My favorite digital reader for young children is the Spark Up Reader. It uses a digital camera to attach the page to your audio recording of the page. It has plenty of memory for LOTS of books and the recordings can be backed up to a computer. Here are more ideas on how to use the Spark Up Reader:
Ideas for Young Children:
- Make touch points on a book that will help to focus a child’s attention on particular pictures or parts of pictures. Record instructions that will lead the child to find and touch the target area. This strategy can be implemented when focusing on IEP objectives such as color recognition, shape recognition, counting, or to highlight key vocabulary words.
- Instead of recording the text of a book, record your own words. This can be used to simplify the story, introduce/reinforce key vocabulary words, and to emphasize concepts/skills from IEP objectives.
- Create an interactive book. Pull-off pictures can be put on or removed from pages using Velcro. Record instructions for the use of the book. For example, construct porridge bowls out of construction paper and laminate. The child can put on the big bowl, middle size bowl and baby bowl as directed. The child can remove the baby bowl once the story indicates that Goldilocks eats the porridge.
- Record a story that involves counting. Provide pull-offs or manipulatives that can be used along with the story.
Ideas for Older Children:
- Use the device in listening centers to provide text that is written at a student’s reading level and appropriate for age and content.
- Record classroom notes for content areas. Students can be encouraged to listen during independent activities.
- Assign students activities that include recording self-made stories or mini-plays that they can share or reread along.
- Record multiplication facts- one set per page. Students could record facts using song or rhyme.
- Record vocabulary words or sight words that students can hear, then match the written word.
- Use the device as an independent study tool with interactive notes. Encourage students, who are capable, to illustrate the notes.