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Reading Rulers Product Review

Teachers Choice Award  from  Learning Magazine

Product: Eye Level Reading Rulers

Company: Crossbow Education Corporation

What aspects of this product did you like the most?

I like the dual window choice; narrow for a single line of text and the wider window for reading paragraphs. Also the choice of colors allows for individual comfort and change in lighting due to setting. The construction and design makes it affordable for the average classroom budget. 

I liked the size of the Reading Rulers. The students could easily manage moving the rulers on the text book pages while reading. These rulers can easily be stored in a pencil box inside their desks. The children also enjoyed the variety of window colors to choose from to test read a selection. 

The product was well made and durable. They are a valuable tool for children with disabilities learning to read. I liked the way it reduced glare which most products like this do not. Having the narrow window combined with the wider window was handy for the kids when the text in the book varied. It was great to have the choice of a gloss or matte surface by simply flipping the ruler over. 

The variety of colors offered is a great aspect. Students can work with the color they feel most comfortable with. I have used colored overlays with my students for years, but size of these Reading Rulers makes them much less cumbersome. They make a tremendous difference in reducing glare and helping students stay on track.

How did you make use of the product, or integrate it into your lesson plans?

I let the students use the reading rulers as an aid while taking a reading benchmark test(which is administered individually). These tests are timed so we want to give the students the maximum advantage of support and opportunity to score well.

During guided reading group I used the Reading Rulers for oral reading fluency. The lower level readers enjoyed using this product more than the higher leveled readers. I would use this product for my Basic Skills Instruction students on a regular basis to improve focus and fluency. I have quite a few learning disabled children in my class, so I used the reading rulers during independent reading and with small group instruction.I used the products with some of my learning disable students, mostly with ADHD. It seemed to help them maintain focus better.

The rulers were kept at the student supply station in my classroom, and students could grab one whenever they needed one. Several students with severe reading disabilities and ADHD began using them regularly and even elected to use them on their EOG's.

What skills did your students learn from this product?

The students who took the reading tests using these rulers were able to keep their place while reading. They were able to focus, stay on task, and pace themselves better. I feel that using this product helped them to improve their scores. The students learned to track reading words more fluently which improved their oral reading. More fluent reading results in better comprehension of the selection read in a book.

It helped my kids with directionality problems keep the print going left to right and beginning in the correct position. The children were also assisted in keeping focus on the print, so they did not skip entire lines when reading. The reading rulers helped my students stay focused on what they were reading, and taught them better tracking.

The rulers helped focus students' attention to the text they were reading, helped them stay on track, and made reading less of a chore.

How would this product need to improve to better support your curriculum? (See our response to these points below)

I would like to see it come in its own pocket protector. It would help kids to learn to take care of it if it had a special case. Some of my students found the "Eye Level" logo in the middle of the product distracting. Could it be removed? This product is ideal for students with ADHD, but the company logo positioned right in the middle of the ruler was distracting.

 I would like to keep the reading rulers in a storage box/case to protect them from scratches and dust. The rulers are sent packaged in a thin plastic sleeve which I know won't stand up to use in a classroom for long. I would also like to read any comments of how students have benefited in school improvement due to the use of this product. I am not sure if the students made a color choice on what actually was more suited to their visual needs or because they were just picking color favorites.

While the variety of colors was fun for the students to try out, I would prefer one lighter color that would not distract the student while reading. The children seemed more interested in the colors than what they were actually reading in the book.

If funds were available, would you recommend this product to a teacher at the appropriate grade / age level? Please explain why or why not.

 Yes, I am always looking for ways to keep the below average reader attentive and engaged in the reading activity. These reading rulers limit distraction from the environment and help keep children interested and on task.

I would recommend this product to other teachers to use with their lower functioning students in the classroom.

I think this is a good product for a teacher who does not already have a reading ruler.

This product would be of value to both regular ed. teachers with inclusion students, and to teachers of special education students.
I would love to see these available in every classroom, but I would highly recommend them to special education teachers. Research suggests that the glare of white paper is a hindrance to many struggling readers, and most students benefit from a tool that helps them track as they read.

Crossbow Response

The logo is only visible on one side, so the solution for those children who find it a distraction is to just turn the reading ruler over. In an ideal world we would obviously remove the logo completely, but until the day when the government pays for every school to have a supply of our reading rulers, some branding remains a commercial necessity!

On the question of storage, we do supply little polythene slips that the rulers can be kept in if required. But we try to keep costs down as much as possible so we leave these as an optional extra.

There will always be some children who are going to opt for the color that is their preference, rather than the one that is most beneficial, so it is important that all children try every color. If one ruler, is particularly helpful, as is likely to be the case where there are more severe problems with Visual Stress, it is most unlikely that a child will choose a different one over it simply because they prefer the color. Using steerotypes for a minute, a girl is not going to prefer a pink ruler and blurred, shifting text, to a blue ruler that makes reading much easier.

PS –The  Eye Level Reading Rulers did not win the award. But considering the glowing content of this teacher’s review, we would like to heartily congratulate the company who produced something even better!