Our school uses 3P Learning’s Mathletics, an online subscription based Mathematics programme purchased through CJ Fallon with fifth and sixth classes. During the Easter holidays, I received an invitation to register for a free trial of their latest product – Reading Eggspress. Reading Eggspress is also an online subscription based literacy programme for pupils aged 7 – 13 years in primary schools. As improving literacy skills is a key priority for all schools under the LITERACY AND NUMERACY FOR LEARNING AND LIFE – The National Strategy to Improve Literacy and Numeracy among Children and Young People 2011 – 2020 I decided to avail of the free trial. 3P Learning also have another literacy programme suited to younger primary school pupils Reading Eggs but I have not looked at it as it is outside the age range of the pupils in our school.
Once a school has signed up for their free trial or has purchased a subscription, each pupil in the class has a unique username and password to access the Reading Eggspress website. With their username and password they can log into the Reading Eggspress website both from school and home. The website is flash based and features a highly colourful and attractive spinning island that immediately catches pupils’ attention. The spinning island has four locations that the pupil can visit – Gym, Mall, Stadium and Library. Each pupil’s success when using the site is rewarded with Reading Eggs, trading cards and bronze, silver and gold certificates to keep them highly motivated. In the Gym, pupils can visit the Comprehension Gym to develop their reading and comprehension skills and the Writing Press to refine their writing skills. The Writing Press will be very familiar to teachers who have used Jenny Eather’s Writing Fun website in the past as 3P Learning bought this website some time ago. The Comprehension Gym has 200 comprehension lessons at five levels of difficulty, featuring fiction and nonfiction texts. Pupils are given a placement test, first time they visit the Comprehension Gym to decide what level the start at. Each of the interactive comprehension lessons feature pre-reading activities such as book cover exercises, dictionary exercises, a short extract to read followed by 16 multiple choice comprehension questions that test recall of facts, what pupils have inferred from the text and overall understanding of the piece of text that they have read. The Library has over 600 e-books with reading ages from 6 – 12 years. Books are classified by fiction/nonfiction, genre (e.g. Sci-fi, Fantasy, History, Design and Technology etc.). As the Library is online based, it is searchable by title and author. Many of the titles in the library will be familiar to teachers as it contains titles from some familiar series such as Sparklers, Gigglers etc. When pupils have read a book they have an opportunity to take a 10 question quiz that tests their comprehension. In the Stadium pupils can play spelling, grammar, vocabulary and language usage games either against the computer or against an online opponent chosen randomly by the system. In the Mall, pupils can spend the Reading Eggs they have earned to purchase clothes, footwear, jewellery, pets, furniture and electrical goods for their avatar which assists with keeping them interested and motivated. A very comprehensive set of tools allow the teacher to track class progress and individual pupil’s progress on books read, comprehension gym scores and progress in games played. In the fortnight to date that I have been using Reading Eggspress with pupils I have found that they find it fun, very enjoyable, engaging and really look forward to using it at home also.
Why not register for a free trial for your own class or school!