A Super Simple Strategy for Supporting Struggling Readers

Tuesday, October 3, 2017 / Leave a Comment

Super simple strategy for supporting struggling readers, screencastomatic, tutorial, unmotivated readers

Do you struggle to find ways to get your students to read outside of class? (Ok, ok - stop laughing...I get it) We ALL struggle to find ways to get our disinterested readers to take the text home and actually read it.

Recently, however, one of my "non-reading" students actually helped me stumble on a really simple strategy for helping struggling readers interact with text outside of class.

"I'm starting to like this book, Mrs. Mathis," he said to me as I assigned the next chapter for the class to read that night. "but I won't read it out of class."

I was so exasperated. "You admit that you like it! Why don't you want to find out what happens next?"

"I like following along when you read. But when I read by myself...it's just too boring."

And that was when the lightbulb went off in my head...

Super simple strategy for supporting struggling readers, screencastomatic, tutorial, unmotivated readers
Eureka!


"If you could listen to it on Google Classroom, would you?" I asked, fingers and toes crossed.

"You can do that?!?" He asked, and I smiled.

"Absolutely."

Because we can do that. We can record the texts we want our students to read. We don't have to wait for our departments to buy audiobooks, or worry if a non-fiction article we want them to read is too complicated. With very little trouble, we can record what we want our students to read and give them the opportunity to hear strong, fluent reading - a proven benefit to struggling readers!

Here's how easy it is:

1) Go to Screencastomatic.com and sign up for a free account.
Super simple strategy for supporting struggling readers, screencastomatic, tutorial, unmotivated readers


2) Once you have set up your account, you'll be taken to this screen:
Super simple strategy for supporting struggling readers, screencastomatic, tutorial, unmotivated readers


3) Click the "Start Recorder" tab and a white box will appear on top of whatever is showing on your screen. You may be asked if the program can access your microphone. You'll have to give it permission to record.
Super simple strategy for supporting struggling readers, screencastomatic, tutorial, unmotivated readers


4) Set up whatever you want in the background while you're recording. It can be the cover of the novel, a copy of the article, a photo of the subject you're teaching, a blank screen. I just created a PowerPoint slide with the novel cover on it. 
Super simple strategy for supporting struggling readers, screencastomatic, tutorial, unmotivated readers


5) Click the "Rec" button. It will give you a 3-second countdown before it begins recording. When you're done recording, hit the pause button. It will give you the option of clicking "Done," or trashing the whole recording and starting over again.
Super simple strategy for supporting struggling readers, screencastomatic, tutorial, unmotivated readers


6) When you're happy with your recording. Click "Done." You will then get options to save the recording as an audio file, share it on YouTube, or save it in your Screencast-O-Matic account. I downloaded all the files to my desktop and then uploaded them to Google Classroom for my students to listen to. It was easy!
Super simple strategy for supporting struggling readers, screencastomatic, tutorial, unmotivated readers


Just like that, I had a significant number of reluctant readers actually engaging with the text! They could listen to it during study halls, some said they listened while they did other homework (I wasn't thrilled about that one but hey - it's better than nothing!), they were engaged! 

It isn't perfect. It was time-consuming. Several students told me that while they were listening, they still wouldn't have read on their own if I hadn't made the recordings, but at the end of the day, I had more students in my classroom each day prepared and eager to discuss with their classmates.

I'll take that as a win.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes!





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