WriteReader is a free web tool that enables students in grades K-5 to become authors of their own books.
Yes, you heard correctly, it is FREE for students and teachers to use. It works on most devices using a Chrome browser. It also is the only early literacy tech tool that has a chrome extension, how cool is that?
WriteReader is scientifically proven to increase students’ literacy skills in as little as six weeks. It is super user friendly and easy to implement at home or in your classroom.
Here you will find a step-by-step guide to getting started in less than ten minutes along with best practices for implementing WriteReader in your classroom and/or home.
Who is WriteReader for?
Any school or home based student looking to create their own books, while learning to read by writing. Beyond traditional classroom teachers, WriteReader can be used by:
- Media Specialists/Librarians
- English Language Learners
- Special Education students looking to enhance their reading/writing skills
- Homeschooled students
- Any organization looking to support literacy
What do you Get with WriteReader?
- Free access
- Unlimited books
- Ability to share student creations
- Lesson plans/tutorials
- Writing prompts/ideas
- Community support
- Privacy protected tech tool
Getting Started Using WriteReader
I highly encourage you to log in and see how easy it is to create books in WriteReader. It will also allow you to familiarize yourself with the tool prior to introducing it to your students. So, head on over to WriteReader and create a free teacher account. If you already have a Google account, it’ll be even quicker because it’s fully integrated with Google. Yay! I’m always a fan of the Google integration because it is one less password to remember.
Once you have accessed WriteReader, a unique class code will be generated. Next, add your students. Students will log in using the name you create for them and the teacher’s class code. Students have the ability to set their avatar once entering their WriteReader classroom.
After you set your students up in WriteReader, create your own student account. I always recommend that you view any tech tool you use from the perspective of the end user. You will also want to practice by making your own example books to show your students.
Introducing Students to WriteReader
The best way to begin using WriteReader in your class is to introduce a few of its features at a time over the course of multiple lessons. To make things even easier, you can find lesson plans on the WriteReader website you can easily adapt to your classroom needs while getting an idea of how you can implement the tech tool in your classroom.
It’s always best to use only one or two of the features available until students are confident both using the tech tool and understanding how to learn to read by writing. You can always build from the basics through the school year and the books are editable at any time.
Introducing the Basic Functions in WriteReader
The list below encompasses the functions of the tool and it also indicates the order you should implement WriteReader into your classroom:
- Creating a title page with a Colored Background
- Adding pictures (through filtered Google search, importing pictures, and/or taking a picture)
- Adding pages
- Adding audio
- Turn audio/phonics on/off
- Viewing the entire book at a time
Publishing to the Kids’ Library in WriteReader
Students books are housed on the class bookshelf until you publish them to the Kids’ Library. I would recommend that if you plan on publishing student work that only their first name appears in their book’s title page. Also, make sure you send parents notification that their kids work will be published in the Kids’ Library. You can also grab the Parent’s Letter Template from the Teacher’s Dashboard in WriteReader.
Best Practices for Implementing WriteReader in Your Classroom
Use the Parent’s Letter to inform them of how they can support literacy at home with WriteReader.
- There is template available on the teacher’s dashboard you can tweak for your own purposes and division policies.
- When literacy is supported at seamlessly at home and school, student achievement increases.
Let students collaborate.
- Consider pairing strong and weak students OR
- English Language Learners with native English speakers.
Show students an example of the final product.
- There are several examples created for you to already use in WriteReader, however, creating your own book will allow you to connect with your students during the writing process.
- Set the tone by allowing students to provide your book creations with constructive feedback.
- Make your example book reflective of the assignment and learning goal you expect from your students.
Solicit a teacher friend to try it out too!
- That way you will have another educator to compare/contrast your experiences.
- This could be particularly effective if WriteReader was used in multiple subjects.
- Students should be practicing reading/writing across the curriculum.
Get support from the WriteReader Support Community on Facebook.
- When first implementing new tech and teaching methods into your class, its never cool to be an “island.”
- Reach out to others to expand your professional learning community.
Let your school administration know how you are using WriteReader in your classroom.
- Make sure the usage of the tech tool falls within your school district’s technology guidelines.
- More importantly, they should see how you are using technology to enhance literacy in your classroom!
Ways to Connect with WriteReader:
- Follow along with their Pinterest boards:
- Get updates, including lesson plans and ideas for integrating WriteReader in your class when subscribing to their newsletter.
- WriteReader Community Facebook Support Group
- Tweet @WriteReader a picture of your students creating books. Use the hashtag #WRliteracy
Additional Resources for Using WriteReader in Your Class:
- Richard Byrne’s Video Tutorial, How to Use WriteReader to Collaboratively Create Multimedia Books
- Richard Byrne’s Blog, Learning to Read by Writing Using WriteReader
- Richard Byrne’s Blog, WriteReader-Collaborative Book Creation for Elementary School Classrooms
- Richard Byrne, YouTube Video Tutorial
- 2Wired2Tired Blog, An Innovative New Learn to Read by WriteReader
- Monica Burns Class Tech Tool’s Blog, WriteReader K-5 Early Literacy Tool for Authoring Books
- WriteReader’s Blog, 3 Ways to Implement Journaling in Your K-4 Class Using WriteReader
How do you plan on using WriteReader in your Classroom to increase your students’ literacy?
I’d love to hear in the comments below!