My students need additional iPads for independent reading. These struggling readers need access to text-to-speech books, and iPads have shown to be the tools to make it happen!
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Though my students read two to three years below grade level, they still need and want access to engaging books. It is often assumed that students with special needs are limited in their thinking. The students I serve are good thinkers limited by their disabilities – physical, emotional, social and academic. They can read but need the right tools to support their reading development.
The students I serve have various needs and are diagnosed with a variety of disabilities.
I serve students who are developmentally delayed, learning disabled, dyslexic, health-impaired, emotionally/ behaviorally disabled, autistic, highly capable, language delayed, and visually impaired.
I serve an economically and ethnically diverse population of twenty-eight students. The students range in age from kindergarten to 5th grade; all twenty-eight students spend most of their day in their general education classrooms. These students come from a variety of backgrounds and homes; two students are “homeless” living in a shelter, two students are bilingual and one student lives in a foster home. Many of my students receive “free and reduced” lunch.
I provide students specialized reading instruction thirty minutes per day. Students spend the remainder of reading block in their general education classrooms for continued reading instruction and practice. Reading practice occurs primarily during independent reading time where students apply skills and strategies to become fluent readers. Researchers state that developing readers need at least sixty minutes of independent reading daily to make significant reading growth. Children with learning challenges, specifically reading, lack stamina needed to sustain independent reading; they don’t always have books at their ability level; and don’t always have access to high interest books.
My most struggling readers need “traveling iPads.” These readers are students who are two to three years behind their peers.
Using iPads, these students access text-to-speech books; these books can be accessed through websites such as LearningAlly, TumbleBooks and BookFlix. Text-to-speech books are read aloud to the student while the student listens to and looks at the words. The narrator provides a good model of fluency while the visual highlights reinforce the printed word. Readers are motivated by these books as they are highly engaging - they are contemporary, beautifully illustrated and narrated with expressive voices. And, data shows that text-to-speech reading is a powerful intervention for students who struggle.
Each student is assigned an iPad stored in a charging station. They are taught to access text-to-speech books; to save books of interest; and to bookmark their text on the iPad. During their general education classroom’s independent reading time, students collect their iPad and later return their iPads to the charging station when independent reading ends. Using iPads during independent reading times has greatly impacted my students’ achievement and self-efficacy as readers. My most struggling readers are immersed in text and have fewer barriers as active participants in their general education classrooms.
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