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Wushka – Online reading program

A levelled digital cloud-based reading program.

Wushka is an online levelled reading program. The program gives students access to over 600 fiction and non-fiction levelled readers. I have been using it with my classes for three years now. I have found it to be greatly beneficial to the students in my class. Wushka can be accessed on any device as it is web-based. This means that students have ready access to their readers. This is a huge advantage to using Wushka. With hard copy readers, it relies on the student to remember to bring readers home, swap them over when finished, not lose them or damage them. Then there is the problem of when students finish their readers and have to wait out the weekend or holidays before returning to school to then swap them over. Another issue in schools is there not being enough copies of certain levelled readers for particular groups of students. Wushka avoids all these issues.

The following are some of the features of Wushka….

Narration

The narration feature within Wushka is a real benefit to those students that struggle with reading comprehension or reading fluency. It gives them the independence to use this tool when necessary and not give up, because an adult was not available to assist them at the time.

Reading Boxes and Groups

You can assign a coloured reading box to any student and in the teacher’s settings you have the ability to chose what level of access you would like to give to that particular student  (as outlined below). There are charts available that show a comparison between different reading programs so that you can assign your student the correct level based on a program you might already be using.

   

Teachers can also set up reading groups, where you can assign specific texts or groups of texts for each group (as pictured above). This has been a great feature to assist with setting up shared reading groups within the class setting.

Quiz

At the end of each reader, the student can take a quiz on the text to check the student’s reading comprehension. This also assists the student depending on the results as to whether or not they need to re-read the text.

Support materials

Each reader includes supporting material such as printable lesson plans, literacy activities, blackline masters and assessment tools.

Class Statistics and Student Statistics

Having data on your student’s reading is a great way to check engagement and how well your students are comprehending the texts that they are reading. The class statistics gives you a quick overview of your class as to how many readers they have completed, the average time they have spent per reader in minutes, the average amount of readers they are reading each week and the percentage of quiz questions they are getting correct.

Student statistics gives you individualised data on how regular the student is reading, what percentage of books they are re-reading, what percentage of their reading selection they have remaining, the percentage of books they are reading that is fiction or non-fiction and how regularly they are using the narration feature. You can also view the student’s quiz results and specifically what time of day and on what day they were reading.

I have found Wushka to be a great program that engages well with reluctant readers. I have seen great progress with those students and from students with an ESL background. Students are more prolific with their reading using Wushka and it is a great complimentary program to use in conjunction with existing levelled reading programs that may already exist in schools such as Lexile reading or other levelled reading programs.

Wushka can be trialled for free, but if you decide to go ahead with it, it is currently $10 per student per year.

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