Reading to help others in community based instruction. My students love to read! Oh, wait. That is me. Most of my students hate reading! How to change that? How to help them feel more capable and more competent? Those are questions of constant struggle. Why would my students read aloud when they do not feel it is a strength? It can be very embarrassing.
So, new plan. The students need to improve their reading skills, social skills, self-esteem, and let’s make it fun! What is the first step? Let’s go to the library.
Recently, a new library was built in Montgomery County. My students had not been to use the facility yet. CBI trip to the library! We went to the library a few weeks before Thanksgiving break, and checked out children’s books using the Thanksgiving theme. They loved this! Students practiced reading the books in the classroom to make sure they knew the words. Text was put on the iPad, so the iPad could read the books, if needed. We practiced turning the pages and showing the pictures. One of my students still did not feel comfortable trying to read the book, but she really wanted to participate. She selected a peer and they did buddy reading.
After speaking with one of the elementary teachers of students with moderate to severe disabilities, we decided to visit her group for our reading activity. Students went to the elementary school one time per week for a few weeks with no more than 4 high school kids per group. We did not want to overwhelm the younger students.
The students had a blast! We started the activity with a snack, which is always good. Then, we moved on to a holiday craft. My students were able to work with the younger students and assist in completing the craft. Finally, the students read their stories. Once reading was finished, we had to get Chocolate Chip (hamster in the first picture) out of his cage to play with before heading back to the high school. What a great experience and everyone really seemed to enjoy the activity!