San Diego — Dec. 7, 2015 — Learn2Earn, a company dedicated to providing a 21st century alternative in the school fundraising and reading motivation program spaces, is continuing its tradition of enhancing its offerings based on teacher recommendations by adding two major updates to its Whooo’s Reading platform. For the late fall 2015 semester, the company is expanding its reading-writing connection component and implementing more tools to help teachers monitor reading comprehension growth.
Previously, students could use the Whooo’s Reading platform to answer a short CCSS-aligned comprehension question about a book they had just read or to write a brief review. Now, Learn2Earn has added the option of writing longer “blog post-style” responses of about 750 characters. Based on the Common Core writing standards, the blog posts are grouped into three categories: informational, opinion and narrative writing. In one example, students are prompted to write a post addressing school principals to explain why every child in America needs to read the book in question. This pushed persuasive writing. While in another example, students are encouraged to use the text material as the basis for a biography on the book’s main character.
The blog posts enhancement was the brainchild of Lorie Barber, a fifth grade teacher and lead reader at Schiesher Elementary School in Chicago, Ill. “As a language arts teacher, I firmly believe that being able to share their ideas with others is what really engages students in learning. Couple this with authentic opportunities to write, and technology embedded in a useful way, and you've got a platform—blogging—that doubles as a wonderful learning tool,” she said. “Blogging is developing students’ academic skill sets on two fronts: reading comprehension and writing. The students who are able to think interpretively and analytically, and can share that thinking with others, are the ones who grow the most as readers.”
In addition, Premium subscribers to Whooo’s Reading can independently record their students’ Lexile reading levels. While Lexile measures serve as the default for recording reading ability, teachers can also enter students’ reading levels in accordance with Fountas & Pinnell, Accelerated Reader, grade levels or several other systems. If the teacher chooses not to enter reading levels, the system uses the median reading level for students at that grade as a placeholder.
With their reading level now set in the platform, students can see if each book that they log is at, above or below that established level. Whooo’s Reading presents the information data in an objective way, so students see it as feedback, rather than a judgment on what they are reading. While other leveled reading programs actively limit what students can read based on their level.
As teachers view their class’ private forum,, they can also see how the books a student is reading relates to that student’s reading level. Additionally, they can access a graph that shows them the Lexile measure of all the books a student reads and how well all those books align with the student’s reading level. That graph shows teachers the big picture of which students are challenging themselves, which students are gradually improving and which students might need more guidance selecting their independent reading texts.
“Many of these Lexile features were based on direct requests from teachers,” said Raphael Menko, the co-founder and CEO of Learn2Earn. “We always rely heavily on user suggestions and requests when we modify or add to the platform. We are very proud of the fact that educators have raved about Whooo’s Reading since its inception. We credit that to the fact that they are classroom and instructional experts, we listen to them and make changes based on what they want and need to help students accelerate their reading skills and love for reading.”
Learn2Earn is a young startup company focused on providing a 21st-century alternative to traditional literacy programs and school fundraising platforms. Unlike other reading or fundraising programs, their service is child-centric rather than educator-centric. That means that everything they develop is focused on benefitting the children who use it, on making reading fun, and improving specific reading and writing skills as outlined in the Common Core State Standards. In the area of fundraising, they offer something that most fundraising companies don’t: an educational platform for schools to use to raise money. Students aren’t selling; they’re improving their reading skills. For more information, visit Learn2Earn.org.
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