January 21, 2014

Tried It Tuesday... ReadWorks.Org

It's Tuesday so it's time to link up with my blogging friend Holly at Fourth Grade Flipper for...

I don't have a text book for my fifth and sixth grade  Language Arts classes, and the one that I do have for  my eighth grade... well, let's just say that it's a BEAR!!!!! I've always used picture books to introduce literary elements and techniques and novels to support reading skills. For non-fiction material I've turned to classroom periodicals such as Scholastic News, Time for Kids, or Weekly Reader. However, we've always had to charge each student the subscription fee for them. This year I wanted something else, something FREE! AND I found it!!!

It's a website called ReadWorks.Org. Perhaps you're already familiar with it. I discovered this handy website early in the school year and am THRILLED with it! When you reach the site, you'll see this.

Notice the variety of information stored at this site... skill units, novel units, passages. WOW! I've primarily been using the Reading Passages. You can search them using lexile, domain, skill, or grade level. Below you see a search I made for grade eight passages. You only see a small portion of the nearly 100 search results in the graphic.

From here you  are able to browse the passages, finding just the perfect one that you need. For our purposes here, I randomly selected "A Brave New Climate." I was intrigued by the title.

Once you click on a title, the next window opens. You will need to set-up an account in order to access and download the materials. It's free, really, and only takes a moment to complete.

You'll notice that you can share the article via all the popular social media networks as well as email it to yourself or anyone. Additionally, you are able to create a binder and store all your selections for easy retrieval when you return to the site, a handy organizational tool. I haven't done this YET.

When you click on the title of the article, the blue link, you'll see this. It's actually a preview screen.

You can browse the article, and like Goldilocks, discover if it is just right for you and your students. If you decide to utilize this article, you can print it directly to your printer by clicking the appropriate icon, or you can download it to your computer. I download the articles that I use and save them to my Google Drive so that I can access them both at home and at school.

Besides the article there are comprehension questions provided to assess your students' understanding of the information. Some of the questions are multiple choice, some are fill in the blank, some are short answer, and a few are extended response. They range in complexity from literal to evaluative, a perfect blend, IMHO.

I've utilized the passages with all three of the classes that I teach. The kiddos enjoy the articles and find the assessment materials challenging but reachable. I've been able to find topics to correspond with all their content area and holidays. I've yet to try the comprehension or novel units and I'm still working my way through the reading passages.

Read Works really works! If you haven't tried it yet, Tried It Tuesday is a good day to start! Be sure to stop by Holly's blog to read more Tried It Tuesday ideas! There are always great items posted each week.

Happy Teaching,
The Teacher's Desk 6


  1. I've only used this wonderful resource a few times, and I haven't used it this year...shame on me! I need to go check it out again-thanks for the tips Angela! Hopefully I can remember my password!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  2. I love this site too! I really like the binder feature since I can save the articles I want to use or have used all right there and I don't have to second guess whether I've used it or not. Thanks for sharing this!
    On the Trail of Learning

  3. I agree with everyone! This is a great site! It is the perfect resource when you are looking to assess a specific skill.

    Fit to be Fourth

  4. This is a great site and I didn't know that you can create a binder for easy access of your materials! I have to add this to my to-do list! Thanks for the tips! :)
    Fourth Grade Flipper


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