Increasing Reading Engagement with myON, the Digital Library
Scoil Bhríde, Edenderry, Ireland
Scoil Bhríde has been using Accelerated Reader and Star Reading since 2014 to support the school’s literacy strategy. In 2020, the school invested in myON, the digital library from Renaissance, to provide access to more texts for all pupils, on any device, at any time.
In early 2022, we learnt that Scoil Bhríde pupils had spent more time reading books on myON than any other school in Ireland!
We spoke to SET Teacher and Literacy Coordinator, Maeve, about the role that myON plays at Scoil Bhríde.
The Complete Literacy Solution
“Accelerated Reader, Star Reading and myON have been tremendous resources in helping our students dramatically increase their reading time.”
It’s fantastic to hear that Scoil Bhríde is the top user school based on minutes spent reading on myON. Accelerated Reader (AR), Star Reading and myON have been tremendous resources in helping our students dramatically increase their reading time.
We currently complete the Star Reading test four times during the school year so that the children can access books at their Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) level through myON at home, and use it to help them decide what to read next.
The Star Reading results are also used to assess the student’s reading age and prioritise students who require SET support for literacy throughout the school year.
We have recently purchased more iPads in the school so the students can complete an AR quiz based on the book(s) they have read in their classroom.
A whole new approach to reading
“myON has been great because kids can access books anytime. There is a vast assortment of digital books available to read and interact with on myON.”
We began using myON in 2020 to assign homework based on project work, which has been very successful.
When myON was brought into the school, the pupils bought into it straight away. So we’ve formatted our school to make reading and quizzing on books accessible to all pupils at all times.
In 2014, we had our brand new library installed, which we fully stocked with books that were part of AR. We had a laptop in each classroom so that pupils could take an AR or myON quiz whenever they finish their latest book.
When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, we were forced to move books out of the library and into pupils’ classrooms to reduce the amount of book sharing as possible.
myON has been great because kids can access books anytime. There is a vast assortment of digital books available to read and interact with on myON.
Not just reading on the go
“Teachers utilise myON in more senior classes to expose older pupils to a broader curriculum.”
For us, myON is now a crucial classroom resource as much as a remote learning resource. For example, when a pupil starts a book on myON in school, they can take a quiz on the book either in school or at home once they’ve finished.
We’ve noticed that, on average, pupils who begin myON books in school are more likely to finish them at home, meaning we’ve seen an increase in reading engagement outside of the school.
When teachers were emphasising online learning from home because of the lockdowns, these particular features on myON were really useful:
- myON projects, to set books for homework
- myON projects to support their lesson plans: teachers have yearly plans for what they want to teach and myON can support these very well
- Teachers also use myON in more senior classes to expose older pupils to a broader curriculum.
“We were recently learning about the history of trains in 3rd Class. Each student could search for trains on myON and access lots of different books at their reading levels to research the topic further.”
– Mrs Dolan, 3rd Class Teacher
myON is very easy to use for both teachers and pupils. Children now are so adept at using tech that they love the quiz aspect on myON, and they love seeing quizzes being completed.
In the classroom, we have myON on the interactive whiteboard, allowing the teacher and class to read together. Then we answer quiz questions on a specific book all together.
A digital book for every interest
“Since introducing myON to them, they can’t stop reading non-fiction books.”
With myON, children can access books about their own interests, and because of that, I’ve noticed a massive difference in their reading engagement. One student, in particular, wasn’t into non-fiction at all, and because they have dyslexia, they barely had any interest in reading at all. However, since introducing myON to them, they can’t stop reading non-fiction books about bugs!
We’ve never seen this positive attitude towards reading in some pupils. Some children have even started choosing non-fiction books in the shops and libraries outside of school since reading more non-fiction on myON.
myON and Star Reading
We conduct our Star Reading assessments in four different blocks throughout the year: they allow us to carry out continued testing throughout the year as much as we need to. We use the data from Star Reading to support pupils throughout the year, looking at their reading ages, and using the intervention information that Star Reading gives us.
And because Star Reading links up with myON, pupils find their suggested and accessible books are constantly updating in their myON profiles based on the results of their most recent Star Reading assessment.
The data from our Star Reading reports is accurate and reliable. All of our books in the library have colour-coded labels based on their ZPD range, which informs each pupil how accessible the book will be based on the ZPD from Star Reading.
When we learned from Renaissance that we’d read the most hours on myON books in Ireland, we told all pupils and parents, and every class had their own party to celebrate the fantastic achievement!
Integral to our literacy programme
“myON allows staff to see if reading is happening at home or not.”
We do let children know how many words they’re reading, according to their AR and Star Reading data, but we don’t focus on reading lots of words because every child learns differently. Instead, we celebrate students’ individual achievement; we make them aware if they’ve hit a new target or exceeded their previous number of words read and celebrate their personal success.
The Complete Literacy Solution from Renaissance – consisting of AR, Star Reading, and myON – is integral to our literacy programme. In school, each student has access to an iPad once a week, and the main focus is completing quizzes on books they’ve read throughout the week.
All pupils have a myON account for reading at home and for homework. We regularly inform parents about myON updates to see how much reading their child is doing.
What students at Scoil Bhríde say
“myON has helped me a lot with reading as last year it helped me to read over a million words. I like myON as it is like a library on your phone, iPad and laptop. It also saves and tracks your reading progress and counts the words you read. After you finish a book, it brings you to the AR reading quiz. I also like it as it has lots of different genres from sport to comedy and scary books to books about animals. In the end, myON has helped me read more and enjoy reading more.”
– Daniel, 6th Class
“I think myON is a good way of reading because some people find it hard to read and you can also listen to an audiobook which is really good. I’m not really a big fan of manual texts. I like the Accelerated Reader quizzes because it gives you four answers and you can pick which one you think is the correct answer.”
– Scott, 6th Class
“I like that I can read really long books on myON.”
– Lacey, 3rd Class
‘I like that if you don’t know what a word means, you can look it up in the dictionary on myON.”
– Layla, 3rd Class
“I like that you can read lots of books that you don’t have at home.”
– Mateusz, 3rd Class
“I like the way there are so many books to choose from.”
– Oliver, 3rd Class
“What I really like about myON is you can search for the books you want. I like horses and I can read lots of books about horses.”
– Orla, 3rd Class
To find out how your school can get involved with the Complete Literacy Solution from Renaissance, click here.
If you have a question for Maeve about anything mentioned in the article, please email it to [email protected], and we’ll forward it to Maeve, who is happy to chat with other schools.