#PandemicEDU: ChatGPT+Student Interest = Reading and Writing, OH MY!

Reading is the hot topic in education right now. The pandemic created a vacuum for young students that we are currently trying to fill. The Science of Reading movement gives us a template for helping students in K – 5 back on track. A lot of districts are also working on improving writing skills. It’s important to understand that writing will not improve until reading improves. So, what are some ways to encourage students to actively read?

I have been playing around with something new out there: ChatGPT: a chatbot created by Open AI that is creating a stir on the internet and most recently, in education.

I decided to ask ChatGPT about how it can assist with K-5 reading.

How can this chatbot be used to improve reading skills for K-5 students? (The following statements are chatbot generated based on this question)

As a large language model, I am not specifically designed to help improve reading skills in K-5 students. However, I can provide general advice on how to improve reading skills in young children.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Encourage regular reading: Make reading a regular part of your child’s routine, and provide them with a variety of interesting and age-appropriate books to read.
  2. Help your child with difficult words: If your child comes across a word they don’t know, encourage them to try sounding it out or to use context clues to determine its meaning.
  3. Ask questions while reading: As you read with your child, ask them questions about the story to help them understand and engage with the material.
  4. Provide support and encouragement: Reading can be challenging for some children, so it’s important to provide support and encouragement to help your child develop their skills and confidence.

By incorporating these strategies into your child’s reading routine, you can help them improve their reading skills and become more confident and proficient readers.

One way to use a chatbot like me to improve reading skills for K-5 students is to have them practice reading out loud to me. This can help them improve their pronunciation, fluency, and comprehension. Additionally, I can provide feedback and encourage them to keep reading.

Another way that this chatbot could be used to improve reading skills for K-5 students is by providing them with personalized reading comprehension practice. The chatbot could ask the student questions about a passage they have just read, and provide feedback on their answers to help them better understand the material. This type of practice can help students develop their reading comprehension skills and improve their overall reading ability.

Additionally, the chatbot could be used to help students improve their vocabulary by providing them with definitions for challenging words they encounter in their reading material. This can help students expand their knowledge of the English language and improve their ability to understand and interpret what they read.

Overall, using a chatbot like this to provide personalized reading practice and vocabulary support can be an effective way to help K-5 students improve their reading skills.

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Wow! I know there are many that be concerned with how this technology might create issues in classrooms, especially with older students, but imagine helping a student create a prompt involving themselves or one of their interests and having the chat bot create a story for them to read about it? Let’s try that:

Write a story about 6 year old Mitzy receiving a kitten as a birthday present. (This prompt was typed into the bot and this story was created)

Mitzy was so excited to be turning six years old. She had been looking forward to her birthday for weeks, and now the big day had finally arrived.

As she ran downstairs to the living room, she was greeted by the sight of a brightly colored box sitting on the coffee table. She knew it had to be a present, and she could hardly contain her excitement as she tore off the wrapping paper.

Inside the box, she found the most adorable little kitten. It was so tiny and fluffy, and it looked up at her with big, bright eyes. Mitzy couldn’t believe her luck. She had always wanted a kitten, and now she had one of her very own.

The kitten mewed at her and jumped up, trying to reach her face. Mitzy giggled and scooped the kitten up into her arms, cuddling it close. She felt a surge of love for the little creature, and she knew that she would take good care of it.

Mitzy named the kitten Fluffy, and the two of them quickly became the best of friends. They spent hours playing together, chasing each other around the house and pouncing on toys. Fluffy was always there to comfort Mitzy when she was feeling sad, and Mitzy made sure to give her kitten plenty of love and attention.

As the years went by, Mitzy and Fluffy grew up together. They were inseparable, and they always had each other to rely on. Mitzy knew that she would always be grateful to her parents for giving her such a wonderful birthday present. The gift of a kitten was the best present she could have ever received.

Imagine students taking a story like this, reading it, knowing it’s something they have a passion for, practicing their iteration skills, improving and expanding the story to make it their very own! Game changer!

The way we teach reading and writing is changing! In the video (~15 min) below, the narrator gives examples of how to use ChatGPT from a higher ed POV. She also discusses the ethics of using AI. Other people who have played around with the bot make note it gives a shallow explanation of a topic if asking for an essay (which is what you want if you want students to edit the work.)

Check out ChatGPT here.


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