18 March 2014

Embedding Read & Write Gold into lessons - itinerant referral at Bowmore Jr. Sr. P.S.

Students in Graham Seater's Junior Learning Disability class have been incorporating assistive technology into their learning.  Through an individual class referral collaboration between Mr. Seater and assistive technology  itinerant teacher Valia Reinsalu, students have begun using graphic organizer software SMART Ideas, in conjunction with Read and Write Gold (RWG) tools, to support both research and writing.

Students' first exposure to SMART Ideas was during a Biodiversity research project. A template was created to included everything students needed to get started on internet research about an animal of their choice - including categories, built-in sticky notes, as well as a few hyperlinks.SMART Ideas helped support students' organization of ideas, while the text-to-speech feature of Read and Write Gold supported their reading comprehension.

(Students also used, PebbleGo, a website with built in text-to-speech features to help support the students' reading comprehension. Pebble Go Animals can be accessed from the TDSB's virtual library - online databases section.)


(Top) Mr. Seater walks through the SMART Ideas template with students. Tiered elements are colour-coded specific shapes. Built-in connectors also provide a visual support to the students about the relationships and organization of information. (Bottom left) Using the text-to-speech tool to listen to instructions. (Bottom right) A student records research information.


In a second lesson, students created their own documents using SMART Ideas when writing a Choose your own Adventure story. The Read and Write Gold tools for their first draft writing included the Picture Dictionary and Word Prediction. Both RWG tools can be used at the same time - the word prediction, with it's built-in auditory support, helped to support students' spelling and word use. The picture dictionary provided a visual layer of support.

(Left) Junior students first learn to customize their My Features toolbar -adding tools they will use during the writing assignment. (Right) A student tries the picture dictionary - Lego anyone?  

Mr. Seater models how students will write their first draft of their "Choose your own Adventure" story within SMART Ideas using Read and Write Gold's picture dictionary and word prediction tools (see right side of the screen).
Students start writing their own Choose Your Own Adventure story.

No comments: