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Reading Access for ALL Through Low Tech

Page history last edited by mdpruett@... 14 years, 10 months ago

Low Tech Solutions for Reading Access






Write short vowels, consonant blends, prefixes, suffixes, etc. on wipe off cubes (available for check-out in the Tech Lab). Students can roll a cube and generate a list of words for the identified pattern on the cube.


LeapFrog TAG Reader


The LeapFrog TAG reading system is a touch reading system for beginning readers. The TAG reader is a touch-and-talk reading device. Children touch the TAG Reader to the pages of specially printed storybooks, a small camera in the tip "reads" the pages, enabling children to hear words and stories read aloud. The final pages in the book have a variety of activities to reinforce phonics skills.


Word List Generator web site           


This web site helps teachers generate a list of words that follow a specific pattern, a list for words to use in writing, etc. It's easy to use and has a feature that creates 3x5 cards to print for use in the classroom.




Word Sorts


Word sorts can be used with students to help them learn patterns in words. Open sort allow students to choose how they would like to sort the words.  Closed sorts have students sort words by vowel sounds, prefixes, suffixes, blends, etc. Example: Students sort words for short a and short o (the word cards can have printed words and/or pictures).


Picture Assisted Literacy Assessment


Picture-Assisted Literacy is an approach to teaching reading and writing which uses graphic drawings to support words.  Available from Slater software. 




Making Words


Making Words is a teacher-directed activity developed by Patricia Cunningham. Students manipulate a set of letters to make words. They make small words and then put all of the letters together to make the final word. After making the words, the teacher uses closed and open word sorts to sort the words the students created.


Preprinted letter cards can be used for this activity. Also, small one-inch ceramic tiles can be used. Students use dry erase makers to write the consonants (in one color) and the vowels (in a second color) on the tiles.


Internet resources:

ReadWriteThink: http://www.readwritethink.org/lessons/lesson_view.asp?id=150

Teaching Ideas: http://www.maiolo.org/2nd_Grade/Making_Words.html



Audacity web site:


Audacity is available for free to download. Students can use the program to record themselves reading text. The program identifies how long it took the student to read the text and it allows him to hear himself read. It's a great way to help improve reading rate and expression. After each session, students can also record their words per minute on a graph to view their progress. 




Quick Reads


Quick Reads is a softward program designed to build fluency and develop comprehension. It is available for checkout from T/TAC.




Phrasing with highlighter tape


Highlighter tape is an excellent tool to help develop phrasing as a student reads. The teacher reads through a selected passage.  S/He thinks about specific text chunks that would support more fluent reading and highlights 1-2 examples with highlighter tape.  The student rereads the passage, emphasizing the identified chunks or phrases.


Highlighter tape available:

Wide highlighter tape

Highlighter tape


Fry phrases


The Fry phrases contain the first 100 words from the Fry Instant Word List (1980), which represent 50 percent of all the words children encounter in elementary school reading.  Repeated reading of a few phrases per week gives students practice reading high-frequency words and developing fluency and general proficiency.


Fry phrases


Playaway Audio book


The Playaway audio books allow the student to hear a fluent reader read. Three speeds are available for listening. You can check out these titles from the T/TAC Library: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Romeo and Juliet and The Watsons Go to Birmingham.


T/TAC Library




Karaoke web site: 


Singing is a fun way for students to develop their fluency. Visit this karaoke web site and have students sing along to the songs. They can even record their own singing!




American Rhetoric web site: 


Use this online resource of famous speeches to provide students interesting text to practice improving reading accuracy, reading rate and prosody.






Miss Alaineous   by: Debra Frasier


What a fun book about vocabulary. Check it out of your local library to share with your students. Think of the many different activities you could use with them, maybe have your own vocabulary parade!

Start-to-Finish books


The Start-to-Finish books are a wonderful resource for struggling readers. These books are age appropriate narrative chapter books written at two readability levels. Each title comes with the paperback book, CD and software for reading the computer book and completing a variety of activities (e.g., cloze quizzes, fluency practice). Key vocabulary cards and pictures are included, as well as suggested vocabulary activities in the teachers' edition.

Many titles are available for checkout from the T/TAC Library.

They are available for purchase from Don Johnston.


