Friday, September 28, 2012

Articulation in Reading

 Finding books to engage kids for Articulation Practice in reading can be very difficult. I've attempted to have kids bring something they are reading in the classroom - either for fun or as an assignment, but it typically get's forgotten.  Then I have to choose - do I have the kids run back to their classroom to get their reading and lose precious therapy time or to grab one of my books.  I've been choosing to do my own books and my kids are usually very excited to read for me, and not in the classroom.  I've also used these books for reading in fluency therapy.  As an added bonus - a quick run to the copy room ends up in instant homework!
I continue to struggle with connection to the curriculum in my reading in the therapy room, but always worry when kids are bringing things at their reading level from the classroom.  I want my kids to focus on their speech sounds, not challenge the reading level.  Because I usually pick science-related books, my kids are learning during their session and I try to balance what I need them to practice and educational relevance.  

I've reviewing some of my favorite book series below.  Most of these are from school book fairs, with few picked up on Amazon looking for a specific series.  I've got other books I use, but these are definitely my, and my student's favorites! I have a pretty hard rule when kids are choosing books to read in therapy - once they pick a book no switching for today.  If they decide they want something different then they can choose it on another day.  When kids start switching books back and forth, it takes forever to choose something to read for a turn and there's usually a small amount of arguing.  I don't have time for any of this and one book per kid per day seems to be the best solution.

Scholastic True False Books

Scholastic True False is an entire series of books - I only have five, but there are more available (and I want them...).  These are about a third grade reading level (if your school does STEP testing kids in 11-12 and above can easily read them with a little help on unfamiliar/technical/science words).  The books are interesting enough that my fourth, fifth and sixth graders also really enjoy reading them!  The books are structured with a true false question on the front of the page, and the answer with a paragraph about it on the next.  The format of the books engages all children in the group, not just the one or two who are reading.  The single paragraph nature of the second page is also a great length for a speech turn.

101 Animal Secrets and 101 Freaky Animals

These two books are about the same reading level as the true false books. Each page has one animal or animal secret with a paragraph about it.  I used these last year for S and R.  I copied about a bunch of pages and had kids highlight their speech sounds.  They really enjoyed doing these books and the pages copied well.  I have some extra fun, since two of my best friends have an unusual pet collection and they have two animals in the first 10 of the 101 Freaky Animals books (Legless Lizard and Bearded Dragon).  I make my student's guess which ones I've held, usually recently. 

 101 Most __________

These are an absolute favorite with my middle/high school aged students.  The reading level is about 5th or 6th grade, I've had a few high fourth graders that can read them, but even interested younger students get quickly frustrated.  Even though the reading level is early middle school, my older students get into the content of the books.  These have a lot more text than the previous two book series.  There are 4-6 paragraphs on each page.  I have kids read 1-2 paragraphs per turn and then they can select to continue reading the same page on the next page or switch pages.  I've heard all of the 101 Most Disgusting items several times by now, but my kids LOVE trying to gross me out and really get into it.

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