Blogs About Reading
Aiming for Access
June Behrmann is a longtime special education teacher (pre-K to grade 6) who retired for about two seconds, and is now prospecting for accessible instructional resources. Follow June on Twitter @aimnoncat. Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with us.
Free Interactive Books Help Teachers Deliver Content, Vocab for Readers Struggling with Print
Interactive books and e-books in digital formats move readers who struggle with print beyond their decoding difficulties and their slow reading rates into a new world of learning.
Accessibility features increasing are improving in digital book editions, and they are built-in from the start. Interacting with curriculum content stands to enrich vocabulary and aid comprehension. Teachers play an important role by using these materials with instructional scaffolds and supports. Here are resources for mostly older students that are available at no charge from museums, the U.S. government, libraries and other sources that are worth a look when students struggle with print.
iPad User Guide for iOS 8 (free in iBookstore)
- Create your first interactive book using iBooks Author (free in iBookstore)
- iBooks Author: Creating Multi-Touch Books for iPad A talk by Nicole Henning given at MIT on Jan. 30, 2013.
Not every teacher has enough time or has an inclination to make books. Here are some free interactive books to consider as enrichment, to personalize learning, or to prevent academic losses over the summer.
- E.O. Wilson's Life on Earth Unit 1 (free in iBookstore)
- Biotechnology (free in iBookstore)
- Earthquake (free in iBookstore)
- River Delta (free in iBookstore)
- Leafsnap (free from Columbia University, University of Maryland, and Smithsonian Institution using visual recognition software to identify tree species from photographs of their leaves).
- e-books from NASA explain science successes, including the Hubble Space Telescope's technology and history, along with views of cosmic events.
New York Public Library Books
- NYPL Point: Frankenstein, Making a Modern Monster (free in iBookstore)
- NYPL Point: John Cage's Prepared Piano(free in iBookstore)
- NYPL Point: E.L. Trouvelot's Astronomical Drawings (free in iBookstore)
- World's Fair free from (NYPL Biblion, a magazine app)
- Frankenstein: the Afterlife of Shelley's Circle (free from NYPL Biblion, a magazine app)
- Color Uncovered: An Interactive Book for the iPad (free from the Exploratorium Museum)
- Edwin: the Super Duper Otter (free from the Seattle Acquarium)
- Frankenweenie: An Electrifying Book (free from the Disney Book Group)
- Shakespeare in Bits (free from MindConnex Learning, with some in-app purchases)
- Beethoven's 9th Symphony for iPad (free from touchpress)
- Building Titantic (free from the National Geographic Channel)
- MFA Coins (free from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
- Sound Uncovered (free from the Exploratorium Museum)
- Ancient Egypt: Exploring Ancient Artifacts with Alex the Archaeologist (free from the Memorial Art Gallery, staff, and Jenna Shay)
Alternative book formats are important learning materials for students who struggle in school due to a print disability. These options include audiobooks, braille and accessible PDFs, for example, and they are available at no charge for students in every state who are found eligible for them as part of their Individualized Education Program (IEP). When teachers add learning supports and strategies students are more likely to stay on grade, meet district and state standards, and master the goals on their IEPs. For information in Virginia, log onto the AIM-VA homepage. In other states, ask a special education teacher or school administrator about accessible educational materials under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and federal copyright laws.
Thank you to AIM-VA: Accessible Instructional Materials for sharing this blog with our Reading Rockets audience.