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Can an app help foster good reading habits?

‘Subtext’ app can help personalize reading lessons for K-12 students

reading-skillsWhen I taught literature, I often found myself trying to break free from the “teacher triangle” class discussion, where a question is initiated by the teacher, answered by a student, and then bounced to another student for more detail or a different opinion. In this model, I became the reluctant valve through which every part of the conversation had to flow.

I wanted my class discussions to be more organic and authentic, with students debating genuine differences of opinion with one another. Yes, their limited background knowledge or vocabulary frustrated their understanding of the text. However, I didn’t always do a good enough job scaffolding their experience so they could build these understandings and connections. Furthermore, my lessons weren’t always designed to encourage the types of conversations I wanted to see.

Because I understand these challenges, I was thrilled last year when our sixth grade English teacher began to experiment with Subtext, an eReader app for the iPad. Unlike other eReaders, Subtext was designed specifically for the K-12 classroom.

(Next page: Personalizing student learning)

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