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A Review of Reading Eggspress

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating

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Overview

Reading Eggspress is an interactive online program intended for students in grades second through sixth and designed to build reading and comprehension skills. Reading Eggspress is a direct extension of the Reading Eggs program. Both programs are sold as a single unit. This means that if you purchase the program for Reading Eggs, you also have access to Reading Eggspress and vice versa.

The two programs are uniquely different, but intertwined at their core. Whereas Reading Eggs is a learning to read program, Reading Eggspress is a reading to learn program. The program was originally developed in Australia by Blake Publishing, but brought to schools in the United States by the same company that developed Study Island, Archipelago Learning.

Reading Eggspress was designed to actively engage students in fun, interactive activities that build their vocabulary knowledge, comprehension skills, and overall reading level. The components found in Reading Eggspress include a wide range of lessons, learning resources, games designed to motivate, and e-books. This program is not intended to replace traditional classroom instruction, but instead as a supplemental program that can aid in comprehension skill building.

There are 240 interactive comprehension lessons in 24 levels of Reading Eggspress. Each level contains ten books that students can choose from. There are five non-fiction and five fiction books from which to choose within each level. Each unique lesson includes five pre-reading activities that build and teach comprehension strategies. At the end of each lesson is a passage from a story. Students are required to read the passage and answer a set of sixteen comprehension questions that assess a student’s understanding of that passage. Students must score a 75% or better on the quiz to be able to eventually move on to the next level.

Key Components

Reading Eggspress is Teacher/Parent Friendly

  • Reading Eggspress is easy to add a single student or a whole class.

  • Reading Eggspress has terrific reporting that makes it easy to monitor individual student or whole class progress.

  • Reading Eggspress provides teachers with a downloadable letter to send home to parents. The letter explains what Reading Eggspress is and provides login information for students to work on the program at home at no additional cost. It also provides parents with the opportunity to have an account to track their student’s progress at no additional cost.

  • Reading Eggspress provides teachers with a comprehensive user guide as well as toolkit loaded with books, lesson plans, resources, and activities. The teacher toolkit has over 500 library book titles with worksheets and activities that they can use in conjunction with their Smart Board to interactively teach lessons to the whole class.

Reading Eggspress is Instructional with Diagnostic Components

  • Reading Eggspress provides teachers and parents with the opportunity to assign specific levels to students and differentiate instruction. For example if a third grade teacher has two students who are advanced they can automatically place them in a higher grade level.

  • Reading Eggspress also provides teachers and parents with the option of giving each student a diagnostic placement test. This test consists of twenty questions. When the student misses three questions, then the program assigns them to the appropriate lesson that corresponds to how they did on the placement test. This allows students to skip past levels which they have already mastered and places them at the level in the program where they should be.

  • Reading Eggspress allows teachers and parents to reset a student’s progress at any time in the program.

Reading Eggspress is Fun & Interactive

  • Reading Eggspress has age appropriate themes and animations.

  • Reading Eggspress allows users to create and personalize their own unique avatar.

  • Reading Eggspress provides users with incentives and rewards. Each time they complete an activity, they are rewarded with golden eggs. Their egg count is kept in the top right corner of the screen. They can the eggs to buy pets, clothes for their avatar, or accessories for their house.

  • Reading Eggspress allows users who complete a lesson to earn a collectible trading card. The user gets to select which category they want the card to be associated with including Fantastica, Beastie, Animalia, Astrotek, Starstruck, and Worldspan. Cards are then placed in the user’s apartment. Users can also purchase cards at the mall with their earned eggs.

  • Reading Eggspress allows users to earn medals. For every thousand eggs earned in a week, a student earns a bronze medal. A silver medal is earned for five thousand eggs. A gold medal is earned for fifteen thousand eggs.

  • Reading Eggspress allows users to keep track of targets (goals). There is a target with an arrow in the center in the top right corner of the interface. Users who click this will see targets (goals) that they have met in the program as well as targets (goals) that they have not met.

Reading Eggspress is Comprehensive

  • Reading Eggspress has several other learning activities and games aside from those in the standard 240 comprehension lessons.

  • The Gym is where you will find all the comprehension lessons and activities. There is also a daily game located in the gym. This game changes each day and focuses on a variety of reading skills. Students can compete against other users across the nation for the daily high score.

  • The Library consists of over 600 e-books in both fiction and non-fiction. The library is easily searchable by title or topic. Students who found a particular passage in the comprehension gym to be interesting can go to the library to read the entire book. Students can click on a single book in the library to find out information including the author, number of pages, how many eggs they can earn from reading it, and how many other users have read it. At the end of the book students will be given a comprehension quiz and they will also be able to rate the book. They can also save books that they especially enjoy on their favorite’s shelf.

  • The Stadium allows you to competitively build individual skills in the areas of spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and sentence structure. There are four games that you can choose to challenge the computer or play head to head with another user is logged into the program at the same time. The games include spelling sprint, grammar skating, vocabulary pursuit, and freestyle usage. There are five difficulty levels for the user to choose from for each game.

  • The Mall is the place where students can use their eggs to purchase a variety of different things. Stores in the mall include Passion for Fashion, Dressed to Thrill, Collector’s Corner, Apartment Living, and Perfect Pets.

  • The Apartment is the place where students can change their avatar, view their trading cards, see their trophies, or decorate their apartment. The apartment also contains access to a game called Quote Quest where students use clues to search through tunnels to find quotes from different books. Students can earn eggs by finding the quotes and choosing the correct book.

Cost

Parents can purchase a one year subscription to Reading Eggspress for $75.00 and a 6 month subscription for $49.95. They also have the option to purchase a monthly subscription at $9.95 per month.

Schools can purchase annual classroom subscriptions for 1-35 students for $269, 36-70 students for $509, 71-105 students for $749, 106-140 students for $979, 141-175 students for $1,199, 176-245 students for $1,659, 246-355 students for $1,979, 356-500 students for $2,139, 501-750 students for $3000, and 750+ students will cost $4 per student.

Overall

Reading Eggspress is a terrific program to build a student’s reading comprehension skills. I have used this program with students and they absolutely love to use it. In fact, they will try to negotiate to stay on the program longer. As a teacher, I especially like how each lesson builds skills essential to comprehension before students are required to read and take a quiz. Reading comprehension is so much more than just passing a quiz and this program does it the right way and presents it to students through a method that is engaging, fun, and interactive. Overall, I give this program a five out five stars, because I believe it does what it is intended to do and effectively keeps the users attention at the same time.

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