Today I looked at a website called Oxford Owl. (http://www.oxfordowl.co.uk)
I chose this website because I am a big fan of reading and understand that eBooks are becoming more and more popular in classroom, and also at home. Personally, I prefer paper books over eBooks but I was willing to explore the benefits of using eBooks through this website.
When you log on to Oxford Owl, you can enter the eBook library which provides a range of Oxford Reading Tree books for different ages, bands and themes.
The first story I decided to read was ‘Can You See Me?’ by Roderick Hunt. The book mostly focused on pictures and questions, as the main character of the book adopted an ‘I Spy’ attitude by asking the reader to find particular objects in the pictures.
The website provides the option of using ‘audio’ which reads the text for the child. This means that the child can read the book without an adult’s input. The voice is not monotone, but rather expressive which means the child can get the most from the story.
The website has play activities related to the particular book for the child to complete after they have finished reading. The types of tasks are: labeling pictures or recognising rhyming words. The activities include words that were used throughout the book which helps reinforce learning.
The second eBook that I read was ‘Cats’, also written by Roderick Hunt. I really enjoyed this book as it had rhyming sentences in it. The play activities for this book were similar to the previous book, however it also had a ‘rearranging letters’ activity which I think was useful in terms of spelling and grammar.
In terms of using the website, I think it is very easy to navigate around, even for a child. It is suitable for all ages as it provides a range of different types of books. The two things I like about this website is the activities included with the books and that the back of the book tells the reader which phonics are being focused on in the story.
The two things I think can be improved, are the range of activities that come with each book and also feedback on what you got right and wrong in the activities instead of just a ‘Well Done!’ picture at the end of each one.
Overall, I loved this website and think it would be very useful in the classroom for whole-class stories.