Skip to main content

Google Helps Students w/Reading Disabilities

As a Reading teacher, and also a mom who deals with reading struggles in my own kids, finding a way for my students and children to learn online content without someone having to continually assist with unknown words or becoming totally frustrated has been important. Working diligently to address and close the gaps in a student's reading deficits are always a top priority, but what happens when that child wants to learn more on a subject he is interested in? Or when she needs to do online research for an upcoming project in social studies? The fact is, when you have a reading disability, it affects not only your reading class, but your entire life.
This past summer, after downloading Google Drive, I discovered the app, "Read&Write forGoogle" in the Chrome Store. The tagline caught my eye, " help individuals struggling with reading and writing, those with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, or English Language Learners." I knew immediately I must try it!

Once downloaded, the small green icon sits just below your Favorites tool bar. 

Once you click on the green icon, you have the choice of having the selected selection read aloud or hover speech. 

Other settings include how fast/slow the text is read and voice/expression (man's voice or woman's). After setting the features at a comfortable pace, we began to play with numerous websites and Google documents. 

It is nice to see a student successful. It is even better to see a student when he/she FEELS successful. Watching Read&Write for Google in action did just that. For some of the students I was using it with, it allowed them for the first time ever to explore a website without needing someone sitting over their shoulder to help with harder text; no one was needed to chunk the mutli-syllabic words apart... having a reading disability suddenly didn't matter as much. 

While we will continue to diligently work on becoming better readers, Read&Write for Google will continue to equip students with one more way they can take charge of their online learning. Knowledge is power; being able to do your own research and learning independently is fierce!

**Note: The makers of Read&Write for Google also have an iPad app for students called "Reading Champion." I haven't downloaded it yet, but am planning on it. I like the fact that students can read the text, listen to the text read aloud, and then record THEMSELVES reading the text, as well as note any words that were difficult for the student while reading. Once I download the app, and we have time to play a bit, I will write a review. If any of you are familiar with this app, or any other add-ons/apps to foster reading, please let us know in the reply section!


Popular posts from this blog

Change and the Top 5 Things I Learned This Year

.... and there is was. I loved my classroom. I loved my kids. I loved those things and they were great... But I wanted something even more than that. I wanted to be able to focus on reading with small groups of students at a time in order to understand their individual needs; to try to get a glimpse into why they struggled year after year, to be a source of encouragement, and ultimately to help them be a little better at reading and comprehending than before they'd ever met me. So... to do this- to go after what I wanted but had never had, I had to do some things I had never done. I had to leave my intimately cozy school where I truly considered each person there a part of an extended family unit. I had to load up 8 years worth of materials and teacher junk and haul it to a new school; and not just any school... to a MIDDLE school! The horror! I had always sworn I would never... COULD never teach in a junior high/middle school setting, and here I was scrambling over boxes and giv…

Being Reminded by My Annoyance

Ahhh... the Christmas Winter Break. Staying up late followed by closing the shades so we can sleep in the next morning, relishing in the fact that 5 AM will come and go and we will never know. I'm not sure about you and your family, but my family and I love the laziness of the Christmas Holidays. It wasn't until I caught myself becoming increasingly annoyed (...and often) that I realized while we were basking in the unstructured, late-morning routines, my son was missing some very crucial parts of his- and sadly, none of us realized it.

K's two main areas of struggles, as far as sensory processing go, are Vestibular and Proprioception. Our Vestibular system allows us to accurately use our vision, prepare our posture, maintain balance, plan our actions, move, calm ourselves, and regulate our behavior. When his is out of whack and his body feels he isn't receiving enough input, we notice he is on the go more. Not really running around, just aimlessly wandering around (usu…

Making Appointments- a collaboration strategy

Autonomy and collaboration are two buzz words you hear often right now in the realms of education chatter. And for those days when collaboration means within our own classroom, it seems like this is the day autonomy needs to be focused on the most. I can take the same two students and match them up to work as partners, who would have normally joined up anyway- but there is something about the teacher doing the matching that often times sets things on a bad foot right away. I noticed this when school first started. I would watch the groups and partners gather in clusters when I simply said for them to partner up- versus watching their reactions when I actually called them out, putting them in very similar groupings. There is something to be said for students feeling like they have a say in who they work with. I guess we are no different as adults.

I saw a strategy at a workshop last year called "Making Appointments" that I envisioned as a complete train wreck, but one day last…