While I was casual teaching at a local high school, I recognised that within each class there were different abilities within the students. For example, in one year 7 English class, there were students who were quick in their responses to the lesson, deeply insightful and eager to work. On the other extreme, there were students whose literacy skills needed further development before they could comfortably work at the academic level that was expected of them. Then there were the mix of students in between.
In the classroom – and with tutoring – I have found a couple of literacy sites to be helpful in engaging students of all abilities with learning, and helping them to develop their literacy skills. These literacy sites use games and visual stimuli to engage the students, and the difficulty increases as the levels go higher which is an ideal way of differentiating the curriculum within a mixed-ability classroom.
The first site is Wordflyer whose content matches that of the Australian Curriculum.
The WordFlyer apps are for grades 7 – 10 and have different sections for spelling, grammar and vocabulary.
The second site is freerice which assists students in reading comprehension and word knowledge.
This site is useful for grades 6-8 and increases word knowledge and comprehension.
Reading, comprehension, spelling and grammar are important tools for students and although each student is unique and has individual learning needs, using a simple app or carefully chosen website game can assist students in developing their literacy skills.