16 Apps That Motivate Kids to Read

appsmotivatereadingWe are Teachers has published an excellent list of apps that encourage and get your young readers excited about reading! And guess what? SNAP! Reading is listed under Elementary School Readers by We Are Teachers!

Extract: For every kid who is caught hiding beneath his covers with a flashlight and a novel at midnight, there is another who has to be begged and pleaded with to read.  And the latter might need a little extra—shall we call it encouragement?—to become a great reader.

To help, we’ve rounded up a list of the top apps that not only teach essential reading skills but also motivate kids—even the most book-phobic—to read, read and read some more.

Click here to see the full list.

Why Do So Many Children Struggle to Read?

This article by Patrick Herrera focuses on addresses reading deficiencies, through educators, training and an appropriate curriculum.

Here is an excerpt:

A great deal of time and fortune are expended in federal, state, and school district efforts to address struggling readers, yet our reading woes continue. Second-language learners in Latino communities, in particular, consistently report high rates reading deficiencies. James Popham, an emeritus professor of education at UCLA and authority on assessment research, contends that standardized assessments do not bring relevant information to the site where change can take place: Teachers in the classroom.

Teachers need better understanding of illiteracy, along with better training and cognitive development tutorials that address basic literacy skills.

The root of the problem stems from a gap in cognitive development that occurs before first grade. The critical ages for building the basics for literacy are three, four, and five, at home. The level of literacy of the home environment is the key to reading readiness when a child enters first grade.

Lacking this will mean a child is unprepared for first grade. This begins an achievement gap that will widen as textbooks become more complex through the grades. Efforts to improve reading at the higher grade levels will be ineffective, since the foundation skills for reading are missing.

Symptoms of this problem begin to appear after third grade. This is where readers begin to develop the reading level that leads to higher thinking skills. However, if students do not develop basic, pre-reading skills, their reading skills do not develop beyond the third grade.

You can read the full article here: Why Do So Many Children Struggle to Read?

Checklist to Choosing a Digital Reading Program

1. Does the digital reading program offer varied levels of text complexity, for learners of different grades?

2. Does the material provide you with any standardized reading scale for reference?

3. Is there audio support for students to have text or words read to them?

4. Is there a microphone recorder so that students can record their reading skills?

5. Are tools and exercises provided to teach vocabulary words?

6. Is there an easy way to access dictionary definitions and thesaurus meanings of unfamiliar words?

7. Is multimedia support (audio, video, animations, images) used to help convey meaning?

8. Is the reading program bilingual or offer translations of vocabulary words, definitions, directions or paragraphs?

9. Does the reading program offer learners a way to measure their own reading progress?

10. Are there rewards or incentives to help (young) learners complete lessons and exercises?

11. Is the reading program tailored to provide immediate feedback to students based on their reading performance?

12. Can the digital reading program measure a student’s reading progress and analyze performance over a period of time?

Reading, Writing, And Algorithms…

Last week, SNAP Learning, a leader in reading and literacy solutions for grades K-6, today announced a joint venture with Emantras, an – education technology company recognized for its innovative approach to delivering digital products to educators worldwide.

The new company, SNAP Learning LLC, was formed to meet the growing demand globally  for a multi-lingual reading curriculum  delivered in a digital format that is easy to teach and easy to learn. The company employs a team of talent writers, illustrators, and experienced teachers with decades of classroom experience and a group of highly skilled technicians and programmers. The company has developed 21st Century solutions to meet the demands of the Common Core Standards in vocabulary and comprehension, through direct instruction, modeling, guided and independent practice.

snap_logoSNAP offers 150 titles for reading levels K-6 grades. The product is also appropriate for grades 7-8 struggling readers.

“Our products are more than just e-books-they are designed as a stand-alone reading curriculum that is interactive and delivered digitally,” said Mark Sullivan, the company CEO. “Our products were created by teachers for teachers to provide an early start to literacy development, English language learning, and support for grade level reading.”

The company offers all its products in a variety of flexible digital platforms, including interactive whiteboards, a mobile version for iPads and Android devices, plus traditional print. Mobile solutions feature text and audio in English and Spanish, interactive exercises, videos, photo slide shows and animations.

“We are currently the only company to offer this one of a kind iPad/Android app powered by Mobl21, created by Emantras,” said Sullivan. “This app delivers our books, lesson plans, assessments, word books, and interactive activities digitally and tracks student progress in real-time to provide immediate web-based data for a teacher to differentiate instruction, where and when needed.”

“Today’s learners love engaging with new technologies,” says Emantras CEO Sesh Kumar, “and by offering these products as ebooks with a host of cool interactive features, we find students quickly overcome their initial reticence and become excited to explore the material and measure their own reading progress.”

The company is offering its literacy products for just $89 per teacher, per year.

“We are proud to offer proven solutions at a cost that is affordable to virtually every school district in the country,” said Sullivan. “We are passionate about helping students, particularly those that have fallen behind or have special needs, become skilled independent readers and hope that our pricing model will get these valuable tools into the hands of those who need them most”.