Cloze activities were originally developed for reading instruction, but over the years they have proven so valuable and easy to design that they are now commonplace in many subject areas and serve as a popular assessment tool for teachers everywhere. The concept of the cloze procedure is simple. Words are removed from a reading passage by the teacher and presented as blanks which the students must fill in. Selecting which words to remove can be done in a variety of ways. Online cloze generators generally remove every 5th or 10th word, depending on the length of the text. However, most teachers prefer to select the words according to the objectives of the lesson or the particular content being learned. Removing keywords from a passage is a strategy for drawing the learner’s attention to them and forcing them to consider their meaning. Read More »
How often in your daily life do you read aloud? Unless you have small children, the answer is probably “not often”. For most of us, the vast majority of the oral reading we did was back in the early years of elementary school, when we were still learning to read. At that stage, it was important to read aloud in order for teachers to grasp our strengths and deficits as developing readers. With this information, they could provide the assistance needed to address the issues preventing fluent reading.
As we grow older, and the mechanics of reading are presumed to have been mastered, reading is assessed through comprehension. We read a passage, and then answer questions to demonstrate that we have read well. Assessing comprehension can alert teachers to reading problems, but it cannot shed much light on the nature of the problems. In other words, while teachers might know that their students are not reading well, with only comprehension scores to go on, they are none the wiser as to why. Read More »
One of our most popular tools, ReadAloud, has received a set of new features, many of them requested by the community of Poodll Net users. Since it first appeared more than five years ago, this oral reading tool has steadily attracted a band of loyal followers. With these followers has come a steady stream of requests for added functionality that would take the plugin from “useful” to “indispensable”. Here’s a roundup of what’s included in the latest version (for video summary, click here).
Even from the earliest days of ReadAloud, users were searching for ways to add a model audio to the activity to help familiarize learners with the text they were about to read. Although the workarounds invented by teachers were often creative, we knew we had to find a way to make it easier to provide this kind of support to learners. Preview Reading enables teachers to provide learners with an audio recording of the text (self-recorded, uploaded, or auto-generated using text-to-speech). As the audio plays, portions of the text are highlighted to help the learners follow along. Read More »