Class # 2 Response
The Reading Task Analysis certainly was an eye-opening experience! It really is amazing how many steps, processes, etc. are involved in reading and many of us take it for granted on a regular basis. Working together with a group and being able to bounce ideas off one another was very beneficial. But, what I found most beneficial in this process was seeing what other groups created. It was very humbling listening to the presentations because we had what we thought to be a very thorough representation of the analysis. However, our web was not nearly as detailed as some! I particularly liked the presentation Anne MacDonald’s group did. http://thenextchapter-acadia5163.blogspot.com/ It was very well organized and made sense to me visually. I enjoyed the opportunity to explore Inspirations a little further, as well.
Exploring the online reading programs and websites during class was really interesting. I have a daughter in Grade One who will benefit greatly from using some of these sites, so that made this very personal for me. (I tested out the Literactive site with my daughter and she loves it! She also really enjoyed the Starfall site and had used it before at school.) I found many useful sites for her age and ability as well as many useful sites for students at the middle school level which is where I teach. Please check out the list on my blog. I think my favorite of all for Middle School students is the Tumblereadables. It is so difficult to find high interest books at this level that our students are willing to read and now – here they are and they are online and interactive! It’s a win-win situation. I only wish I had known about it last year! I can think of some students who really would have benefitted from using this site.
I didn’t have a chance to check out some of the suggested sites until after class. I had heard about some of the Don Johnston programs prior to the course, but had only really used Simon Sounds it Out. Check out Bailey’s Book House, Millie’s Math House and Word Maker through the link under Awesome Sites. Upon looking at the website, I was intrigued to investigate further. I was particularly interested in the higher education software available. The Read out Loud program is amazing. It is not only a text reader but encourages use of various strategies to improve reading and writing. The link here provides an overview: http://www.donjohnston.com/media/flash/product_demo/readoutloud6ue/index.html
During the afternoon session, we worked together in groups to begin investigating compensatory Reading software so as to create a tutorial for our classmates. Our group was assigned Kurzweil 3000. I had some limited experience with an older version of the program, but this one looks much better! I am looking forward to investigating it further.
Having Barb present the Powerpoint about where AT fits in reading and linking it to Marilyn Jager Adams’ four processes was very helpful; it was like putting together a puzzle to see the final picture. The last visual in particular really stood out!
diagram created by Barb Welsford
I am really finding every class so practical and I truly appreciate that!