Monday, January 11, 2010

Reading Websites for Kids

As a School Library Media Specialist, I'm always looking for fun, online, interactive websites for kids - with a focus on reading. While nothing can replace a good old fashioned book in your hand, as educators and parents, we're now competing with high-speed technology, hand held this and thats, video gaming systems and more. So, it's always a good idea to have a variety of ways to get those kiddos interested in reading - especially those who may be a bit more hesitant. Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Capstone Kids

A great website with free games and activities SAFE for the whole family...the characters in the games are straight out of Capstone’s books – so children are already familiar with them AND they get an opportunity for some interactive play…they won’t even know they’re learning! My son is only four and he LOVES the DC Superhero Series. I have to read it aloud to him, but it's great bonding time!! The actual reading levels (DC Superheroes) vary from second to fourth grade.

Here’s a little blurb from Capstone:
Capstone Kids is owned and operated by Capstone Publishers. We are a family-owned company that supports the reading needs of preK-12 students through Capstone Press, Compass Point Books, Picture Window Books, Stone Arch Books, and Red Brick Learning. We’re proud of the range of high-quality nonfiction and high-interest fiction we offer, and invite you to browse our collections!

What’s better than getting “hooked” via an online game and then searching for the book in the library?? It’s all about making connections. I highly suggest this website for students – check it out!

Here are a few characters your children will see at Capstone Kids Online that they may be familiar with from books they’ve read:

Captain Cal
Damian Drooth Supersleuth
DC Comic Superheros
Eek & Ack
Isabel Soto
Jimmy Sniffles
The Library of Doom
Max Axiom
Pony Tales
Recon Academy
Tiger Moth
Zinc Alloy

Storyline Online

This is one of my all time favorites!! My son LOVES to read with me, but if I'm cooking or washing clothes and he's wanting to read - he can pull up his own book right here on the computer!

Better yet? Older children will recognize the readers as celebrities from their favorite music, TV shows and movies! Storyline Online features celebrity readers reading their favorite stories aloud via digital streaming. It's really a fun site that I've used at home AND in the classroom! For now it's free, but they're beginning to struggle with their funding. The site was down temporarily, but is now up and running with an area for you to make donations if you'd like. Well worth it!

Guys Read

This is a great website for those young men and little guys out there! Boys are typically the highest category of struggling readers - why? I believe it's because most educators are women (in the elementary grades) and we as women, do not enjoy reading the same things as men. You can check out my article from Reading Rocks here to find out the differences...which just make sense! As a teacher of reading, I believe it's essential to find what interests ALL readers, even if that means stepping outside of our personal comfort zone. Guys Read creator, Jon Scieszka, is an amazing author and takes pride in the upkeep of this great site for boys!

Be sure to keep up with all the reading news via my school and reading blog, Reading Rocks!

No comments: