What is Whooo's Reading?
Whooo's Reading is a tool used to check reading comprehension in elementary, middle, and even high school students. The process begins with the students completing their reading that was either assigned or chosen by them. Next, the students take a short quiz that contains three higher-level thinking questions that are automatically scored and sent to the teacher. The students are given positive reinforcement for their reading and writing, as well as virtual coins called Wisdom Coins that they can spend on their Owlvatars. Then the students are given customized suggestions for what book to read next. The teacher receives the students' scores for each book to ensure that they read it and are able to track their students' progress over time.
How Do I Start Using Whooo's Reading?
To begin, teachers and students visit https://www.whooosreading.org and select the Sign Up button in the top right hand corner.
Signing up for Whooo's Reading is completely free for teachers and students and only requires an email address!
After teachers have signed up, they can begin to answer specific questions that will tailor to their classroom needs. For example, what grade they teach.
And even what standards they use to assess reading comprehension skills!
Next, teachers click on Add Students and begin building their classroom in their specific school.
Teachers will then be prompted to select their school and add their students to create a class.
Once the teacher has added her students, she will see her students on the class roster by clicking on Roster in the upper right hand corner.
How Can Students Use Whooo's Reading?
When students log in to their own accounts, they are able to see their own Owlvatars and their classmate's!
Teachers and students also can watch a tutorial about how the students will use Whooo's Reading, which is very helpful for students to reference and so teachers understand how their students are navigating the website!
Once students are added to the class, they can start adding books to their bookshelf, earning Wisdom Points and coins, tracking their activity streaks, taking quizzes, and leaving book reviews for their classmates and other potential readers! Students get to this page by clicking the large Whooo's Reading logo at the top center of the page.
After students have searched for their books, they can add it to their personal bookshelf where they can answer questions if they are still reading the book, take a quiz if they have finished, and then write a book review.
Once the student has finished a book and taken a quiz to test their knowledge based off of the standards chosen by the teacher, he is immediately rewarded with coins, regardless of how good or bad his score was. This emphasizes the use of positive reinforcement and commends the students for reading the entire book and attempting the quiz.
The teacher can then see the student's progress and answers on her own account by clicking on Data in the upper left hand corner.
Using this information, the teacher is able to evaluate her students individual strengths and weaknesses and modify future assessments to better fit the needs of her students. The teacher can check the progress of all of her students quickly and easily by clicking the large Whooo's Reading logo at the top center of the page.
The ideas for lesson plans are endless when using Whooo's Reading because the website has so many books to choose from!
Teachers can click on their name in the upper right hand corner and then click on My Account from the drop down menu to make changes to their students' assessments.
Teachers can modify the skills being assessed with each question based off of the needs of their students.
Also, teachers can add in their own comprehension questions instead of using the automated ones from the website to get their students thinking about specific topics or events in a story.
International Society for Technology in Education Standards for Students
International Society for Technology in Education Standards for Educators
Common Core State Standards
Pros and Cons
Whooo's Reading offers many beneficial factors for critical thinking and reading comprehension for teachers and students.
More Pros That Whooo's Reading Offers
- Saves time and paper for teachers and students: students complete questions and quizzes as they make their way through reading each book, which are all accessible online.
- Minimizes missing student work: students do not have to worry about transporting homework back to school to hand in and teachers do not have to spend time tracking down students to find missing assignments.
- Enhances communication: Whooo's Reading provides instant written feedback on quizzes and tracks student's progress, strengths, and weaknesses over time that is all accessible to the teacher, student, and even the parent.
- Wide variety of books: students and teachers have an extremely large range of books to choose from that appeals to the interests and ability levels of many.
- Access to technology: some school districts may not have enough devices for students to actually be able to use this technology effectively. Also, students may not have access to technology at home, which would prevent them from participating regularly.
- Limited teacher-student interaction: teachers must be careful to not rely solely on Whooo's Reading to develop students' reading comprehension skills. A mix of interpersonal interaction and individual use of technology must be heavily stressed.
Alternative Critical Thinking Tools
Storia is a reading tool that allows teachers to create online classroom libraries that meet the needs and interests of their students. Teachers can use Storia to assign readings to individual students at a variety of levels, or assign readings to the entire class. Storia creates reading reports for each child so the teacher can track what they are reading, how much they have read, what words they needed to be defined, and how they scored on their reading quizzes at the end. Unlike Whooo's Reading, Storia does require payment of either a classroom or school-wide subscription.
For teachers who want their students to explore non-fiction texts, Newsela is definitely an option. Newsela allows students to read non-fiction texts at a variety of reading levels. Teachers can choose among five different reading levels to ensure that each and every one of their students can read and understand the text. At the end of the reading, students complete a writing section and quiz section to utilize critical thinking skills and assess for comprehension. This tool allows students to stay informed about current events that are appropriate in content and reading level.
Common Core State Standards. Retrieved March 12, 2018, from http://www.corestandards.org
ISTE Standards. Retrieved March 12, 2018, from https://www.iste.org/standards/standards
Newsela. (2018). Retrieved from https://newsela.com
Scholastic Inc. (2018). Learn about Storia. Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/storia-school/
Whooo's Reading. (2018). Learn More. Retrieved from https://www.whooosreading.org/teachers