Fantastic Ida

Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday afternoons from 3:00 to 4:00 you can find me tutoring a lovely 4th grade girl.  Her parents hired me to work with her on math and reading, but specifically on reading comprehension.  To be honest, I had never given much thought to how an internet resource might help her until an assignment came up in my Master’s course which asked me to teach a web2.0 lesson.
My 4th grade friend, lets call her Paige, does not like reading.  She especially does not like to read chapter books for “fun.”  However, she does tolerate reading pictures books for her required 20 minutes a day.
Remember these?!

Paige was extremely sick as a young child and had severe hearing loss.  Although she has since had several surgeries to help restore her hearing, she has been diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder second to hearing loss which may explain her difficulties in fluency.

To Paige, the shorter the better which is why Choose Your Own Adventure stories came to mind.  I discovered an internet resource called The Never Ending Tale which is a more interactive version of the classic Choose Your Own Adventure tales.  At each step in the story you can make a choice that is listed or you can choose to “add a path” where you essentially get to write the next page in the story.

Paige loved this idea.  We decided to read “Fantastic Ida” which is a story appropriate for elementary age children.  Because each page had only two or three paragraphs of reading before making a choice, she wasn’t intimidated.

After reading for a little while, I explained that she could add her own path, if she wanted.  The answer of course was, “Yes!”  We talked about how to fill out the form, and what an appropriate page would look like.  She thought it was really exciting that the page she created would stay in the book forever, and understood that it was important to be grammatically correct because this would be published on the internet for anyone to read.

Together we wrote several new pages, and then went back and re-read the story through to her new pages.  I have never seen her so excited to read before.  I think it was a combination of several factors like reading on the computer, using the internet, and being personally invested in the story.

The lesson I learned was that technology can be integrated even into subjects like reading where it may seem out of the box.  Taking the time to find the right resources that will spark an interest in your students is worth the effort!

No comments:

Post a Comment