Kids Online Reading – How it Helps
The growing awareness of how important structured literacy development is to the educational life of a child has seen a proliferation of reading programmes and resources available online. But does kids online reading really help them to read?
As with any reading programme, the effectiveness of an online reading programme depends on the educational base from which it draws its lessons. Current educational practice with regards to literacy recommends instruction in five key areas – phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and text comprehension. The best online reading programmes incorporate all five of these essential elements into the structure of their lessons.
Reading Eggs teaches kids to read using online reading lessons. Each of the lessons incorporates one or a combination of the aforementioned five key the areas of literacy instruction. Below you will find a description of each literacy area and how Reading Eggs incorporates that area in its lessons.
Phonemic awareness is defined as the ability to hear, identify and manipulate the individual sounds in words, known as phonemes. Most words are made up of a combination of individual sounds, for example, the word ‘cat’ is made up of three phonemes, /c/a/t/.
By incorporating nursery rhymes, sound play, listening activities and alphabet books in its lessons, Reading Eggs develops a child’s phonemic awareness.
As part of later lessons, children are asked to listen to words and discern their focus sound, as well as work with onsets and rhymes, like c-a-t, b-a-t, r-a-t, so that they can see how words can be broken into smaller parts. The aim of these lessons is to give the child the ability to identify and manipulate phonemes, a skill which, combined with phonics instruction, will rapidly increase their bank of readable words.
Phonics is a method of teaching early readers the link between letters and their individual sounds (phonemes) so that they can form letter-sound correspondences and spelling patterns.
Using a synthetic phonics approach, the lessons of Reading Eggs ask children to map individual letters, or letter combinations, with their appropriate sound. Introducing each letter of the alphabet in its own lesson, children become familiar with the letter’s form and its corresponding sound – developing their overall awareness of the alphabetic principle, that is, the notion that sounds relate directly to letters of the alphabet.
Fluency provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension. Spending less time sounding out and decoding words, fluent readers can therefore spend more time discerning the meaning of a text. Repetition of reading activities is one of the most effective ways to increase reading fluency.
Reading Eggs teaches reading fluency through:
- Modeling the fluent reading of a book
- Re-reading books
- Comprehension activities
Early readers will invariably approach reading with different levels of vocabulary, and there is a strong correlation between vocabulary and reading ability.
Reading Eggs helps build a child’s vocabulary with lessons that present a child with a group of words around a theme, allowing them to categorise these words and therefore effectively commit them to memory. Words are introduced with visual support, that is, a matching picture, to provide context and increase word knowledge and retention.
In order to comprehend a text, children should be taught how to:
- Ask questions about a story they have read
- Answer questions about a story
- Recognise story structure
- Put a jumbled-up story back in order
Reading Eggs offers a systematic kids online reading programme that integrates each of these 5 key literacy areas. Reading and understanding real books is the goal of every Reading Eggs lesson. Kids read their first e-book by the end of Lesson 9, and continue to read books after every subsequent lesson. With game-like activities, catchy songs and colourful visuals and animation, Reading Eggs engages children, motivating them to keep learning.
Reading Eggs has simply taken off in our school! It allows students to work at their own level and provides students at the lower end of the scale with the opportunity to gain success. The kids love the games, stories and different challenges! Claire Badrock, Meekatharra School of the Air
My first grade son truly enjoys his time on ReadingEggs. It has helped him in particular with sight words, word families, fluency, and confidence. He loves to “hatch” his new characters and collect the golden eggs. The beginning evaluation accurately placed him at the correct level, allowing him to be successful and challenged.” Anne S.