April 14, 2015

Comprehension Website--Read Theory!

I don't know about you all......but I feel as though the world wide web is lacking in quality reading websites. Not that there isn't any great sites....but it seems as though all of the quality websites available only cater to K-2 aged students as opposed to the upper elementary-middle school grades. These K-2 sites are awesome for kids learning how to read, but I want a website to reinforce and supplement reading comprehension!

Well I may have found it...... (thanks TPT forums!)

A while back, I briefly blogged about the website called Read Theory.  Yo can read the quick post by clicking here.

I love this FREE comprehension website, and I pinky swore I would write a more in-depth blog post about it.  Well...fast forward 2 months....and I am finally ready to blog about it! Sheesh.....time flies, right?!?

Anyway.... Read Theory is a wonderful free educational tool.  Once teachers set up a class, their students instantly gain access to thousands of leveled reading passages.

Teachers have the ability to set each students initial reading level, which ensures each student starts with text that is appropriate for them!

As the student progresses through the program, Read Theory adapts the student's reading level. Meaning....if a student scores 90% or higher on a quiz, their reading level goes up and passages get harder.  If a student scores 70-89% on a quiz, their level remains the same, thus passages remain the same.  The level will decrease if the student scores 69% or less, consequently passages will decrease in difficulty.

A student's reading level progression graph. This student started out at a third grade reading level and has progressed to the sixth grade! :)  Yay!
The program basically runs itself!  YES!!!!

Oh..... and teachers receive TONS of valuable data!!!  DOUBLE YES!!!!

Read Theory  gives you two types of data: whole class and individual.  All results are based on mastery of common core skills.

This is a whole class snapshot of reading level progressions.  Each blue bar represents a student.  Three data points are reported: initial reading level, current reading level and average reading level. 

Picture is another whole class snapshot on common core standards.  If the class average rises above 80% the bars turn green, if an average falls below 70% the bars turn red. 
For individual student data, Read Theory provides the teacher with a detailed record on each passage and quiz a student has taken.

If you click on the the blue quiz number on the right side of the screen (see picture below), you are able to read the exact passage and questions the student was given.  It also provides the teacher with the how the student answered each question, (i.e. whether they got a question right or wrong.)

Talk about awesome data---and great information for student-teacher conferences!!

Another helpful piece of data is the individual report on how students are progressing in terms of common core skill mastery.

So obviously the teacher gets lots of feedback.....BUT....what about the students?!?!

Don't worry---they get tons of feed back too.  AND--it is instant!

While taking a quiz, if a student answers a question incorrectly.... Read Theory helps them discover why....

See this website is pretty great, isn't' it! AND...its for older kids!  WAAAHOOO!

Now....I must admit that not all of my students are motivated (insert big gasp).....so I try to sweeten the pot a little by having a simple little contest.  And it is simple. Very simple!  

I have a little spot on my marker board that says "Leaders." 

Fancy, huh?!?

Every two weeks, the top three leaders get a prize.  Sometimes they get a mini-pop, a bag of popcorn or even 10 minutes of free-time.   

This simple little contest really motivates my kiddos.....not only does it motivate them to read more passages in order to take more quizzes, but it also motivates them to do well.  If a student does well, Read Theory awards bonus points. 

Keeping track of the leaders is super easy, because Read Theory does that for me.  All I have to do is look up how may points each of my students has scored in the last two weeks.....and update my board! 

I hope you get a chance to check out the website......let me know if you have any questions!



  1. Thank you for sharing this website! I will definitely be checking this one out. I am always looking for good quality reading sites.
    Conversations in Literacy

    1. I am always on the hunt too, Lori! This really is a great one for older kids! Thanks for stopping by!


  2. i would like to know some websites for writing skills like reatheory for comprehension

  3. How often would you suggest having the students complete read theory?

    1. Hi Tiffany! I am not sure if there is a research based best practice of recommended student usage....but I do know the more students use the program the more data a teacher will have on them. No data will populate until they have used the program for at least 20 minutes, so they will at least have to be on it that long. I personally have seen teachers use Read Theory as a center--about 10-15 minutes a day. I have also seen Read Theory used in RTI models which is about 30 minutes a day. I think it just depends on how you want to use it and how it best fits in your classroom. Read Theory has a FAQ site...maybe you can get more information there.


      Hope this helps!

  4. How often would you suggest having the students complete read theory?

    1. I require 5 quizzes at or above pretest level every week. If they can't reach that goal, they may have gotten lucky on their pretest and it should be reset. I don't reset until several weeks have passed to get an accurate baseline.

  5. I started using ReadTheory 2nd semester last year and LOVE it!!! The program is perfect for Exceptional Children.

  6. Does the Read Theory level correlate to grade level? For example, if a student scores at Level 4, does that mean that he or she is at the fourth grade reading level?

  7. Do you have students complete Read Theory for homework during the week? Or just in class?