Saturday, August 31, 2013

making curriculum readers interactive

First of all, there's about a day and a half left to enter my giveaway for a $10 TPT gift certificate! Go to my last post to enter!

I'll be spending this holiday weekend getting last minute things done for the first day of school on Tuesday (the laptop, printer and laminator are even coming with me to my parents' cottage tomorrow). I know things will get done and what doesn't get done won't be essential...but I am kind of feeling the crunch!

One thing I'm doing is working on modifying our curriculum books for our first unit. As much as I love Unique Learning System, the readers that come with the units are generally super dry, simple to the extreme, boring...the highest level works really well for the purpose of simple comprehension/recall/sequencing that my kids need...Otherwise, I've never used the readers much. This year, I'm going to be changing that and making the stories interactive, for a different purpose:

First, I printed two copies of the book. I'm using the middle difficulty level provided in ULS, with just one sentence of text on each page. I changed printer settings to print 2 pages per sheet, so the book will be half-page size. (I just figured out how to do that a couple weeks ago, so there's the settings I use if you don't know how to do that, either.)

For the first copy of the book, I laminated the pages back to back and bound the book. For the second copy, I simply cut out the pictures and laminated them separately.

Then I added velcro to the pictures on the book and the separate pictures. My lower reading group will either simply match the pictures, or listen to the text without seeing the book, and select the picture that fits with the text.

One of the things my higher reading group works on is letter sounds, so for them:
I typed out a key word from each page, laminated and affixed with velcro. The students will listen to the text, identify the beginning letter/sound for the key word, and select the correct word for the page. I put both activities on the same book since my higher and lower groups have their reading groups at different times. Also, my higher group can use the velcroed pictures to work on sequencing after they listen to the story, etc.

This took very little time and I'm pleased with being able to use these boring stories in a more purposeful way. You could easily do this with any simple reader - all you'd need are two copies of the book.

I linked this post up with The Dynamic Duo's speech and special ed Wow Us Wednesday Lesson Plan Linky Party! Link up your great lesson ideas here:
The Dynamic Duo: Adventures in Speech & Special Ed


  1. I need to figure out how to do that with my printer settings too! Otherwise all of the books seem so large. You are a genius!!

  2. This is terrific! Erica's EdVentures has a post on how to do the printing....I have to admit--I pinned but haven't completely read it or done it yet. Thanks for this idea Kara! I'm off to share it!

  3. Super easy! Find the button that says multiple and click 2. I click 4 when I print the 1-1 coloring. Saves ink and paper.

  4. Love this idea! Thanks for sharing. I also find the readers from ULS rather dry and boring. I'd love to hear about some extension activities you plan on using for the September unit. :)

  5. Thanks for linking up at The Dynamic Duo: Adventures in Speech & Special Ed! We love to highlight great ideas!

  6. Just found your blog through N2Y on Twitter. I write a special ed blog too: Love your blog- always nice to find a great classroom site!!


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