When it comes to boosting reading comprehension skills, iReady and ReadTheory both emerge as prominent contenders. Both platforms are esteemed for their commitment to enhancing literacy among students, particularly in English Language Arts (ELA) classrooms. However, they differ in their methods, content, and affordability. Take a look at the visual overview below.

ReadTheory   iReady
Continuously Adaptive  
On-Demand Diagnostics   For an extra cost
Auto-Assigned Differentiation   ✅
Real-time feedback for students       ✅
Real-time Reporting   ✅
Holiday Themed Content   x
Printable Workbooks   ✅
Cost $   $$$
ESSER Approved   ✅


Now, let’s unpack the key differences of iReady and ReadTheory in further detail.


1. Content Focus

iReady: Offers a comprehensive adaptive learning program covering various subjects, including reading, mathematics, and English language arts. In terms of reading, iReady includes lessons on both foundational and reading comprehension skills.


ReadTheory: Also offers a comprehensive adaptive learning program, focused in scope for improvement of reading comprehension skills. ReadTheory covers a broad range of literary and informational texts, including fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. It aims to provide a diverse selection of reading materials to engage students while improving skills. Standards areas focused on include Key Ideas and Details, Integration and Knowledge, and Craft and Structure.


2. Adaptability

iReady: Uses adaptive technology to tailor instruction and assessments to each student’s learning level. It differentiates instruction based on students’ performance, adjusting the difficulty of content to meet their needs.


ReadTheory: Uses adaptive technology to tailor instruction and assign passages and assessments to each student’s learning level. It also continuously personalizes instruction based on students’ performance, adjusting to each student’s ‘just right’ level. This ensures a balance  of both challenge and support throughout the learning journey.


3. Assessments

iReady: Includes diagnostic assessments to evaluate students’ proficiency levels and identify areas for improvement. 


ReadTheory: Includes a pre-test to determine each student’s starting level as well as on-demand diagnostics. ReadTheory then utilizes multiple-choice quizzes and writing prompts to evaluate comprehension while monitoring students’ progress over time. These bite-sized exercises increase student engagement and motivation.  It also offers personalized recommendations for additional practice, tailored to students’ quiz performance.


4. Real Time Feedback

iReady: Provides ongoing progress monitoring and feedback to students and teachers, for an extra cost.


ReadTheory: Gives immediate feedback to students during practice sessions, at no cost. Students have access to their individual performance dashboard, promoting accountability for their progress. Teachers can monitor real-time performance by Lexile Level and Grade. For an extra fee, teachers can access comprehensive reporting on areas such as ELA Curriculum Standards.


5. Customization and Integration

iReady: Offers customizable features for teachers, allowing them to assign lessons, track student progress, and adjust instruction based on data insights. It integrates with learning management systems (LMS).


ReadTheory: Offers customizable features for teachers, allowing them to assign lessons, track student progress, and adjust instruction based on data insights. Premium account holders also have the added benefits of initiating in-class competitions, linking multiple teacher accounts, accessing a library of printable worksheets featuring holiday-themed activities, and more.


6. Pricing

iReady: Offers tiered pricing packages that are often purchased for schools and districts, rather than on an individual basis.


ReadTheory: Has a free package complete with many basic features for beginners. For an extra cost, teachers, parents, or schools can sign up for premium packages that unlock the full instructional power of ReadTheory.


Although both iReady and ReadTheory are geared towards enhancing reading comprehension skills, they vary in terms of their content focus, adaptability, assessment methods, and customization options. It’s important to note that you can use these tools in parallel , using iReady to lay foundational skills and ReadTheory for the improvement of reading comprehension skills. Teachers, students, and parents can sign up for a free ReadTheory account here! We hope that you can now make an informed decision, depending on your particular classroom needs–and your budget!

Written by Multiple Authors,

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