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March 4, 2014 3 Interactive Resources for Reading Month! By Erin Klein
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8

    March is National Reading Month! With that thought in mind, I’d like to share some great items that I use both at home and in my classroom to help students develop a love for reading. These are not only tools that encourage reading, they also help students emulate their adult models. Using digital reading platforms, interactive gaming, and social media elements, many great tools are now available to bring popular features to children that we enjoy as adults.


    A Digital Reading Solution For Today’s Family Storia 

    eReaders are becoming one of the more common ways that we as adults consume reading material today. We know that children often emulate the adults that they look up to, however, many eReader devices are tailored to the adult reader. Storia, on the other hand is structured specifically for children. Using books from the wonderful Scholastic library, Storia makes the same great titles available as eBooks, offering an exciting, interactive experience designed to turn today's kids into tomorrow's lifelong readers.



    Children can use Storia as an eReader, using Its interactive components to enhance the reading experience. By looking for the lightning bolt symbol in Enriched Storia eBooks, children can access tools that will heighten their reading experience through contextual learning activities that challenge and engage at every age and reading level. Kids can enjoy an array of age-appropriate activities, from image games and word puzzles, to quizzes and exclusive author interviews.



    A Free Service to Teach Children to Read with Phonics Starfall

    My son Jacob, 5, is an emerging young reader. At home, we read to him daily, and he also reads to us. One of our goals as parents is to make sure that he enjoys reading as much as we do. In some cases we are finding that the struggle to learn phonics can be difficult to balance with the fun of the story. Sites such as Starfall can offer support in this area, helping students with everything from the ABCs to learning from comics as well as short, interactive stories.


    Starfall’s Learn to Read series brings phonics to life with fun, short stories focused on a specific reading skill. Adding an element of gaming as well as an interactive component to reading helps students stay engaged and focus on a series of progressive skills.  



    A Social Platform for Students – BiblioNasium


    As students grow and begin cultivating relationships with friends, they begin to develop many of the same habits that adults do. One of the first things that comes to mind when I find a book that I love is to share it with friends on Facebook or Twitter. Kids want to do the same thing when they find a book that they love, and BiblioNasium provides a great platform them to do so.

    Creating a bookshelf of their favorites, or using a virtual bookshelf created for their classrooms, students can provide recommendations, ask questions, and comment on their favorites titles. Students can also search for new books using the proper reading levels, find additional books within a series, and send updates to parents on their progress. At the same time, they are satisfying a need to share things socially with their friends, parents, and classmates.


    Which reading platforms are your favorites to use?  I'd love to hear your ideas in the comments!


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Susan Cheyney