Having been in a variety of school districts since graduating, I am amazed at the number of strategies that a teacher incorporates to teach his/her students to read. Of those techniques, how often do you find yourself incorporating the cloze procedure? The significance of this strategy are astounding. If unfamiliar with this term, it can be defined as a “multifunctional strategy, which can be used for reading diagnosis and reading comprehension instruction.” Diagnostically, teachers use this technique as a way to understand how the reader utilizes the context of a passage or sentence in order to understand the meaning of the text. Instructionally, the cloze procedure develops a students inferential comprehension. In a nutshell, it forces the learner to activate background knowledge while looking for context clues and making reasonable inferences. Happily, eSkills Learning can now say that there is an app for that!! Recently launched to the Apple Store, the cloze procedure can be reinforced with of course, a Bingo game. With two simple downloads, Basic Cloze Practice and Advanced Cloze Practice will guide users both individually and within a group.
Basic Cloze Practice – One of the most important skills that a student can acquire as they learn to read is the ability to use semantic and syntactic clues to build comprehension. This educational app is designed to guide those reading at a 1.0-3.9 reading level according to Spache and Dale-Chall Readability Formulas. Through three forms of game play (single, multiplayer and practice mode), struggling readers to developing readers will be challenged. It was developed to work on all Apple devices, however, with the power of the iPad, group instruction can take a whole new approach. While meeting the Common Core Standards as one explores and learns, it might be interesting to see the integration of the “practice mode” of this educational app within a multi-ability group or done as a read aloud strategy for the whole class. Simply connect your iPad to a large screen as students benefit from participating collaboratively irrespective of their reading levels. As the class collaborates, various discussions can be had as you navigate through each passage and the choices allowing those less confident readers to bring forth their prior knowledge as the more proficient reader provides the necessary scaffolding to process the text. By initially setting the tone of the cloze procedure collaboratively, students will be encouraged to take risks. In addition, it will guide others to see what good readers do when processing print – reading ahead, rereading, predicting on the basis of meaning, and/or testing out possible options. Once the support and strategies are set in place, users can then attempt to practice their new knowledge as a single player or with a friend if multiple Apple devices are available. For additional teacher support, eSkills Learning offers a Teacher’s Guide for additional situations that their application can apply, click here to read more.
Advanced Cloze Practice – Do you happen to have a classroom of varying reading levels? In need of additional support for your “high flyers?” eSkills Learning has thought of that! The next in the reading series, Advanced Cloze Practice, guides those at a 4.0-6.9 reading level. In this app, reading passages are much longer and vocabulary can certainly be more challenging. As users explore and learn, they too should take into consideration those strategies that a good reader uses, along with skills learned during Word Study to decode unknown words. As with the Basic Cloze Practice, this series can be played in three modes and game boards will change with each experience, however, the types of deletion will be slightly different. Educators, parents or users will notice the deletion of such things as: parts of speech, sequence, antonyms and synonyms. To support their users and the proper integration of such mobile learning, educators or parents can access the Teacher’s Guide by clicking here.
Although this application series may be tagged as “reading”, it is in fact cross curricular. Users will notice that passages fall into all content areas and integration can happen throughout a lesson and/or a unit. If you are looking to game for a reason, then begin downloading whichever series fits your classroom’s learning needs from your iTunes library here – Basic Cloze Practice and Advanced Cloze Practice. If you want to learn more about eSkills Learning, then be sure to visit their website here.