Friday, November 15, 2013

Awesome Tools for Cognitive Rescaling

There are numerous options for meeting the needs of all learners in our classrooms. One area that teachers often find challenging is how to adjust the reading level or adapt the content for students who are English Language Learners, have intellectual disabilities or need information cognitively rescaled for any reason.
Here are some free tools to try:

1. When conducting a Google Search, did you know you can adjust your search by reading level? Learn how to do that here. This can be invaluable for many students.

2. Did you know Wikipedia offers a more user friendly version for students who need information simplified called Simple English Wikipedia? Here's the home page to explore more.

3. Auto summarize tools scale back the amount of information a student must decode and comprehend. Two free autosummarize tools are TextCompactor and TLDR - Chrome  (Too Long, Didn't Read) TLDR - Firefox.

4. A fantastic tool which modifies language in classic books, online articles or web sites is Rewordify. " Rewordify.com is powerful, free, online reading comprehension and vocabulary development software. It helps people understand difficult English faster, helps them learn words in new ways, and helps teachers create high-interest learning materials from any English text passage." There are several customizable features worth checking out. DEFINITELY watch the video to learn more about this amazing tool.  You may want to insert the text you autosummarized and then rewordify for your students.  

5. Of course, online videos also provide a multisensory approach to teaching skills and should be utilized to help students understand new content. Don't ignore these resources (YouTube, Vimeo, etc)

6. Screencasts are great resources for students who require preview, review, and repetition (typical IEP Accommodations). Some of my favorites are Jing for my Mac and EduCreations and Explain Everything ($2.99) for my iPad. 

Finally, I have to mention an excellent resource from Don Johnston called Start-to-Finish Books. Now that it is available as an online (paid) subscription, it is more accessible to more students who need this type of text adaptation. It's an excellent library of about 95 books for inclusive classrooms. 

This is just a starting place. Please add your favorites.


2 comments:

Ellien Obrain said...

Including summaries in your essays isn't necessarily a bad thing. However, it is important to write one only when a summary is actually warranted. Excessive summaries aren't that uncommon in student writing and it often leads to very poor essays. auto paraphrase tool

James Kateron said...

Summarizing and paraphrasing are essential skills for academic writing. You'll almost always rely on them to help present evidence and previous research that support your claims. As such, ensuring they are written well with a corrective English software can have a lot of bearing on what kinds of scores you eventually get on your essays, reports and papers. See more online article summarizer