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New Opportunities and Resources for Shared Reading and Storytelling

by Gillian McNeill

on Thu Aug 27, 2015

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CALL Scotland course,
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6th September, 2018

Creating an inclusive learning environment using assistive technology

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The benefit of involving learners in shared reading and storytelling activities is widely recognised - for developing reading, writing, literacy, speech and for language. However, many learners with additional support needs (ASN), have difficulty accessing and using standard printed books, so here at CALL Scotland we have felt it important to develop and share information about reading materials which are accessible to all.

Back in 2006, we established the Books for All website and database which is now widely used for finding and downloading accessible digital books, in ebooks and similar formats. More recently we have developed a range of resources focusing on early and pre-readers, which are freely available for staff in education to download and use. We also have  professional learning opportunities with instructional videos to view and a CALL course in September.

Symbolised Resources

The resources are designed for use by learners with complex communication support needs and may also be useful for those who have English as an Additional Language (EAL) and indeed any learner  who might benefit from visual and communication supports in the classroom.  Those now available consist of symbolised resources which accompany  the shortlisted Bookbug books from last year’s Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2015, which were:

Robot Rumpus by Sean Taylor

Princess Penelope and the Runaway Kitten by Alison Murray

Lost for Words by Natalie Russel

Available to download are - symbol communication boards, communication aid overlays and SoundingBoard App boards for iPad, supporting learners to participate in the storytelling, to give opinions on the books, as well as take part in the voting process. There are also symbol overlays to accompany teaching activities on related book topics and guidance on using all of the overlays there. Recorded video webinars are available to view, providing further guidance and demonstration on how  the overlays can be used.

Initially just accessible during the period of the Book Awards, we can now make these resources permanently available here.

Accessible PowerPoint Bookbug Books

The accessible PowerPoint versions of the Bookbug books from the Book Awards in previous years, have all been added to the Books for All database, with a library now of 18 books, including past awards winners Robot Rumpus and Jumblebum. They can be downloaded here.

Look out for this year’s Scottish Children’s Book Awards 2016 shortlisted accessible Bookbug books and symbolised resources, which will be available from us in early September!

CALL Course – 10th September

To tie in with the upcoming launch of this year’s Book Awards and to provide an opportunity for staff to learn more about engaging learners in shared reading and storytelling, we are running a training course, which is available now to book:

Using ICT to Create Shared Reading & Storytelling Resources for Pupils with Complex ASN

9.30am – 3.30pm, 10th September - CALL Scotland

The course will focus on learning how to make personalised picture-based digital books for early and pre-readers on PC and iPad, and how to make and use accompanying symbol resources. We will explore the range of existing storybooks and resources available, and demonstrate the best tools for producing your own, equipping you to develop shared reading acitivities in your own school. For more information and to book your place, visit the CALL Scotland website here.

So here’s to many more reading and storytelling activities for all!

 

Tags: accessible books, reading support, complex communication support needs

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