In-class reading and research.
It was hard to get timely feedback to students, especially with guided reading or when starting a new skill.
I used a lot of grouping strategies especially with small group instruction and scaffolded graphic organizers. It was a lot of work and sometimes hard to keep up with students growth and changing needs.
Actively Learn has been life changing for me and my students. I use it for guided reading, but also when introducing a new skill. I so appreciate the ability to see exactly what students are saying about a text and being able to provide feedback right there in the moment. Its hard work for me and the students but in the end I feel so much more confident in assessing and predicting student proficiency. Its also a huge perk that by the end of the lesson I have a grade to put in the grade book and the students already know exactly why they received the score that they did because of the feedback they are receiving along the way. I just used this recently for research and was blown away at how much easier it made things for the students and myself. It is so nice for the students to be able to upload articles for the internet and to be able to keep all their resources in the same place.
This year I used it for stories and articles. All of the assignments the students completed had questions that I created. My next step for next year is to have the students do some close reading with articles where they mark and make comments without being prompted by my questions. I also used AL for a research project with my kids. We found this to be incredibly helpful and convenient.
Take it one step at a time. Pick a couple features that you like or even start with an article or story from the library that is set-up and then build from there. When I first started using it I had the students work in groups. They would read a section of text and then discuss the question before answering. This was helpful because their responses were similar so keeping up with the feedback was easier than if they were working independently. This is such an amazing tool in the classroom! Take the risk and try it, you wont be disappointed!!