Ok so I'm not normally one to leap on a fad or bandwagon but if you're into reading and you're not on Readtheory get on it now before it's too late and they start charging £500 and a highly understanding SLT per pupil. In all seriousness a fairly weighty pay per child must be on the way and relatively soon it, simply is that good.
So for those of you that don't know what it is let me give you a quick run through. Readtheory.org is an easy to manage and easy to use online reading bananza. Think mathletics with books and none of the razzmatazz that many children I feel have grown out of by Year 5. Readtheory centres on the idea that a broad knowledge of different text types and text content helps improve overall reading potential. But Mr King, I hear you cry (or yawn, let's be honest I'm writing this on a Sunday morn,) how does it work? Well my young padawan let me tell you.
Ok, so a child logs in using a username you assign them and a password you've given them (setting up is sped up inexplicably by the very logical fact they can all have the same password, thank you logic). They then tackle 8 assessment questions. These 8 questions are then analysed and a level is assigned. One negative here (yes they do exist) is that this is an entirely American site and therefore levels etc are listed as Grades not Years but as super talented teachers I am sure you can tackle that little cultural enigma. Once through some rather tricky presassessment questions the texts are then selected to specifically suit the level your child is operating at. Not only that but as over time as their performance improves the texts automatically become more challenging. Thus continually stretching them. All of this data, all of it, you can see in easy to read graphs and charts. You can see how every child has performed on every text they've tackled AND see which questions they've got wrong. This is the final hidden gem in the Readtheory treasure chest. When a child gets a question wrong, it tells them why, it's explains in a text box where the right answer can be located. Now true you don't know if the child's read this but if you're developing the right attitude towards reading then they should have.
This is not a bid to replace books; please don't kill me. However we are in an age where a world of information and knowledge has never been so accessible. These texts are short 5-10 minutes a piece and cover topics as diverse as The Burj Khalifa and mushroom growing. A variety of ways that we digest written content I feel is integral when developing life long readers.
That's about it. Going forward we will be using this in group interventions, whole classroom reading where I'll use Plickers assessment app to gauge how each child copes with a text. There are even free online papers you can print off and give to the children.
If you're keen to develop reading, make it fresh, exciting and fast paced then give Readtheory a go. You won't be disappointed.