Classroom tales

In class with Mary Ellen, English teacher and 3 learners with sight loss 

Priestley Smith School, June 2018

 Priestely Smith school logo, red shield, with 'P', 'S', 'S' over laid one another in white

 “The school has been rethinking their library and now are thinking RNIB Bookshare is a better way to offer children choice in reading”

 Learning to use RNIB Bookshare in class

All 3 Year 10 learners in class have different preferences for reading, and low level literacy. Mary Ellen is using the lesson, now that exams were over, to help her learners become more comfortable with logging on and using RNIB Bookshare.

 Logging in, finding and reading a book in class

The learners M, A and I all have their own member accounts. They are familiar and comfortable with logging into the RNIB Bookshare website on school iPads. They can find their reading lists and are able to select the book that they are using in class. They work through the book, reading and discussing it together and then answer questions about the book on either classroom PCs or on large print lined paper. They have their iPad’s with the title on, next to them whilst they answer the questions and look very comfortable doing this. They do not need help accessing text; they are able to make the text suit their needs using iBooks and the access technology available on the iPad.

 Rapid Plus

They have been using a title from the Rapid Plus reading scheme by Pearson Education, which supports learners with literacy difficulties with age-appropriate content, and relevant topics. Mary Ellen has accessed all of these titles in the school library and has now created her own reading list on RNIB Bookshare for her learners to be able to access the title they are using in class. Today they read “Threat (Rapid Plus)”.

 Easy to read!

It is fantastic to see these learners being able to open and read a book in class together, and it was easy for them, they did not need help. Mary Ellen continues to work with them and other learners of different abilities to be able to develop how she uses RNIB Bookshare titles in class.

 Choosing their own content

M and I are both using the ‘Children’s reading for fun’ categories for finding titles that they were interested in. M has looked at ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ by Jeff Kinney, and I has started reading the ‘BFG’, by Road Dahl. Both of the learners say that they are really happy to have found their own books.

 Mary Ellen says that the ‘Children’s reading for fun’ selection is helping her learners to find content on the site. Mary Ellen has set up her own reading lists and also uses our Special collections, and feels that this is a really nice way for learners to find content, and build their confidence before using the main search function for the site. The learners are so comfortable using iPads, they tell Mary Ellen how to use them!

 Long term plan!

May Ellen’s Year 8 learners are now very comfortable with using the site. They are logging in from home to find and access content for themselves. It took her only a few lessons to support the learners to gain the skills and confidence to be able to log in and use the site and resources independently.

 “The school has been rethinking their library and now are thinking RNIB Bookshare is a better way to offer children choice in reading” 

Priestley Smith School does not have the space, money or capacity to be able to purchase large print, braille and all the various accessible formats for each title, so using RNIB Bookshare to get electronic files is ideal for their schools needs as well as their learners.

 Mary Ellen’s vision is that learner’s will use their weekly library time, to visit the library to log into RNIB Bookshare on iPads to find the titles they want to read.