Tuesday, August 19, 2014

So many good books to read!

Many reviews claim this story turned avid non-readers into just the opposite. I've taken a quick look at the first page and the text seems very friendly. This is another one to add to my growing list.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Story of a real life miracle

I'm on a bit of a roll with new novels. I keep finding stories I want to try and here's the latest. South America. It's an interesting place. There's the Andes Mountains, the Amazon River, the crazy-dense jungle, those weird animals, the sloths, not to mention crunchy nachos, sweet tequila, I could go on and on. But here's a story to stimulate even more talk:

A survival story with a rugby team, a plane crash that kills most of them, an almost impenetrable jungle.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Deltora Quest- For an easy, enjoyable read.

Here's another series I'm intending to try out. 

If you like it, Emily Rodda has written 7 more in the series!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

A favorite novel for reluctant readers

Gary Paulsen. He's the real deal. 
At the Teach Jake to Read conference I recently attended, teachers were talking enthusiastically about reading to their students. "At first they grumble but then they get right into it," one person said.  "We gather on beanbags and it's a calming, bringing-together time," another said.  Some teachers used Kindles. Some used iPads. Others preferred paper and, if a student missed a class, copied the missed pages, so s/he could catch up.
Here are some titles I'm adding to my pile for most reluctant readers of all.

Hatchet is a tried and true favorite. It's an exciting, believable story of one boy's survival against the elements and it's fairly easy reading. The author lives in the wilds and, in the perfect small details, it shows.

Here's a new one I'm interested in.  It's getting rave reviews and is the first of a trilogy.

This one might be for a younger teen audience but I've seen this series inspire readers who were really switched off. Skulduggery Pleasant is a skeleton detective. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

2 book titles to try with dyslexic teens

Here's 2 titles I'm about to try reading to my class of teens. A wonderfully imaginative teacher told me they worked really well with her class.

They look a bit bleak at first, I agree, but she said they have a triumph-over-adversity tone that worked amazingly well. Check out the old classic detective novel A Time To Kill, and the more recent real life story of a young man's perilous rock climbing adventure, Between A Rock and A Hard Place. 

If you're a parent or interested other, reading out loud to someone who is managing dyslexia is a good thing to do. Reading out loud together is really good too (takes a bit of practice at first but the other person hears your voice, which helps his/her fluency). Reading a book to another person then leaving him/her to carry on reading by themselves is great. Afterwards, watch the movie together, and slam all the inconsistencies!

Fast For Word- a computer program for auditory processing/phonological awareness

A few days ago I was speaking at a conference in Melbourne, Australia, and got chatting with the cameraman. "I'm really interested in this," he told me.  "My son struggled."

I asked what the problem was and what he had done. "It was auditory processing," he said, "but now my son's fine."

So now I was really interested too! We talked for a while.  He told me he had bought a piece of software, sat down with his son and, over a period of a few weeks, played with it, and, "It worked."

I have no experience of this program myself, I'm just passing on what I was told.  But maybe it's something you might like to investigate if you've been told your child has trouble with auditory processing?  The program cost around $400 AU, which is probably a lot less than paying for ongoing help from a speech therapist.  These things can be very expensive. Often it's the personal one-on-one time that's the crucial factor.  Good luck!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dictation software - reviewed by a savvy teen


A couple of times on this blog I have mentioned voice-to-text software.  Specifically, I’ve talked quite a bit about Dragon Dictate.  But don’t just take it from me.  If you’re looking into this and would like a simple account from someone who’s current and having the same kinds of organizational and writing problems you have, check out this article featuring young teens who are finding better ways to study.

Abbie (14) raves about using a big wall calendar. Her best tip:  “I mark not just the date when something has to be finished, but the date when I need to start on it".

Eli (13) is a dab hand at using Dragon Dictate: “I probably add over 50% more detail when I’m doing it this way,” he says of dictating his essays.