June 16, 2013

My draw to this topic is personal. My boy twin, who just finished the first grade, really struggled with reading entering into this academic year. A lot of his problems came from having a twin sister in the same class that would always read for him. He grew accustomed to this and just did not try to better his reading skills because he knew his sister would be there to help him through worksheets and homework. So when first grade rolled around, I decided to separate them. My boy twin landed in the classroom of an amazing teacher with 31 years of experience and a true gift at teaching struggling learners how to read. Within a few months, my child could read. It was truly amazing. So, after this experience, I would like to learn various technological tools to help my future students who might struggle with reading. I would like to share websites with my students and their families to help in the reading process,as well. This is how my 20% project came to be…

With the help of Gretchen, our professor  for this course, I narrowed down the focus of my topic to the specific uses of technology in the aid of struggling readers. I first came across a website with a lot of information and links to various helpful reading websites. http://www.readingrockets.org/helping/experts/gray/#q7 This website also has information pertaining to children with special needs such as dyslexia and the use of technology in special education classrooms. Back to my specific topic, the Dr. suggested sites to help struggling readers. Click on the link and scroll down to the Q&A session with a parent who wanted to help her 9 year old who struggles with reading.

I also found a great article from the Johns Hopkins School of Education site that suggested 6 reading programs to help struggling readers. They included Success For All, Reading Recovery, the Spalding Method, Early Intervention Reading, the Boulder Project, and the Winston-Salem Project. As of right now I am gathering information and will investigate these programs in depth this following week. http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/strategies/topics/literacy/articles/helping-struggling-readers/ This site also mentions that students struggle with reading due to lack of two critical reading skills: phonics and comprehension. I would like to find technology that focuses on these two subjects to help students with reading for this project.  I loved this quote and might use it in my presentation for the project:

” It should also be noted that while any one program may help struggling readers, none is a “cure-all” solution. As a reading expert in this study observed, “It’s not just the method, it’s the teacher.” Teacher knowledge, training, and skill are essential to implementing any program that focuses on struggling readers. It appears likely, however, that teachers will have more success when they use programs that incorporate phonics, reading for meaning, tutoring, and an at-home component. Struggling readers can and will make progress in their reading abilities when taught by informed and committed educators.”

I found a fabulous website with links to 50 ipad apps to help struggling readers. The link is as follows; http://www.teachthought.com/apps-2/50-popular-ipad-apps-for-struggling-readers-writers/

this site from Yale suggests using the Kindle to read books aloud to the student:


  • Suggest use of assistive technologies currently available that read material aloud to the student.  The Kindle would be an example of this kind of technology, but there are many similar devices being introduced into the market all the time.
  • If the book/content has been made into a film or covered in a film, suggest that the student watch it to help give a context to the story or content.


I liked this….


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