As teachers face the critical challenge of helping students become successful, joyful readers, they need resources that they know will work. However, “there is a stunning lack of research and evidence to support the efficacy of” the 11K+ edtech tools available (source).
ReadWorks is different. Research is at our core. Our ever-evolving, 100% free products are built on the scientific study of reading to ensure students can steadily improve and expand their background knowledge and vocabularies in support of their reading comprehension—helping them become the confident readers they deserve to be. We are honored to have earned Digital Promise's Research-Based Design and Learner Variability product certifications for our careful, research-driven product development on behalf of the millions of students and teachers who use our site each year.
Once our resources are launched, we continuously study their impact in multidimensional research studies, led by our internal research team and in partnership with top reading researchers. Because of our robust research agenda, ReadWorks is one of only 26 of the 100 most-used edtech tools in classrooms that meet Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requirements, according to a report from LearnPlatform by Instructure.
ReadWorks currently meets ESSA Tier 3 evidence requirements. In a 2022 study, researchers at NYU Stern School of Business found that students who complete ReadWorks multiple-choice questions progress over time, implying that students’ reading performance benefits from regularly doing ReadWorks question sets. This study also corroborated two earlier Digital Promise studies (in 2020 and 2019) by finding that differentiation within ReadWorks digital assignments helps students confidently and successfully tackle challenging reading. The impact of differentiation on student assignment open rate was even larger for the high-poverty group than that for the low-poverty group, implying the potential benefits of differentiation, especially for more disadvantaged groups.
In 2023, we launched a multi-year research plan that will deepen our investigation of ReadWorks’ impact on teacher practice and student outcomes, while continuing our mission of advancing the broader field of reading comprehension research through our innovative work. To continue examining the effectiveness of our high-quality passages designed to improve students’ background knowledge and vocabulary, our research team is studying our flagship product, Article-A-Day. A 2023 spring pilot with over 150 students in eight North Carolina classrooms found promising evidence that Article-A-Day can augment background knowledge and vocabulary. Our research team will conduct a follow-up study this year and will also use the pilot data to refine our new background knowledge assessments. We will share our assessment work with the broader field to help advance research in this critical aspect of reading comprehension, as background knowledge, a key part of reading success, can be challenging to measure accurately and reliably.
We could not deepen our research efforts without the support of our school and district partners. Thank you to the teachers and students who support research in the classroom. You can find additional case-studies that have proven impact and have influenced our design decisions. Contact email@example.com if you are interested in partnering or learning more about a research study.
Susanne Nobles, Ph.D., Chief Academic Officer
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with our K-6 reading passages about ice cream, popsicles, and other tasty treats. Reading about ice cream is almost as sweet as tasting it, we think.
I Scream for Ice Cream!
Meet Nancy Johnson, the woman who cracked the code for quick-freezing ice cream.
Troy’s generosity earns him a tasty treat!
Who Invented the Popsicle?
Read the story of Frank Epperson, the man who accidentally invented popsicles.
The Best Argentinian Cookies
Spark up your sweet tooth with sweet, buttery alfajores.
What Is Wagashi?
Learn about the seasonal Japanese candies that are as beautiful as they are delicious.
Abuela's Bake Sale Dish
Abuela’s special budín de pan saves the day!
A Food Discovery
Simone’s father helps her embrace their heritage with a special cultural recipe.
The Inside Scoop
Beloved ice cream truck driver Guy Elefantis shares his sweet daily routine.
Samuel Siegel, Marketing & Development Specialist
We’re determined to make the 2023-2024 school year the best one yet. Want to join us?
This year, we’re introducing a suite of new resources and strengthening the ones you know and love. To ensure success in your classrooms, we’ve paired these resources with a full school year of free live webinars!
Each 30-minute webinar is packed with reading instruction strategies that can make a difference in your classroom. Receive expert guidance from our team of former teachers turned PD professionals.
Invest in teaching success by signing up for a free webinar today. See you there!
2023 – 2024 Live Webinar Schedule
Samuel Siegel, Marketing & Development Specialist
ReadWorks is excited to add even more free curricular support for early readers! It is vital to give readers the opportunity to build background knowledge while practicing the letter-sound code that brings reading to life. Enter the new decodables on ReadWorks – a series of short, nonfiction texts designed to enhance curriculum and teacher instruction for early readers. Developed with expert writers and early reading thought leaders, these new decodables enable teachers to harness even more of the high-quality tools and sequences that ReadWorks offers.
“The team at ReadWorks is dedicated to the mission of offering free reading comprehension tools for teachers, and it was essential for us to develop specific tools for early readers. The popularity of the fiction decodables aligned to ReadWorks nonfiction articles that we offer in partnership with Whole Phonics provided us a launching pad into writing nonfiction decodables that work in step with our Article-A-Day scope and sequence. Early literacy is the cornerstone of educational success, and we are excited about the positive impact that these new decodables can have on children's reading development," Susanne Nobles, Chief Academic Officer, ReadWorks
Here are the powerful features and benefits of the new ReadWorks decodables and how they can be used to revolutionize early literacy education.
2. The Power of Nonfiction for Early Readers
Often, knowledge and vocabulary development are sacrificed for early readers because the texts they are reading are solely focused on word recognition. Teachers can deliberately support their students’ knowledge-building by pairing ReadWorks content-rich, listening-level passages with ReadWorks free decodables on the same topic.
"We’ve all heard the adage that children first learn to read, and then they read to learn. Yet decades of research show that this is a false dichotomy ... From the very beginning, children can build knowledge of the natural and social world through read-alouds ... [and] build knowledge through texts that they are learning to read themselves" (The Scientific Advisory Committee, Knowledge Matters Campaign). Source
3. Cultivating Reading Comprehension Proficiency
These new decodables are particularly unique because they give beginning readers the opportunity to build background knowledge while practicing mastering the code. ReadWorks created decodables that work with our Article-A-Day scope and sequence to help students build language comprehension while they also become proficient with word-level reading.
ReadWorks has been honored to have expertise on this project from Dr. Julia Lindsey, creator and author of Beyond Decodables, author of the book Reading Above the Fray, and former elementary teacher turned early literacy consultant.
She says, “I’m thrilled for educators to use the new high-quality decodable texts available for free from ReadWorks. ReadWorks’ decodables are nonfiction, informational texts created via the same rigorous vetting process as their other resources. By combining decodability and content (linked to Article-a-Day), these texts have the potential to simultaneously support children’s foundational skills and knowledge development — an all-around win!”
ReadWorks continues to pave the way for accessible, engaging, and transformative free resources that improve reading comprehension to reach every grade level, school, and district. Decodables for first grade and kindergarten are available now, and second grade texts are being written.
Teachers can find decodables within our Article-A-Day Scope & Sequence on ReadWorks. Be sure to register for our upcoming webinar Fostering Joy in Early Readers, How to Use New decodables on ReadWorks on August 15th.
Melissa Calder, Director of Marketing and Engagement
Susanne Nobles, Chief Academic Officer