An Innovative Way to Make Readable Text
My superpower is teaching students to read. It doesn’t matter how old they are. I can hear nuances in their process and am able to fill in the cracks so they can make quick progress.
I also pay attention to what they are interested in and what they need.
When I was teaching first grade way back in 1996 I needed books for my kids with decodable and familiar text for them to practice with accuracy. There was no Teachers Pay Teacher or Pinterest back then. I had to find an easy solution.
That solution was using PowerPoint for bookmaking.
When I was a novice teacher, I took risks constantly with my students. I found the ideas that worked in my classroom were based on research I found later. Dr. Richard Allington and Marie Clay were huge influencers to me. I just continued using them because they worked.
I teach kindergarten now and even with the internet resources available, I still have the need to make books for my students.
I have given books to students and said, “I saw this and thought of you.” then watch as they read it whenever they can. I have also said, “I created this just for you.” It yields the same result: Reading.
I started teaching teachers my technique when I was nurtured by the Tech Trio. These were three technology education teachers employed by my first corporation. They also encouraged me to write a proposal to share my techniques at the Indiana Computer Educators conference. This conference would be the first of many I presented at over the course of my career.
The solution for me was to take a presentation program and turn it into a bookmaking program.
The design was simple. The text would be at the top of the page with a picture to help the student read.
The first book I needed was an environmental print book. The first day of class I have students read me the book. Then they get a sticker . I tell them someone asks them what the sticker is for they are to tell them they read a book!
The idea that my students are readers the first day solidifies this identity for them. There is no arguments. There are no limiting beliefs that they are too young. They just did what they thought was impossible.
We add to class books as the year goes on, highlighting the uniqueness of that class. One year we had to have a hot Cheeto page.
I created books with their spelling words, their sight words, the vocabulary words for the reading focus that week, favorite class words.
It created the environment for them to be authors. I didn’t have to tell them to do it, it was a regular practice. Soon they learned to make their own books.
PowerPoint and Google Slides allows you to print the pages so you can run it through the copier and staple into the books immediately. If you duplicate the page and print 2 to a page then you just have to cut them in half. There is no sorting that way and saves you tons of time.
Creating books contributed to my outcome of nurturing readers and writers. What a reading community it is!