In case you missed it, I discussed making reading experiences accessible with story boxes, language experiences books, and book modification ideas. I also talked about alphabet instruction, phonological/phonemic awareness, and vocabulary/ concept development. A reminder that my background is in speech-language pathology and many of my accommodations and activity ideas for children with low vision come from collaborating with a TVI.
The recorded session should be posted soon through CBSS. Here is the link for the original listing. I’ll try to update this post when there is a link for the recorded presentation!
The current trend is to convert popular young adult literature into graphic novels. These can be a great resource when you are looking for age-appropriate and motivating literature for older readers. When using these in your virtual classroom or at home, Kindle Cloud and the Kindle App can be a helpful tool. Click the link below to view an Amazon list of our favorite titles.
PowerPoint can make adapting books a breeze. We recently took the same features we use when making books for the computer or iPad and created a book for an Accent 1400 with NuEye. The Accent 1400 allows the user to download Microsoft with PowerPoint 360. This opens up the endless activity possibilities available through PowerPoint.
AlphaOops! H is for Halloween is the first book we tried this with and it was a hit! Each slide contains 4 icons that the child can click to turn the page, hear audio of the page, go back, or exit the book.
Continue reading for a free template and step-by-step directions.
An important rule in implementing comprehensive literacy instruction is that children need to be presented with multiple opportunities to write for multiple purposes (click here to read a great post from Caroline on the 3 T’s of Writing). When I reflect on my own day, I can include communication through text message and social media as two of my main forms of written expression. I made a Facebook Status Writing Activity a few months ago, and wanted to explore text messaging apps for kids next. I downloaded Roo Kids and PlayKids Talk, but will only be sharing information about Roo Kids, due to the security features of PlayKids Talk preventing Amanda and I from trying it (PlayKids Talk uses a photo of the user’s parent to determine if they are old enough to use the app and apparently Amanda does not pass for over 21).
Last week we had a request on our Facebook page to write a post about how we make PowerPoint books. I had just started a how-to guide for my co-workers so the timing was perfect. You can download the guide I created by clicking HERE.
Let me know if you use the guide to create a book and feel free to email me if you have any questions.
I love Pete the Cat books! They are about a fun character, contain positive messages, and come with great songs and videos. I saw the newest book when I was at Barnes & Noble last week and had to get it. Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses is a wonderful story about optimism and a positive outlook. It also fits right into summer activities because of those COOL, BLUE, MAGIC sunglasses.
Yesterday, I downloaded the video that goes with the book on the Pete the Cat website. Using a few hyperlinks and the video trimming tool, I was able to make a fun video book. You can download it here by clicking either picture below.
After a quick Pinterest search, I also found this website with printable templates to make your own glasses. I envision a fun writing activity where students make their own glasses and then choose 3 adjectives (Pete’s are COOL, BLUE, and MAGIC) to describe them. The class can make a book with the sentence “Look at my _____, ______, ______ sunglasses.” with a photo of them wearing their sunglasses.
I would love to hear back from you when you use this activity!
I recently discovered the Great Expectations program from the National Braille Press. The program is designed to bring
“… popular picture books to life using a multi-sensory approach — songs, tactile play, picture descriptions, body movement, engaged listening — all designed to promote active reading experiences for children with visual impairments.”
I have found that although some of the activities as specific to students with visual impairments (activities focused on reading braille and using cane), most of the resources on the website can be used for all children. After all, “songs, tactile play, picture descriptions, body movement, engaged listening” are used by effective teachers and therapists across disciplines.
The website has a list of featured books that they provide resources for.
Each title comes with a list of tips and activities you can use when teaching the text. You can also purchase the book in braille through the site. The resources for each book include descriptions of the pictures. This is great for students with visual impairments, but is also a good resource for teachers who are learning how to use the descriptive teaching model to instruct students using AAC.
If you have a copy of the book, I am happy to share my adapted, high contrast, PowerPoint version and my PowerPoint for the song. Just send me an email or message me through Facebook or Twitter with proof that you own the book.
Finding ways to motivate older students can be difficult. You want to be age respectful while also providing instruction that is cognitively appropriate. I created this Facebook activity as a way to increase student motivation during writing activities.
Students can write a status at the beginning or end of the day. The teacher can write the morning message as a status. Students can “Like” the status, they can use an emoji to show how they are feeling, check-in at their current location, or tag a classmate.
As part of our “Read The Sentence” predictable chart writing lesson (you can find the 5 plan here), we have been using tap-lights and a Boardmaker activity to increase student engagement. The tap-lights can be purchased on Amazon, hardware stores, CVS, etc. and you can lay out one tap light for each word (the words can be on or above the light). During the lesson, the student says each word and turns on the corresponding light. Our tap-lights decided to give us a little trouble so I made a back-up Boardmaker activity (download here).
The title page introduces the activities and allows students to turn a light on to practice.
The first page has the sentence with the final word blank. Each box will turn yellow and the text will turn black when it is selected. When the board is in “use” mode you can type in the message display bar and when the box surrounding it is selected it will light up.
Have you felt like Jessie Spano lately? As educational professionals we never have enough time. Here in DC, we are right in the middle of testing season and it is STRESSFUL. As an instructional coach, I try to provide the teachers at my school time saving templates for activities whenever I can. I recently made a template for creating switch accessible books in Boardmaker and thought I would share it with all of you!
Each of the text boxes is set up to speak, so just change the text rather than deleting the box. The pages are set-up for step scanning (you can scan through the text, turn the page, and go back). The pictures are set-up do that they can’t be selected when scanning. If you wish to keep this feature, just replace the image in the button.