Graphic Organizers for Vocabulary


There are a variety of graphic organizers available to help students develop their vocabulary. All of them can be adapted to meet your needs. You can create electronic versions, add visuals, put different components on index cards (e.g., the four parts of the Word Bank graphic organizer can written on the front and back of an index card). Check out these resources:


The Frayer Model: www.tantasqua.org/superintendent/Profdevelopment/etfrayermodel.html

Word Bank graphic organizer: http://graphicorganizers.com


Vocabulary web site


Need a fun place for online vocabulary games and activities? Check out this site!




Word Wall, pocket words, drill sandwich


The word wall is a location on the wall in the classroom that displays important words such as vocabulary words. An individual, portable word wall can be created with a file folder. Words can be glued, taped or attached with hook and loop material. Visuals can also be used for words.


Word wall information:





Pocket words provide students with the opportunity to develop accuracy and automaticity while honoring their working memory.  Cut a 3X5 index card into four equal pieces.  Write a new word on each card (words that come directly from the content the student is reading).  The student reviews his/her words and then places them in his/her pocket.  Other people in the classroom and school can ask the student to read pocket words to them.  This provides multiple repetitions for the student to master each word.


The drill sandwich is based on managing working memory also. Identify seven knowns and three unknowns for a student (e.g., vocabulary words, spelling words, math facts). Write each known and unknown on an index card. Students read and review the cards until the unknowns become knowns. This can take one to several days. After the unknowns become knowns, remove three of the earlier knowns and add three new unknowns.



Marginal gloss


Marginal gloss is an excellent strategy to help students with understanding what they have read. Find out more about using the marginal gloss strategy on our AT blog:  www.assistivetechnology.vcu.edu/2006/07/marginal_gloss_i_can_read_it_i.html 


Rocketbook DVD


The Rocketbook DVDs are interactive with chapter summaries, in-depth analysis and quizzes. This resource is beneficial for students who are visual or auditory learners. The titles available for checkout in our library are King Lear, Macbeth, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Romeo and Juliet and The Scarlet Letter.


T/TAC Library


Information about Rocketbooks: myrocketbook.com/online-study-guides


Sticky notes, page flags, tabs


During reading, students can make connections to the text using sticky notes.  They can record T-S (text-to-self): This text reminds me of a time when I.....  T-T (text-to-text): This text reminds me of something else I've read and T-W (text to world) This makes me think of .... 


Students can also use sticky notes to write questions related to what they read. For example, students can write Fat questions, which are questions that require higher level responses (e.g., How did the charecter feel?) and Skinny questions, which are  questions that require more factual information (e.g., who is the main character, where did the action take place).


Artifacts in a Basket


Set up a basket with artifacts that might relate to an excerpt from a text. How can showing artifacts help students become more engaged in the reading process?


Reading Helpers


Reading helpers can help students track text, focus on important sections, highlight charts or graphs and more. Examples of reading helpers are magnifiers, colored overlays, etc. Stop by our tech lab to check them out!


News to You


Check out this web site to see a class newspaper written with picture symbols. What a great example of how students can use picture symbols with the text to help them comprehend what they are reading.




Graphic organizers


Graphic organizers are an excellent tool that can be adapted to help students with comprehension. This web site offers a variety of graphic organizers for use with all content areas. 






Spelling City web site

Looking for fun activities to practice spelling the weekly list of spelling words? Check out this web site. The students' list of words can be entered and then a variety of activities are available.




Franklin Speller


A useful tool to help students who have difficulty remembering how to spell words. Come by the T/TAC library to use one!


For more information: http://www.franklin.com/


Pens, grips and paper


There are different pens, grips and paper available to assist students who may have difficulty with writing. The Lottie Kit for Literacy has examples of all three. Come visit our tech lab to see all of them!

Graphic organizers


Graphic organizers help students master all content areas faster and more quickly. There are graphic organizers for reading, science, writing, math and for general use. Check out this website to find a variety of graphic organizers for use with students.




Animoto web site:


Create short videos (up to 30 seconds) for free using your own photos.  How can this website help students with their writing?  Could it also be helpful for learning content information?


Link to the website: http://animoto.com


Audacity web site:


Here's an article from the March 2009 The Reading Teacher  describing how to use Audacity (described above in Fluency) to help students with their writing:


"Proof-Revising" with Podcasting: Keeping Readers in Mind as Students Listen to and Rethink their Writing. The Reading Teacher, 62(6).


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