well as each other's notes—and use them as a starting point for discussion and analysis.

Storia's Enrichment Activities

  • Many books in the Storia collection come with enrichment activities.
  • These rich interactive activities provide a broad range of skills practice, as well as fun, for students. They motivate students to engage in the text and go deeper with concept work, word study, noticing details, and a host of other comprehension and language skills.
  • Different enrichment activities are provided for picture books and chapter books.
  • Many enrichment activities reinforce Common Core standards for critical analysis and deeper engagement with the text.

 

Teaching With Storia

 

You can integrate Storia into your regular reading instruction and use Storia’s many tools and features for engagement and comprehension practice.

Whole-Class Instruction

  • When using Storia for whole-class instruction, you can plug your Storia device into an interactive whiteboard or other projector so the whole class can follow along.
  • Storia’s read-to-me feature provides a natural-voice read-along for picture books that will model fluency for students while you focus on comprehension activities.
  • Use Storia with your whole class to model comprehension cues through think-alouds as you read the story together. Storia’s many tools and supports enable students to access books above their independent reading level.
  • Storia’s extensive selection of content-area e-books will enable you to integrate content instruction with language arts instruction.

Small-Group Instruction

  • Storia can also be used for small-group instruction, including guided reading groups, instructional reading groups, and book clubs.
  • You can employ the same instructional strategies and techniques with Storia as you do with your traditional small reading group.
  • When you use Storia on a shared device, readers can see each other’s notes and highlights, as well as your instructional prompts. Knowing that they have an authentic audience for their notes and ideas is a great motivator for students to mark up the text.
  • Storia will automatically record and report on the group’s activities. And there are many downloadable resources available to keep a print record of your group’s work. 
  • If all of your students are using Storia on their own devices, Storia will track usage and progress for each student.

Independent Reading

  • Storia is an excellent tool for independent reading, because Storia’s tools and enrichment features can open up a whole new world of text selection to students and can motivate them to strive for greater reading independence. 
  • Students can work with you to select their Storia books from a large collection of fiction and nonfiction titles.
  • You can set an instructional focus for any independent reading session by using Storia notes to leave prompts for students. The notes feature then provides the perfect space for students to respond to reading in written form.
  • You can personalize the experience for each student by customizing their individual bookshelves, determining whether features, such as read-to-me or enrichment activities, are turned on or off.
  • And Storia automatically keeps track of and reports on the reading progress of every student, as long as they are reading books assigned to their personal bookshelves.

 

Using Storia With Special Populations

 

Storia’s many features make it a flexible, excellent tool for reading with special populations, including striving readers, highly able readers, and English Language Learners.

Striving or Reluctant Readers

  • Storia’s read-to-me audio feature and dictionary tool help striving or reluctant readers comprehend texts that may be too difficult to read in print, which means more books in their areas of interest may now be open to them.
  • The read-to-me feature also allows them to hear modeled fluent reading as they follow along in a non-threatening environment and at their own pace.
  • You can use Storia enrichment activities as a reward for reading a certain number of pages or successfully responding to comprehension questions or instructional prompts.
  • And Storia’s reading reports enable you to keep a close watch on your students’ reading progress, while allowing them to access text independently.

Highly Able Readers

  • Storia is motivating for highly able readers, because they, too, will be able to access texts at a higher level and read them with improved comprehension thanks to the dictionary tool, which helps them expand their vocabulary.
  • Storia’s enrichment activities allow highly able readers to explore the theme of the book beyond what’s in the story. For example, many books come with a video that provides additional information on the topic, especially for nonfiction texts.
  • You can ask your high functioning readers to annotate a Storia book, using the notes or highlighting tools to back up their text comprehension with textual evidence, or to create their own Storia enrichments for their classmates to use.

English Language Learners

  • Have your English language learners work with Storia at a listening center and use the read-to-me feature to hear and practice along with fluent readings.
  • English language learners will benefit from reading with Storia in a whole group, too, because the tools and enrichments will enable them to understand the text as well as their classmates do.
  • By leaving instructional prompts for your English language learners, you can customize comprehension activities for them, even while they are reading independently.
  • And your English language learners can develop comprehension skills while having fun reading text at their own pace.

 

Assessment and Reporting With Storia

 

Storia provides many opportunities for both formal and informal assessment.

Storia Reports

  • Storia reports provide a clear way to review how your students spend their Storia time and how well they understand what they read.
  • You can access all of Storia reports from the "Reading Report" screen. Scroll through the screen to see the usage data, including time spent reading, the number of e-books completed over a period of time, and how many words were accessed in the Storia dictionary and what those words were.
  • You can also see the results of the reading challenge quizzes. You can use this information to assess whether or not your students are accessing texts at their “just right level.”

Growth Over Time Reports 

  • These graphic charts provide you with a quick visual reference about whether your students are continuing to choose books at a higher reading level over time.
  • Combining this information with usage information, such as how any words were looked up in the dictionary, will enable you to judge if your students are improving as readers.

Reading Challenge Quizzes

  • Many Storia books now come with reading challenge quizzes that provide a formal assessment of your students' understanding.
  • These quizzes are designed to assess a student's literal comprehension of a text, so they provide you with a quick assessment about whether a book is at the right level for a student.
  • The results of the reading challenge quizzes will also give you a sense of which titles your students are able to understand through independent or group reading. 

Informal Assessment

  • You can use Storia’s tools and features to informally assess your students. For example, you can evaluate your students' textual inferences and responses by checking the writing in their Storia notes, which can be imported to a text file and saved for later use.
  • You can check textual understanding by reviewing students’ highlights of passages in the text that support their ideas.
  • For younger students, the drawing tool will provide a sense of their story comprehension and will help you see the extent to which they have internalized the text and “made it their own.”
  • By monitoring the levels of the books your students are selecting and are able to read independently, you can get a sense of your students’ reading progress.

Storia’s flexible system and many supports allow your students to improve as readers while you guide their comprehension focus and monitor their progress as they develop as independent and lifelong readers.

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