Free, High Interest Reading Games websites? - ProTeacher Community


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Free, High Interest Reading Games websites?
Old 08-06-2009, 02:44 AM
 
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Hi everyone! I teach a multi-aged class of 10-12 year olds from a "streetwise" neighborhood. One has extremely low reading skills (around first grade level) compared to his peers and is on a mandated plan where the Ministry of Education sends him a special set of (old, dilapidated, low interest) books to read "independently" with some home-made workbooks for him to work on by himself. The kid cringes anytime his box of books is brought out. We have no special education specialists, reading specialists or anyone else but me, a regular ed teacher with 23 other kids in the room, to work with him. (We are in a remote area.)

The last packet that came had a book with a five year old girl in pigtails on the cover! No wonder the kid hates to be seen with his books, and doesn't want to read them. Though I'm working with him on his reading programme according to the accompanying instructions (give directions then grade and report on what he does), I want to use the rest of the day to ignite a love of stories with him.

I found an hour each week where I can get him to a computer with internet access and thought a cool website might be out there with high interest reading games and reading programs that he could work on independently would help at least a bit with getting him into reading. Does anyone know a great site for independent reading games that would be high interest, but on a very low level in terms of reading?

Can anyone suggest anything else I could be doing with him? Any high interest first grade level books that a 12 year old boy from a rough neighborhood wouldn't be embarrassed to be seen reading?

Many thanks in advance for any suggestions! I'm usually much stronger in teaching Maths and Science than Reading, so please also tell me if my idea isn't one that would work with him!


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a few ideas
Old 08-06-2009, 03:54 AM
 
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There is a web-site called www.starfall.com that has great reading games and activities, but I don't know if it would be "cool" for him.

What about getting him into a series of chapter books? I know that enjoy reading Magic Tree House, A-Z Mysteries, and Magic School Bus chapter books with my 1st grader.

Also there is a series out right now called "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" that I know children in grades 1-8 enjoy. It's pretty easy reading and has a lot of hand drawn pictures. He might like these books and maybe he could journal in a simliar way to main character, Greg. There are at least 3 of these books and they are kind of long, but I know so many children at different age levels are into these. If he likes these he might like the "Captain Underpants" series....I'm not a huge fan of the books but they are high interest for boys and I believe that we should do anything we can to help children love to read.

I also have read books on tape for some of my lower level students (or gotten them from the library) so that every other book they can "read" what the class or friends are reading. It helps with pacing and oral comprehension skills, and makes that child feel more a part of the group.

Good luck, sounds like you have a lot of work without much support!!
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Reading
Old 08-07-2009, 05:22 AM
 
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I feel so sorry for him!

Another thing he may enjoy is listening to books on tape. This is great if he has the book in front of him for the one-to-one connection. Where we live our local library has these mp3's that are called "playaways" and they have stories loaded on them for people to check out. I think he would love that because it is like an mp3 player!

"Diary of a Wimpy kid" is also a favorite in my room (3rd grade). One boy in my class last year that was low in reading couldn't retain the book to take the AR test.

"Ready Freddy" is a good series for those kids who are transitioning from picture books to chapter books. I also purchased some high-interest-low-readability comic books for my low readers. They enjoyed the variety.

Another online source is www. storylineonline . net without spaces. Movie Stars read the books to the children. (I am a junior member and cannot post links yet).

Hope this helps!

Last edited by MDuff07; 08-07-2009 at 05:24 AM.. Reason: to add text
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Playaways...
Old 08-07-2009, 01:35 PM
 
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MDuff07, thanks for your great ideas. I love, love, love the playaway idea. The Ministry of Ed sends cassette tapes which he deplores! But the more "hip" delivery might work for him. Do you know what the official name of the mp3 player they are using is? (I need something kind of sturdy, he's a rough and tumble farm kid and tends to accidentally break things that are fragile!)

I don't know if he is able to read Diary of a Wimpy Kid yet, but the pics would help... hmm... wonder if it is available on CD or MP3? A cool version of the book on tape...

Thank you so much for your response!
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Playaway
Old 08-07-2009, 03:11 PM
 
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It is called playaway, I am attaching a link that gives more information from our local public library: http://www.myjdl.com/playaways I hope this helps!


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What about...
Old 08-07-2009, 06:29 PM
 
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One of those LeapPads. There are spiderman books, Scooby doo and many other that he might find interesting. He could keep it at home?

Comic books might also be something to look into. Not sure of the various levels, but I bet they'd be high interest.

Did a search and came across this book list.

http://www.monroe.lib.in.us/childrens/hilobib.html

It came from this list.

http://childrensbooks.about.com/od/t...i_lo_books.htm

Good luck. What a challenge you have. It sounds like you are on the right track to really make a difference.
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:53 AM
 
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kmob; I just went through some of the short vowel work (which he needs) on the starfall.com site and it is exactly what he needs! Now, if he will play it! I think the only concern might be if other students in the class in the other reading groups saw that he was working with smaller words... perhaps I can get some kind of screen up so he can focus on his work, or have him complete it in another class... what are your thoughts on that?

I'm with you on the getting kids into reading, even if it isn't always the stuff we'd prefer for them to read. I actually have a copy of one of the Captain Underpants books in my independent reading library.

I thought about reading some books on tape but figure he's tired of hearing my voice. And the GREAT graphic novels out there are above his reading level. Maybe some of those are on CD? I do have MANY Time Warp Traveler, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Magic Treehouse books, again, much above his reading level but with audio support could be the ticket! Again, thank you!
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MP3 Players with audiobooks
Old 08-08-2009, 04:01 AM
 
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MDuff07, thank you for sending that link to the library site with the Playaways... I'm smitten! The library is closed but I sent an email to the "contact us" link with questions so hopefully someone will get back to me soon. Can't wait!
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Old 08-08-2009, 04:29 AM
 
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No problem. I hope it works for you!
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Old 08-12-2009, 03:38 PM
 
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I have put display boards around the computers and use headphones so that the kids have privacy and aren't distracted when working on the computers. Maybe this would make him feel better about working on the starfall program.
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A Few Sites You Might Consider
Old 08-29-2009, 05:29 PM
 
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are compiled at this site: Interactive Resources for Reading Comprehension.

A couple are fun; I'd have a hard time recommending a "totally fun" reading site, since most that try to be "really fun" fall short on instruction and practice.

Last edited by jorgefuriouso; 08-29-2009 at 05:29 PM.. Reason: web address fix
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