Tag: reading

Eye Gaze PowerPoint Book Template

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.

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Continue reading for a free template and step-by-step directions.

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Great Expectations Program // An Excellent Resource For All Students

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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.

 

featured books  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.

Dragons Love Tacos Activties

Thanks to this website, I have fallen in love with the book “Dragons Love Tacos“.

Dragons Love Tacos

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.

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I hope you enjoy this resource as much as I do.

-Lauren

Making Writing Motivating-Facebook Status Boardmaker Activity

Facebook Status Writing Activity

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.

Click here to download the activity.

Facebook Status ScreenThis is the main board for the activity (it is called “Facebook”). The other files are pop-up boards.

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Reading Books on the Accent!

In trying to become fluent in Unity 84 sequenced, I have failed to explore some of the other awesome features on the Accent. I share an office with a great SLP, who just showed me the books that are available on the Accent. There are several books to choose from and they allow the student to read the words on each page using Unity while they look at the book! It’s a great way for students to learn a new motor plan (or continue to practice an old one) and build literacy skills. Here is how you can access the books:

  1. Go to PAGES.

Books on the Accent!

  1. Go to BOOKSCapture 2
  2. Book options will open up. Choose one to read (We chose “What Do You Do?”). They mostly focus on different core words but there are some books that are more complex (e.g., Goldilocks). If you pick the book called “I Can Turn…” (the character changes colors throughout the book), you will see the relevant vocabulary for each page (“I can”, “turn”, colors).Capture 8
  3. Turn the pages by hitting the blue “prev page” and “next page” buttons on the little book page that opens up. The icons that appear are the first ones in the sequences for the vocabulary on the page. The page will move around the screen so that you can access the vocabulary.Books on the Accent!Books on the Accent!Enjoy!

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The Four Block Model for Students with Disabilities

reading buddiesLiteracy instruction for AAC users seems to be popping up frequently in Facebook groups, ATChats, and other blogs!  Unfortunately, it hadn’t been a focus of mine until this past year.  But now that it is, I’m excited to share what we’re doing!

I was very focused on making sure everyone had an AAC system to communicate.  And that IS an important step.  But I wasn’t focusing on WHAT comes NEXT?!  Last year, I listened to the presentation Carole Zangari did at the Minspeak PALSS webinar last year.   She discussed the importance of making sure our students become literate and shared the curriculum she is working on for preschool classrooms.  A couple of coworkers and I were psyched to try to implement something similar at school.  That presentation is not available but it’s similar to this one.  I highly recommend reading through it!

This school year I had the opportunity to go to presentations by Caroline Musselwhite, Gretchen Hanser, Karen Erickson, and Susan Norwell. They inspired me to just GET STARTED!  It took some time, planning, and convincing others to get on board, but we’re doing it!  The first step was describing the four block model to my coworkers and coming up with a plan to get them going!I strongly suggest reading the Four Block Model book for children with disabilities!  Here is a brief overview!

four blocks

 

Guided Reading – This block teaches students how to comprehend text.  The goal of this block is to increase background knowledge, vocabulary meanings, comprehension strategies, and reading fluency through repeated readings.  A crucial component to this block is to Anchor Read and Apply.

To be honest, some of our students still early emergent readers and not quite ready for this block!  But that’s why we work on shared reading with them instead.  Check out this presentation to learn more about the difference.

Self Selected Reading – This block is important as it allows student interests to drive an interest in reading!  This block helps develop expressive language, reading comprehension, and students’ ability to select interesting reading materials.  Teachers may help guide this block by providing students with books similar to the one they are looking at in Guided Reading or by encouraging students to pursue reading materials of personal interest!

Writing – This block helps students learn to independently write for real purposes.  This block utilizes shared writing, writing mini-lessons with revisions an editing, and writing on self selected topics.

Working with Words – This block is one of my favorites!  It’s purpose is to help students learn to recognize high frequency words faster and to decode and spell phonetically regular words.

Story Bots!

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Have you tried Story Bots yet?  You MUST!  This website has a collection of storybooks and videos that you can personalize with pictures of your child!  There is a great collection of “learning videos” featuring the ABCs, numbers, colors, animals, professions, body parts, etc.  But, the best part of this website is having your child’s photo and name in the stories.  Though it lacks audio text (parents, educators, or students must read the story aloud), the children I have used it with have loved it!  They get so excited to see their face in the story.  It’s a great way to engage your child’s interest in reading.  The clever animations and text in the stories lend themselves to making predictions about what will happen next and other higher order questions.

Screen Shot 2015-10-11 at 8.23.24 PMYou can sign up for free; however, you will have limited access to the stories and videos. In order to have access to the full library (over 200 books!) and videos, you can sign up for a membership.  The membership cost per year is $36 ($3/month) or you can sign up for a monthly membership for $5/ month.  Once you have a membership, you can add characters by uploading a picture and name.

Free Membership – What’s Included?   vs. Paid Membership

Story Bots also has 10 apps that can be downloaded on your iPad for free. You can also use a limited number of features on the app and upload pictures of your child.  If you have a paid membership with the website, that transfers to the apps and allows you to access the unlimited features of the app (i.e. more books, more videos, more characters).

iPad Apps

I purchased the membership myself last month and have used it countless times already!  I love it, the children I work with love it, and I think you will too!