Gary is a year 3 teacher who works in a large public school in Sydney which has over 1000 students. He has been teaching for 20 years and has used Wushka successfully with years 3, 4 and 5 over the past two years. Gary currently uses Wushka in a co-teaching learning space with 60 students. Hear from Gary below as to his experiences with Wushka.
We’ve been using Wushka at our school for two years now and it has reaped very positive results for our students. It has increased student engagement with reading and teachers have noticed a transfer of this engagement into the classroom. Students love the accessibility of it and the freedom to choose from a variety of texts at their own level.
As a teacher, I’m able to control the levels of reader available to each student. The texts are organised into coloured reading ‘boxes’ and I can assign these to particular students or to different reading groups. The texts are organised from levels 1 to 31+ in line with familiar reading levels which is great for both beginner and experienced readers.
Each text comes with comprehension questions, lesson plans and other resources. These are very helpful in organising lessons for guided reading. I particularly like the discussion cards that engage students in a deeper analysis of the texts they have read. These are great for independent activities in the classroom.
In a school with over 1000 students, levelled readers are in high demand. Wushka has allowed school-wide access to over 600 readers, saving us a lot of expense that would have been spent in replacing or adding new readers to our collection. It gives us access to a range of texts that we would never otherwise have been able to afford.
We use Wushka for our home reading program and guided reading, and we also incorporate the texts into our Project Based Learning and STEM learning. We love the filter function, which allows us to search for texts by topic, comprehension strategy, genre or text type. It’s easy to find texts on a particular subject for students at all reading levels and texts can be displayed on the interactive whiteboard for whole-class, modelled reading sessions.
One of the functions that has really helped in our school community, which is almost 100% EALD (English as an Additional Language or Dialect), is the read aloud function. This lets students hear the books being read to them which might otherwise be impossible due to English not being the first language of parents in the home. The value of this function in improving reading fluency is immeasurable.
The other great advantage of Wushka is the opportunity for teachers to access data around their students’ reading. Teachers can see how often students are reading, how long they are reading for and whether they are understanding the texts they are reading by looking at quiz results.
As a school of the future we love the flexibility of the Wushka reading program and with technology becoming a greater part of school learning environments we find that it meets our needs extremely well. We no longer have to carry bundles of readers across a very large school site.
The training and support offered by the Wushka team has been extremely helpful. As part of our Wushka subscription, we have held several workshops in upskilling our teachers in the various aspects of the program. I would highly recommend Wushka because of its cost effectiveness, versatility and ease of use.