Reading, Technology, & Differentiation

readDifferentiation involves adapting instruction to respond to the diverse needs of learners. Let's explore three ways to think about reading, technology, and differentiation:

Reading Practice

readingWhat's practice? Boring worksheets and old-fashioned drill and practice software has given practice a bad name. Practice is an essential part of learning. For instance, I want an airplane pilot who has had lots of practice flying a plane.

Research shows that the more you read and write, the better you get. Practice is more than simple drills. It's applying what you've learned to new situations. Use technology to identify practice environments to address the diverse needs of your students.

For example, nonreaders may need audio support. Resources may also be available in different languages. For example, the Dinosphere materials are available in Spanish for Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3.


Nonreaders from Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- ABC Game
- Dino Hunter
- Make a Movie
Kindergarten Lessons


Early Readers from Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- ABC Game,
- Meat or Plant Eater,
- Dino Hunter
First Grade Dinosphere Lessons
Second Grade Dinosphere Lessons
Third Grade Dinosphere Lessons

- Build a Dinosaur from Scholastic
- Dinosaur from Scholastic


Dinosphere Level 3 from Children's Museum of Indianapolis
- Research Dinosaurs
- Dinosaur Hunter
Third through Fifth Grade Dinosphere Lessons

- Dinosaur
- You Dig


Explore the websites and online lessons above. How can online materials help address the diverse needs in your classroom? Discuss issues related to age appropriateness. What make these materials effective or ineffective?

Reading Skills Practice

Although some students quickly acquire reading strategies, others need specific instruction related to reading concepts. The following websites provide practice in reading.


AB Cow from Between the Lions sound
Alphabet from Pauly's Games
Alphabet Action sound
Barney Games from PBS Kids
Caillou from PBS Kids
Dragon Tales from PBS Kids
Learning Games from BBC CBeebies - Kindergarten
Literacy Center
Pounce from Between the Lions sound
Razzledazzle from BBC sound
Sesame Street from PBS Kids
Sesame Street Workshop
Sound Memory Game from Pauly's Games
Paw Park: Beginning Sounds from Game Goo sound
Paw Park: Alphabetical Order from Game Goo sound
Paw Park: Matching Letters from Game Goo sound
Paw Park: Real or Make Believe from Game Goo sound
Paw Park: Word Order from Game Goo sound
Paw Park: Beginning and End Sounds from Game Goo sound
Paw Park: Beg, Middle, End Sounds from Game Goo sound
Word Play from Between the Lions sound


Arthur Games from PBS Kids
- Letters To...
- Poetry Club
- Muffy's Wardrobe
Story Scramble sound
Unmatching Game
Between the Lions Games from PBS Kids
Building Language for Literacy from Scholastic
Digby Mole's Word Games from BBC - End sounds, First sounds, Rhymes
ISpy from Scholastic
Literacy Center
Literactive: (eduscapes, eduscapes) sound
- Spelling Bee
- Activities
Paw Park: Spelling Words from Game Goo sound
Paw Park: Spelling 2 from Game Goo sound
Paw Park: Squanky 2 from Game Goo sound
Paw Park: Squanky from Game Goo sound
Picture Match from ReadWriteThink sound
Road to Reading - Click on Road to Reading
Sound and Letter Time from Scholastic
Word Build from ReadWriteThink
Word Wizard from ReadWriteThink
What's in the Bag from ReadWriteThink


Arthur Games from PBS Kids
Between the Lions Games from PBS Kids
Maggie's Learning Adventures from Scholastic
Maya & Miguel from PBS Kids
Poetry Idea Engine from Scholastic
Professor Garfield's Reading Ring
Wizards and Pigs: Poetry Pickle from Game Goo sound
Word Build from ReadWriteThink
Word Wizard from ReadWriteThink


Edit Dan's Copy from Scholastic
Maggie's Learning Adventures from Scholastic
Maya & Miguel from PBS Kids sound
Professor Garfield's Reading Ring
Spelling Wizard from Scholastic
Wizards and Pigs: Poetry Pickle from Game Goo sound
Word Mover for Holes

Design Your Own Activities

Open the Guide Student Use Word document. Choose a web-based activity and design a high level thinking assignment that connects the web-based activities to a specific standard.

Reading Tools

readingSome students need more guidance than others when reading. The support may be reading activities, anticipation guides, or other supplemental materials. Sometimes the use of visuals, audio, and other channels of communication are helpful.

Also consider the use of tools such as Kidspiration or Inspiration to help students visualize the plot, characters, and setting of a reading material.


All About Otters from Monterey Bay Aquarium
Aesop's Fables
Book-Pop Virtual Literature sound
Clifford Interactive Storybooks from Scholastic sound
It's a Big Big World Interactive Stories sound
Literactive: (eduscapes, eduscapes) sound
- Nursery Rhymes, More Nursery Rhymes, Collections
- Beginning Reader: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Orsons Farm
PBS Kids Stories
Snow Babies from National Geographic
StarFall sound
Storycircle from CBeebies - read aloud options sound
Storybear's Stories from BBC - read aloud options sound
Tweenies Stories from BBC sound


Apollo 11: Walking on the Moon from Smithsonian
Audio Stories from LINKS Learning sound
Be the Creature from National Geographic
Book-Pop Virtual Literature sound
Earth and Sky Kids sound
Flashlight Readers from Scholastic
Literactive: (eduscapes, eduscapes) - Poetry sound
State Quarters

For more ideas go to Teacher Tap: Electronic Books and Online Reading.

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Real-world Reading

readingExplore age-appropriate readings that reflect activities beyond the school. Seek topics of interest to individual students. In particular, boys are attracted to electronic magazines and news sources.

Watch Video Interviews with 35 Children's Book Authors from Reading Rockets to help students gain insights into the authors of their favorite books.

If you have children with special needs, check out LD Online KidsZone.


Scholastic News
- Ask a Weather Watcher (Listen & Read)
Here Come the Frogs! (Listen & Read)
- Insect World Records (Listen & Read)
- Growing Up Gater (Listen & Read)
- Meet Mr. President (Listen & Read)
- Welcome Back, Bald Eagles! (Listen & Read)


Scholastic Special Reports


National Geographic Kids News
News Hour Extra
Nick News
Pop Magazine Stories
Press Pack News
Scholastic Special Reports
Smithsonian Magazine
The Why Files
Yahooligans News

Explore the resources on this page. Or, examine the Article Archive or Science Explorations Library from Scholastic. Design an activity based on an article. Consider the individual differences in your class. How can focused practice, using reading tools, and integrating real-world reading assignments help particular students in your class? Rethink how your classroom computers are being used. Do all students complete the same activities? How are your computers an opportunity to differentiate to meet the needs of individual children?

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Developed by Annette Lamb, 3/06.