What is the ReadBetter™ reading system

The ReadBetter™ system is a collection of scientific methods aimed towards the ultimate goal of helping readers develop a love of reading, build their reading proficiency and as a by-product expand their horizons of knowledge and creativity.

The ReadBetter™ Company has built a technology platform that uses this system to match readers with books suitable for their current reading proficiency. The system involves 3 key steps –

  1. Readers are matched with books.
  2. Readers start reading and update their daily progress in a reading log
  3. The system tracks the readers progress and matches the reader with the next best book that will help the reader along their path to reading better.

ReadBetter™ is NOT an online reading platform. At the time of this writing, ReadBetter does not provide readers with the books. It is the responsibility of the parent to buy the book from a bookstore or borrow it from a library.

Freedom of reading choice

When using the ReadBetter™ system, readers are offered freedom of choice as to what genres and books to read. The system serves as a guide and mentor interested in the reader’s overall skill development. In this process, the system continuously learns of the readers reading skills, genre preferences and overtime gradually nudges the reader to challenge themselves in exploring newer books which may either belong to the readers preferred genres or gradually acclimate the reader to reading beyond their comfort zone. As an example, a reader accustomed to reading comic or picture books can be nudged towards a book with text with a higher level vocabulary and fewer pictures. Or could be encourages to read a book inspired by historical stories but written in a comic or picture book format.

Whats better? PRINTED OR E-BOOKS?

The debate on the pros and cons of reading from a printed book or from electronic media has continued for a while and we do not see it ending conclusively. At The ReadBetter™ Company we understand the value of reading and clearly understand the tremendous benefits that it brings to young and adult readers alike.
We recommend that the reader reads from whichever media is convenient for you. As a General rule, young readers respond better to reading from printed media. Electronic media due to its enhanced graphics and multimedia can also become a source of distraction. Much research is available which suggests that print media is better suited to aid young readers with gaining higher comprehension and develop critical reflection.

A well-rounded method

Reading is a fundamental skill and unlike any other it is one which lays the foundation for creativity and imagination. For this reason, learning to love reading should not be rushed. It has been established through a variety of scientific research that young readers who are read to from an early age experience a stronger development of cognitive skills. We believe that readers of all ages benefit considerably from read-along sessions.

For young readers, particularly those below the age of 10, we highly recommend parents or family members to participate in joint reading sessions with the reader to further encourage likability of reading and to associate the act of reading with positive emotional feelings. Periodically the system identifies the need for reinforced parental participation in aiding the reader’s development.

Be patient. Practice often

Just like all forms of skill development take regular practice, so does reading. Like a good coach, the ReadBetter™ system expects readers to read a minimum of 20 minutes every day. Reading everyday reinforces skills development. Parents / Guardians are asked to read-along with young readers for 20 minutes a day until the readers at a proficiency where they are able to read independently.

Even after a reader is reading independently, parents are encouraged to participate in at least 1-2 joint reading activities a week while the child is still in elementary school.

The ReadBetter™ Performance score

The ReadBetter performance score is a composite score provided in the range of 0 – 2. The below bar illustrates the ranges of performance zones. It is typical for a childs performance score to vary widely within the 0 – 2 range. An ideal performance score should steadily meander within the range of 0.8 to 1.2. Wide variances are OK and completely acceptable.

Figure 1: The ReadBetter™ performance score scale

A reader whose performance score is either in the challenge or the guide zones requires some further guidance.

A reader in the challenge zone needs to be challenged with reading books that are calibrated on the right end of the reader’s ReadBetter recommendation range as illustrated in the section about ReadBetter recommendations

A reader in the guide zone must read books that are calibrated along the left end of the reader’s ReadBetter recommendation range as illustrated below. The ReadBetter system continuously measures and monitors the childs reading proficiency and accordingly carves out the childs reading journey while at the same time providing sufficient flexibility and freedom of choice for the child to pick what to read.

Reading Logs

Readers are encouraged by the system to read every day. Parents can select a pre-determined time daily reading reminders which can be sent to the mobile application or email.

Parents of young children are requested to enter a daily reading log of the book the child has read during each reading session. Parents whose readers are reading independently are encouraged to use the reading log as an opportunity for a quick conversation about what the child has read and to have the child summarize their understanding of the material read in just a few sentences. Either Parents or readers if deemed appropriate by the parent can add entries into the reading log after each reading session.

The ReadBetter™ technology uses this information to track and graph the readers progress and growth in reading proficiency. A typical reading log update takes less than 3 minutes and is a great opportunity to check in on your a readers reading activity.

The ReadBetter™ Recommendation

A book which is at the higher end of a readers comfort zone will gradually move lower into the readers comfort zone as the reader builds up their reading proficiency.

As illustrated above,  the readers comfort zone is shown as a horizontal bar below each book recommendation. The colored marker on bar is indicative of the ReadBetter system’s expectation of the level of ease or difficulty that the reader may experience in reading and comprehending the said book.

Note: All books are copyrights of their subjective owners

How does one use the ReadBetter™ platform?

First the parent or guardian must register for their account. Next, they need to add a reader to the platform. Once a reader is added, the ReadBetter system begins with recommending books for that reader.
The reader may either ‘Start reading’ a book or mark it as ‘Already Read’. Next, The reader may procure the book from a bookstore or borrow it from a local library.

Each day the reader’s parent/guardian is reminded to add a Reading log of what the child has read that day. This “Daily Reading Progress” entry is important to get a brief 3-5 sentence summary in the reader’s words of what they have read. It is also a way for the Parent to signal to the reader that it is important to the Parent/Guardian that the reader reads daily.

As each reader reads and updates their reading logs, the system calibrates the readers performance along a ReadBetter™ performance scale that goes from 0 – 2 as shown below. The value and color code of the score is an indication of the readers current proficiency. The ReadBetter system uses this performance score to determine which books to recommend to the reader.

In upcoming updates to the software platform, ReadBetter will be introducing ReadBetter™ rewards aimed at rewarding readers who accomplish specific reading objectives & goals. The Rewards system is intended to be a way of providing positive reinforcement & to incentivize readers to stretch beyond their comfort zones.