To help me implement digital reading in my classroom I chose to use RAZ kids and Epic! with my students. RAZ kids is a program that my students have been using all year. It is a wonderful site where you can assign your students a reading level and the site gives them a digital bookshelf of just right leveled readers to choose from. I really like how it allows the students to have choice in the books they read but also helps makes sure they are selecting just right books since that is a struggle sometimes for 2nd graders. My student have been using RAZ all year but after watching the webinar I decided to show them how to use some of the tools available in RAZ. RAZ allows them to go back to the text to find evidence to support their answers when taking the comprehension questions. I modeled how to do this with my students and they have been doing much better on their quizzes. I also showed them how they can click on a word they don't know and have it read to them. It will also give them a definition if they need. The only improvement with the program I would like to see would be better report options. It would be nice if students could print out their quiz results after they finished so that I didn't have to log-in to see how they did and so that I could send it home to parents. I also wish there was a way to see the entire classes results on one page. At this time I have to click on each students name individually to see their quiz results. It would also be nice if you could select all and print the same report for all students at once. Overall though It has been a great tool to use for my read to self center during daily 5.
Epic! is a site I just discovered that supports digital reading as well. Teachers can create a free account and it gives students access to tons of books online including many popular titles that they might check out from the library. The feature I have started to implement with my students is the read to me audio books. Now my student are using our classroom laptops for listen to reading during our Daily 5 block. They really have seemed to enjoy getting to select the books they listen to. Before we just used our leapfrogs and they had to listen to whatever story I picked for the week. When we had exhausted our supply of leapfrog books I went on the hunt for something that would allow them to listen to audio books online and that's when I found Epic! We have only been using it for a couple of weeks so at this time I haven't found any dislikes. Next school year I think I might try out creating student accounts so that I can test out the reports it gives you. Epic! has been another great find to support digital reading in the classroom.