Thursday, March 31, 2011

Support for Students with Autism

This week I was profoundly changed by a workshop here at Teachers College.  Kelly Chandler-Alcott and Paula Kluth presented a workshop to support teachers who work with students diagnosed on the PDD spectrum.  One of the many things we learned was to be open to various ways students communicate with us and to seek out news ways for them to have their voices heard.  One of my favorite parts of the day was a short clip where we were able to hear the ideas and perspectives from a 7th grade student.  I'll share it with you in the link below.

To view this at the Storycorps site, click here.

Or, go there by typing


Q & A

12-year-old Joshua Littman, who has Asperger's syndrome, interviews his mother.

Paula and Kelly also shared some concrete ways to adapt things like read aloud for students with autism.  You can find some of these suggestions at Paula's website.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Text Sets To Use in Teaching

Are you thinking about teaching kids to think and talk across books about bigger themes?  The Common Core Standards invite students to do this work in first and second grade.  Many of us are including this in our teaching in Read Aloud as well as independent reading.

The challenge:  getting sets of books that belong together in the hand of kids!  Some teachers and I have been thinking about this and we have conquered the challenge.  At first we rushed to order new sets of books for our classroom libraries.  "What are the book lists?" the teachers asked me.  I suggested that we go with interests of the students and invite the kids to make sets of books from the baskets that are already in the classroom libraries.  Really... it works!  We found these examples of text sets on my shelf. Enjoy!  I hope you and your students have fun learning about interesting topics!

Some Text Sets from My Shelf That You Can Use to…
  • Teach kids how to study and learn about a topic.
  • Teach kids to talk across books during read aloud or partner time.
  • Teach kids to notice themes across books.
  • Teach kids to use content specific vocabulary in their accountable partner talk.

Koala Lou by Mem Fox
Mr. Putter and Tabby Run the Race by Cynthia Ryalnt
Sam Plays Paddle Ball by Annette Smith (published by Rigby)
Max Rides His Bike by Jenny Giles (published by Rigby)
Sam’s Race by Annette Smith (published by Rigby)
Good Sports:  Rhymes about Running, Jumping, Throwing, and More  by Jack Prelutsky
My Basketball Book by Gail Gibbons
My Soccer Book by Gail Gibbons

Mr. Putter and Tabby Walk the Dog by Cynthia Rylant
Henry and Mudge and the Big Test by Cynthia Rylant
“The Trouble with Dogs…” Said Dad by Bob Graham
Once I Ate a Pie by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlan Charest
Stella Unleashed:  Notes from the Doghouse by Linda Ashman

Earthmovers by Lee Sullivan Hill
Toby and B.J. by Annette Smith (published by Rigby)
Toby and the Accident by Annette Smith (published by Rigby)
Toby at Stony Bay by Annette Smith (published by Rigby)
Toby and the Big Red Van by Annette Smith (published by Rigby)
Toby and the Big Tree by Annette Smith (published by Rigby)
Construction Zone by Cheryl Willis Hudosn, Photos by Richard Solbol