Product Review of Rewordify
Rewordify is a free reading and vocabulary tool for building reading fluency and vocabulary. Rewordify’s main feature is its automatic simplification of texts. Users import text by pasting it into the website or using a browser bookmarklet. Once the text is imported, it can be customized to make reading more accessible to a variety of learners. The website uses a computer-based natural language processing system to simplify the text while maintaining the meaning. The reading level can be changed at any time and aligns well with Lexile reading measures. Four styles of word substitution are available, including changing words into less complex vocabulary, providing clickable links on challenging words to see substitutions, and a two-column display with unaltered text next to the simplified version. In addition to simplifying the text, users can quickly create a variety of learning activities (available as printables) such as matching quizzes, cloze reading passages, and vocabulary lists. The site offers audio support, reading words to users, and creating audio learning activities. Teachers can create a virtual library of the text they are using that can be kept private or shared with the Rewordify community. Open-source literary texts, such as Frankenstein, are also readily available.
One of the highlights of the website is how well it adapts to and charts student learning. Using student accounts, educators can track how well learners are mastering vocabulary. As learners learn new words, Rewordify will no longer provide substitutions, slowly raising the text complexity for individual learners.
Teachers can use the website to scaffold reading tasks. Using its tiered model, educators can enhance learners‘ comprehension by offering a variety of levels of the same text. The Learning Activities (which accompany each text) can be used to build vocabulary and track mastery data with learners — although these activities are typical worksheet-style learning. A more powerful use of the tool would be to put learners in the driver’s seat. Introduce learners to Rewordify (either as a site or as a bookmarklet for their browser), and let them import text they’d like to read and customize the options to support their own needs. Teachers should, however, be wary of learners relying too heavily on this tool at the expense of developing their own decoding skills. Teachers might also encourage learners to try out the Learning Sessions when reading leveled text to learn new words.
Teachers should also take note of Rewordify’s Educator Walkthrough as well as the printable Getting Started resources.
Rewordify is a dependable resource for learning, with highly useful tools for differentiation and building learners‘ reading fluency and comprehension. While it’s not the most modern tool in terms of design and user onboarding, it’s still easy enough to figure out, and busy educators will appreciate how it helps them quickly differentiate texts and build worksheets (although these worksheets aren’t the most pedagogically innovative). If educators really dig in and have learners create accounts, the site’s data collection and tracking provide clear evidence of its efficacy. One potential pitfall of Rewordify, however, is its reliance on a computer algorithm to simplify text. While the algorithm seems to do a good job, some of the nuance and deeper meaning can be lost by letting a computer take on the job of carefully crafting classroom readings. Teachers should work closely with learners to make sure these aspects of readings aren’t lost when learners level their texts.
Overall User Consensus About the App
Curriculum and Instruction
This highly customizable tool is built on proven ELA principles and strategies. It adapts to student learning by building individualized vocabulary lessons and removing scaffolding as learners gain mastery of new words.
Videos and tutorials help new users get acquainted with the tools and features quickly. Extensive data and reporting tools are available to track learning.