Reading Bear: Free Online Phonics & Reading Instruction!

Posted on Nov 28, 2011 by kjarrett 5 Comments

Hello everyone,

Last week, Richard Byrne over at Free Technology for Teachers blogged about about an awesome resource for early learners called Reading Bear. I immediately knew I wanted to take a closer look and share it here.

This five minute overview video on YouTube does a great job of explaining the service. I went in for a look myself!

Reading Bear is a very impressive effort. 15 of the planned 50 lessons are available and are just enough to give you a flavor for their approach and the value of this great free resource.

Once a lesson is selected, the content is presented in a variety of interactive formats (see above). The graphics are crisp and clear, and so are the videos:

…which, incidentally, scale upward & downward in quality automatically based on bandwidth (a very nice touch!)

One observation I do have has to do with word / image choice. In the quiz above, the correct answer is ‘jazz’ – I am not sure young learners would be able to distinguish that, and I feel they might be more inclined to choose ‘jam’ or even ‘man’ given the choices above. I had this reaction a few times while using the service. Use it for yourself and see what you think. (Better yet, have a student try it out.) The quizzes self-grade and report scores when completed, a nice touch.

Reading Bear is a project of WatchKnowLearn, a terrific free library of instructional videos. Click here to read the story behind the site. The Getting Started page will probably answer most of your questions!

I’m really impressed with Reading Bear. I look forward to seeing the rest of their lessons. Hopefully elementary teachers everywhere (and their students) will find it useful. In my opinion, there is no greater skill (and no greater challenge) in elementary school than teaching a child how to read!

Hope this helps,