Reading Project Using an iTouch

When I first ‘bid’ for the iTouches I planned to use them for a transition project. I am still planning to do this next half term but I wanted something as a focus for NOW.

Many of the children at my school have reading difficulties and reading ages well below their chronological age. Improving reading is as major focus across the school.

I spent time over the Easter break researching what makes a good reader and wanted to find something that would lend itself to using the iTouch and also be measurable so that I would be able to see if using the iTouch had a real impact.

I finally settled on using the iTouch as an aid to improve Reading Fluency and to increase the children’s Sight Vocabulary.

Fluency is reading a text with speed, accuracy, and expression and the ability to comprehend the material being read.

refers to the number of words a person correctly reads per minute (WCPM or WPM).
Accuracy refers to reading with few errors. Misreading more than 10% of the words in a passage generally means the text is too difficult for instructional level.
Expression refers to the ability of the reader to use correct phrasing, tone, and pitch while reading a text aloud.
Comprehension refers to the ability to understand the text being read.

A fluent reader is able to use their energy on comprehending the text versus identifying the words in the text. A fluent reader identifies words automatically. There is evidence that immature readers generally lack fluency which means they devote more energy to word recognition, and have less energy for meaning.


When reading to the children I have begun to make my reading behaviours very explicit and discussing reading behaviours such as phrasing (i.e. the ability to read several words together in one breath), rate (the speed at which we read), and intonation (the emphasis we give to particular words or phrases).

I have completed a Running Record to get an accurate text level for each child. On Monday I will find a baseline for each child of their Words Correct per Minute that they can read. This will be repeated 3-4 times each week. The number of words read correctly will be graphed.

Each child will record themselves reading using the built in Voice Memos app and they will listen to the recording so that they can hear themselves reading.They will be provided with feedback on the number of words they read correctly and an adult will discuss any word recognition errors.

I am hoping that by the end of this half term there will be a measurable improvement.


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4 Responses to “Reading Project Using an iTouch”

  1. Sharon Says:

    This sounds interesting and is a similar project to what an American school did with students. I am working on various research projects at University related to handheld learning with children and would be interested to hear more what your outcome is. Are you going to do deep research on this? If you need a help then do contact me at s . a . tonner @ dundee . ac . uk

  2. Eloise Barnett Says:

    Hi, I am the English co-ordinator at a special needs school. I am looking into using ipods or ipads to improve access to reading materials and reading skills across key stages 1 to 4 in our school. I would be very grateful of any help or advice you could offer.

    • ebd35 Says:

      Hi Eloise. I think iPod Touches are incredible when it comes to engaging and motivating the children in my class and though I don’t have any iPads, YET, I think they may be even better due to their page size.
      What sort of special needs does your school cater for?
      Happy to be of any help that I can.

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