Finding new ways to keep their attention is always a challenge. Thankfully we can cycle
through games, puzzles, flashcards, and books every couple weeks and they seem like new to
them. We’ve needed to up the rigor lately and give them the next challenge in literacy. They
have shelves and shelves of books that they love to read, but we wanted something different.
We decided to create their own personalized books that are simple but fun and filled with words
that have meaning to them. We followed these 3 key guidelines
- Give them the opportunity to be successful, while teaching them words that are a part of their everyday lives. Their first book was about animals. We use animals they are familiar with along with descriptive words that are a little more challenging (soft cat). We make flashcards to go along with the book and have them posted on the wall so they see them throughout the day.
- Reading the book at least once a day has helped them with word recognition. It has increased their confidence and overall interest in reading other books. We see them reading books to each other more often, and Payton pretends to read books out loud to herself by mumbling words for each page.
- We purchased a Fellows Binding Machine and Carl 12200 Bidex Professional 10n Sheet Rotary Trimmer 12X11 to make the books feel more authentic. Originally I had them in 3-ring binders, but they didn’t like that nearly as much as the bound books. We use a Scotch Thermal Laminator to help preserve the pages and a color printer so it captures their attention.
We found many of the ideas for creating the book Whole Child Reading. The strategies are designed to help
children with Down Syndrome, but they work great for anyone. These books were meant for
Elijah, but Payton is now reading them independently as well.
Our near future goal is to get them to the place where they can choose their own topics and help
choose the words they want included in their books.