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 "Summer of Listening" Podcasts Help Build Background Knowledge and Comprehension
Thanks Listen Current! Great stories await learners in grades 5-12 this summer and this listening comprehension program is free.
Get on board at Summer of Listening, an audio approach to learning about the real world. The program of podcasts stands to improve listening comprehension, and build a fund of general knowledge. The listening and action materials give young people experience learning via audio broadcasts that were originally crafted by news professionals.
Listen like a pro
Listen Current, an educational radio platform, is offering a collection of news stories over the 2016 summer break that are considered to be most interesting, relevant, and thought provoking. Most align with state and national standards across content areas. A few stories depart from subject matter that is normally taught during the school year.
- Interactive transcripts
- Listening guides
- Vocabulary activities
Sample the collection
- The most popular story about voting: Voter fraud and corruption in Ancient Athens
- The most interesting story involving camels: Political upheaval is hurting tourism in Egypt
- The most heated debate: Are Kids Too Stressed Today?
- The most exciting new discovery story: A New Human-like Species found in a South African Cave
- The most socially conscientious story about the environment: Why do bees keep declining at alarming rates?
- The most controversial story about growing up: Is there an age that is too young to get married?
- The most relevant story about bullying in the rise of the technology age: A new app that helps address cyberbullying
- The most thought provoking story about privacy: Does putting a GPS monitoring device on the car of suspected criminals violate their privacy?
- The most powerful story about culture: An independent woman explores what it means to belong to two separate cultures
- The most critical global warming story: Who is in charge of preserving the Amazon rainforest, also known as “the lungs of the world”?
- The most motivational story of one girl making a difference in the world: Why we need more diverse representations of people in our children’s books
Delivering content as speech — electronic or human — can reduce the "cognitive load" of trying to read text or braille. Learning in this way allows the learner to focus on comprehension of the information. Students who struggle to read traditional books in print have learned that audio learning is a valuable way to keep up. In fact, experienced audio learners may choose this format to access specific subject matter such as English literature, math, science or other technical content.
Audio learners usually combine this format with others, including "PDF: Accessible" and "PDF: Fully Accessible" in order to support comprehension and get their work done. Audio is one of the free formats for textbooks and trade books that are available to eligible students wtih disabilities under federal education law. Learn more about Audio-Supported Reading from the National Center on Accessible Educational Materials.