As the school year begins to wind down, summer plans begin to take shape. A plan many schools and teachers are forming is one to support summer reading—whether through a formal program or simply through encouragement to parents. YourReadingPath.com, a site developed by Rosen Publishing with NWEA™ support, can be one important aspect of that plan for MAP® partners.
YourReadingPath.com offers book recommendations based on a student’s MAP Reading RIT score and the student’s age. The parent, teacher, or even the student simply enters the RIT score and age and is taken to a website portal offering a wide range of books, primarily informational, that are at the reading level of the student and are pre-screened for age appropriateness. You might be thinking at this point: Okay, it’s neat that I can enter the RIT score to estimate reading level, and it’s good the books are screened for age appropriateness, but why does anyone need one more place to look for books?
First, YourReadingPath.com brings together a unique set of books. Most are written specifically to address topics of high interest to young readers. The site allows for filtering by topics, including such areas as Social Issues and Personal Development; Science and Nature; Humor, Games, Riddles, and Rhymes; and Health. For many of these topics, having books written for children or young adults, rather than for adults, is a real benefit. Written for a student audience, most books are formatted to engage younger readers with pictures, charts, graphs and other text features designed to support comprehension, unlike some adult books on the same topics. The set of books offered by YourReadingPath.com might also be appealing to the student whose interest has never really been captured by reading fiction.
Second, YourReadingPath.com is designed to support a variety of reading purposes and account for the student’s individual needs. Within the site, the RIT score can be changed to a RIT range, moving down or up from the given score or simply spanning the score. Entering a range, rather than a single RIT score, has the effect of increasing the number of books the search returns. Having more books to choose from increases the likelihood your child can find the books they really want to read – and books that are still well-targeted to the student.
Thinking about a reading purpose can help determine the best way to enter a range. Widening the range by entering a lower score will return more books that are easier to read. This is often appropriate for pleasure reading, for topics the student knows little about, or when the purpose is developing a habit of reading. Students are more likely to stay engaged with books that are not too challenging. This may also be a good approach when helping students develop reading stamina: the ability to read for increasingly longer periods of time without losing focus.
Widening the range by entering a higher score will return more books that are harder to read. This may be appropriate for students who want a challenge or for students who are already knowledgeable about a topic and want to learn more. This is also helpful when the purpose is help students engage with more complex texts. The built-in support materials in most books will help students comprehend the more complex material.
Third, and finally, sampling high-interest informational texts over the summer has many academic benefits. Students will build core knowledge, which many believe is a key factor in developing strong readers. Additionally, informational texts are rich in academic vocabulary, which helps to develop strong readers. Also, one of the key instructional shifts in college and career readiness standards is seeking a balance between fiction and non-fiction reading. The set of books in YourReadingPath.com is well tailored to provide these benefits, while still providing an enjoyable reading experience.
If schools or teachers want to add YourReadingPath.com to their plans to support summer reading, there are a variety of resources to help you do that in the Teachers section of the site. Have more ideas to support summer reading? Tell us about it on Facebook or Twitter.