Website Review
ReadWriteThink

An excellent free resource for all things reading and writing

  • From the home page, you can already see how many resources are available here.

  • Lesson plans are in-depth and standards-based.

  • A Calendar feature lets you know about notable events and people.

  • Student Interactives can be saved for use at a later time.

  • After-school activities can be a great resource to share with parents.

Quick Take
Pros: Quality lesson plans go above and beyond the average free site, and there's just so much great content to choose from.
Cons: A bulletin board, social network, or some other way for teachers to chat and share would be an excellent asset.
Bottom Line: A language arts teacher's dream; lesson plans, professional development, and all-around quality support.
Learning Scores
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

The site hosts some games for kids, but ReadWriteThink is mainly a resource for teachers. There are hundreds of engaging activities, lesson plans, and games for educators to use in designing curricula for their students.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 4

Lesson plans and activities are well-designed -- by experts -- and encourage depth of learning. Many of the games have subject matter seamlessly baked in.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

ReadWriteThink's design is clean, and information is easy to access. This is good, considering just how much is here. They've also partnered with Verizon Thinkfinity, a site with even more resources.

Our Review
What's It Like?

ReadWriteThink is an online resource that contains lessons, interactive activities, and printables to help kids improve their reading and writing skills. From the IRA (International Reading Association) and NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English), the site serves language arts teachers from Pre-K through 12th grades.

The site is organized into the sections Classroom Resources, Professional Development, and Parent & Afterschool Resources. Each heading contains hundreds of unit plans, lesson plans, and activities, each divided by subject, learning objective, and grade level. While ReadWriteThink is focused primarily on language arts, materials for science, math, history, and life skills can be found here as well. There are also over fifty Interactives, or Flash-based games and widgets for kids -- everything from a "Book Cover Creator" to a "Theme Poems" game, and more.

Is It Good For Learning?

ReadWriteThink is like a gift for language arts teachers, and it just keeps on giving. There's simply a wealth of high-quality and accessible content here. It's a particularly great resource if you consider that it's completely free (partially funded by a grant from Verizon). ReadWriteThink claims that all curriculum on the site is reviewed by "at least two literacy educators." Writers for the site are vetted as literacy experts, many of whom are NCTE members and professional educators. Resources are considered classroom-tested and evidence based.

Kids will enjoy the fun Interactives, and teachers will be grateful for the standards alignment and easy-to-follow lesson plans. Content covers everything from vocabulary to reading skills, podcast creation and everything in between. There are plenty of after-school activities here, as well. A social network, or some other way for teachers to get involved, chat with one another, and collaborate could push this site over the top.

How Can Teachers Use It?

You can easily integrate lesson plans and activities into classroom use. Everything is so well-organized that you'll know exactly how to find what you're looking for, and exactly which standards are being met. The huge number of resources here almost guarantees you'll find something that works. The professional development section is pretty helpful, too, with strategy guides and information on meetings, events, and online seminars for language arts and literacy teachers.

This review of ReadWriteThink was written by

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