MOUNTAIN HOME, Arkansas
Seventh grade students at Pinkston Middle School have been using a computer program called Classworks® Integrated Reading to help them become more engaged within their learning styles, check for fluency, and to develop a deeper understanding of non-fiction texts that are on their grade level.
Students have been using the Classworks program weekly in their Language Arts classes and it has increased the students’ overall understanding of the texts they read. The purpose of using Classworks Integrated Reading is to allow students to read the text closer by using the interactive tools available so that they get a clearer understanding of the article, which automatically enhances their learning. It is also a visual way of understanding the text. Teachers can use Classworks Integrated Reading in small groups, whole class, or even in centers.
Seventh grade literacy teacher Mrs. Tulgetske sees the program’s value. “ I began using this program to assist in increasing student comprehension because students need to be taught the skills necessary to comprehend a text rather than being told to read something and answer questions about what they’ve read, and this program allows me to do just that.”
Teachers have the ability to model expectations, strategies, and tips that promote reading comprehension. Also, teachers can assign reading passages to students that are on their grade level which allows students to grasp a deeper understanding of the article while checking for comprehension by asking content-related questions. The program also offers audio for the texts for those students who learn better through hearing a text versus just reading it; the audio will read the passage to the students while they follow along on the computer.
This program allows students to have grade-level instruction and independent practice. “While observing students using Classworks Integrated Reading, I noticed that they were highly engaged with the curriculum and technology, which is a win-win,” Pinkston Middle School Principal Michele McWilliams said.
According to Miranda Heitman, a seventh grade student in Mrs. Tulgetske’s literacy class Classworks Integrated Reading helps students get involved in conversations about reading passages. “Using the Classworks Integrated Reading is better because it allows for in class discussion which allows me to share my own thoughts on the topic,” she said.