Reading Plus is a web-based reading development program that combines the teaching of silent reading fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary into a system tailored to the needs of individual pupils. The program calibrates the results of an initial assessment, taken by the pupils when they first use Reading Plus, to provide suitable texts and comprehension questions personalised to individual ability.
This is the core element of Reading Plus for developing fluency and comprehension.
Pupils choose from a wide variety of age-appropriate texts (fiction, non-fiction and informational) that are matched to the individual’s reading level. Having read a text selection, pupils practice applying their knowledge and understanding by answering 10 comprehension questions. These questions target the pupil’s knowledge and skill of inference, referral and use of language. This forms a basis for critical thinking.
Reading Plus automatically tracks the time it takes to read text selections and establishes a pupil’s silent reading speed. Silent reading speed, or reading rate, together with vocabulary understanding will determine a pupil’s ability to comprehend text.
Reading Plus uses a patented Guided Window to help model silent reading fluency best practice. Matched to individual pupils’ reading speed, the Guided Window gradually gets faster once pupils have demonstrated understanding to develop proficient silent reading fluency.
Advances made in reading speed must coincide with an individual’s knowledge of vocabulary and how words fit in to a variety of sentence structures.
Working through Reading Plus, pupils will encounter up to 2,500 academic vocabulary words which are grouped into individual word lists, to be used for reading in context. This helps pupils to not only understand the meaning of the word, but how to adapt their vocabulary to different sentence structures, tenses and situations.
Pupils’ who have been identified as having a low reading rate or poor reading stamina may need to practice visual perception and visual memory skills.
The Visual Skills element of Reading Plus consists of two separate activities that develop a more efficient reading technique through increasing reading speed and word recall.
The first activity is called ‘Scan’. Scan has been designed to improve left to right scanning which is an essential skill for efficient reading. Pupils scan a page of ‘text’, that consists of open and closed circles, rather than words, using a Guided Window. The Guided Window only allows the pupils to see a small section of text as it moves across the page to encourage efficient eye-tracking movement. Each time the pupil sees an open circle they hit the space bar on the keyboard or tap the touch screen. At the end of the exercise they are given a score comparing correct responses against number of hits on the space bar. Once pupils develop proficiency, the speed of the Guided Window is then increased which helps develop stamina.
The second activity is called ‘Flash’. Flash supports the development of visual memory by identifying clusters of letters as components of other words. Within the Flash activity, groups containing three letters flash on the screen for a second before disappearing. Pupils then type the letters that they have just seen. These letters are not random but are letter groups that appear frequently in other words. This helps with word recall.