Tuesday, March 7, 2017

6 Real Problems Teachers Have with Reading - Silicon Valley Cue





Last weekend we attended Silicon Valley CUE's 'Teach Through Technology' conference.  Over 400 attendees came to partake in various technology workshops and network with academic technology mavens.   In addition to workshops, taught by fellow educators, 19 technology exhibitors showcased creative solutions for the classroom.  Companies ranged from hardware products to personalized applications for laptops and mobile devices.  

We spoke with educators about the challenges they have in their classroom, regarding reading comprehension.  Here are 6 real problems our educators are facing and what KudosReading is doing to solve them.




1.  I need a way to manage varying reading levels in the classroom

Teachers have various classroom sizes from 5-6 students for required extra resources to 140 students   where educators teach more than one class session.  What we found was that no matter how small or large the class size,  the reading levels among the group were at various levels.  Some students were 2 reading levels above while others were 2 below.  Planning a curriculum around this challenge is difficult.

KudosReading solves this problem by enabling students to play the games and earn badges within their reading level.  Incentives are provided so they can challenge themselves, while still having the ability to enjoy casual reading.  KudosReading gives teachers the option to create smaller reading groups and discussions based on reading level.  Reporting allows teachers to know how each student is performing, as well as, their participation.  Most importantly, students do not feel the pressures if they are behind in the class.  They can focus on reading in a more positive and safe space, thus motivating them to tip toe out of their reading comfort zone.  


2.  I need the grading process to be completed faster

We spoke to some new educators that underestimated the time it takes to grade.   It isn't so much the grade that is important but rather the feedback.  In order for a student to improve they need to know what they should do the next time the problem presents itself.  Using checks, check-plus and check-  minus doesn't tell you that.  Sometimes educators resort to this type of grading in order to save time or provide a grade value without some kind of feedback.

KudosReading does grading two ways.  One is the traditional route where you can give a different point value for the difficulty of the question.  Second is real-time feedback through the book discussion.  Educators can send private or public feedback to a student.  They can also ask to revise their answer if educator feels the student should elaborate. 


3.  I want to motivate my students to read using a technology that is fun

There are alot of companies out there to choose from.  It's not about finding the one best company, but finding one that fits your  curriculum and classroom needs.  It was nice to hear that educators were looking for technology that helped make reading fun.  They wanted a tool that would motivate students to read over those that come off as too 'lesson-y.'  After all, if you enjoyed reading one story, I bet you will read another.

KudosReading instills this behavior with our book discussions and badge quests.   Students earn badges for completing various missions like trying a different genre or reading multiple books from the same author.  Our sentence starters feature helps students start the conversation and lets them think through their response before typing.    


4. Reading logs are a nightmare, I waste so much time walking around the class checking completed page numbers 

What if I told you your students just log in record their page logs and then you just view it on one page.  Yes... 1 page and they can recap what they learned and favorite moments in the story all in one place.   Microphone drop... 


5.  How to challenge students with a high reading level while giving enough support to those who are falling behind 

Students who often excel in reading are sometimes left unchallenged when a teacher has to slow down the lesson.  KudosReading lets teachers edit discussion questions to tailor their personalized needs of their class.  They can edit the CCSS questions by asking to provide evidence or examples.  They can even ask students how they would solve the problem stimulating deeper thinking.  

6. I stopped doing book discussions in the classroom as it was hard to manage

Book group discussions are highly effective yet so hard to manage when you have students with different reading levels. Book group discussions are most effective in small groups, yet with one teacher and more than 25 students, its impossible to manage and moderate these multiple group discussions in the classroom.  In KudosReading you can model small groups based on reading levels or interest. KudosReading will allow teachers to do this in real-time and see their answers. Better yet, students can prepare for the book discussions ahead of time and still engage in face to face conversations that are more meaningful.

Attending events, like CUE, helps us connect with educators and learn more about what they are experiencing in the classroom. If you would like to give KudosReading a try click on here, and sign up!





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