K12 Reader is a vast site that focuses strictly on Language Arts for all grade levels and all topics, from comprehension, parts of speech and literary devices. You will be able to find something no matter what grade level you teach or the level your students are at as well. This site took me a while to get familiarized with as there is a lot to offer. Due to the amount of content available I am not 100% familiarized with everything and the quality of all their worksheets. However, that is simply because for me K12 reader has exactly what I was looking for, which is their reading comprehension worksheets. Like any site they all have their strengths and weaknesses and in particular I have found these reading comprehension worksheets to be the best I have come across. As teachers I think it is fair to say that not any singular site can do it all.
For the past two years I have used the comprehension worksheets in my Language Arts class and they have done a wonderful job improving my students reading comprehension. I start off using the grade 1 sheets at the start of the year and I only once a week. I print two off, as most students are able to to finish two sheets in twenty minutes. The text passages as you progress through the weeks begin to advance slowly, adding more words. These sheets also come with questions, which literally ask questions that come straight out of the passage. This is a perfect way to asses student reading comprehension from all aspects.
A quick side note regarding the organization of these sheets on the webpage: only the grade 1 level is in the correct order from how they have numbered their sheets. So if you’re super organized and a little bit OCD this might bother you. However, they are all downloadable so eventually you will have them all saved in proper order. I do think it is important to do these sheets in order as they do progress in difficulty.
While the first grade reading comprehension sheets may appear to be generally easy overall, it is something that should be looked past. I have been able to tell a lot about my students abilities with these sheets. Are they reading the passage thoroughly? Reading the questions properly? Do they actually understanding what they are reading? From a teaching perspective, because they are simple to start, working with these sheets are quick and efficient in terms of being able to assess where students are having difficulty and in a larger class setting you may not have the time to fully go through a more comprehensive and complex passage. Not only does it save you time initially, but it also is a great way to boost up student confidence right from the start. If you know your students generally should be successful with these sheets then you begin to create a good low baseline. Due to the simplicity of the grade 1 worksheets it will be easier to identify what the problems are for any students who are struggling.
With all that being said, another reason why I have started off with the grade 1 level worksheet is because once you move onto the second grade comprehension worksheet there is a significant increase in the difficulty, from the amount of words in the passages, to being able to find the answer of the question. It requires the students to be much more diligent and this can be a true test of patience and overall reading skill. As a result having started off with the easier worksheets you will have an excellent idea of what your students are capable of as a group and in particular individually.
Despite my obvious appreciation for these comprehension worksheets as educators what we should also appreciate is that we all have unique teaching styles and I find that at times that some resources that I find I really connect with and can really incorporate them into my classes. That is essentially the case with these comprehension worksheets. I have searched around K12 Reader looking at its different resources from time to time, have used them or they just did not match what it is that I am looking for. Other times there was simply not enough of a particular resource created in a format that I liked. For example, for “Main Ideas” under the section “Reading Skills” there are couple of worksheets that I had really enjoyed using but there are only 1 or 2 so it lacks the volume that the comprehension worksheets have. However, this should definitely not deter you from exploring what they have to offer because in the case I was just describing of main idea worksheets, I just created my own that followed a similar format and used them in the classroom. I think what really makes a website valuable is even if they do not have a lot of what you are looking for if you feel inspired by what they have to offer to go on create a resource of your own based on what you found really speaks volumes about the quality of things that are available, and for me this has certainly been the case using K12 reader.
On a final note this is an entirely free site that has provided me with a downloadable resource I know I can use for years to come. In terms of being active and adding new content to my knowledge at this point I am not sure that anything new has really been added. I would say the biggest drawback is perhaps the site took on big scope in regards to literacy and that requires a lot of time to build up the resources and to continually add new content to all subject areas, which in some cases I have not fully explored myself because it is not relevant for my teaching practice. Ultimately this site is more than worth while to look at and I am more than confident that you will find something of use on here.
Site Break Down:
- no membership
- worksheets for all levels and abilities
- low art material requirements
- low prep
- does not appear to be an active resource
- quality and quantity of resources can vary
Easy to Navigate: 4/5
- site has essentially remained the same,
- ads on the home page can be a bit distracting and too large
- overall the side bar is very clear and easy to understand
- do not get last clicking on links
Site usefulness: 5/5
- has a very good scope from k-5 subjects
Prep needed for Materials: 5/5
- majority of activities are low prep and materials already exist in the classroom setting
Active Webpage: 3/5
- unclear if new content is being added
- no messages from site owner of updates or new content additions
Overall: 4.4/ 5