I know that the school year is winding down, but The Autism Helper is getting ready to offer the Roadmap to Reading online course! This course walks you through the whole process of teaching literacy to your students with autism. In anticipation of this course, I will share what reading resources I have been using in my classroom…
1. Reading A-to-Z
You might already be familiar with this online leveled reading library, worksheets and quizzes. I have been using Reading A-to-Z leveled books as part of my small group reading instruction. Each week, whether I choose or let the students take turns choosing which book they would like to read as a group. I use the worksheets to make interactive slide decks for instruction throughout the week. Even though most of my students are online and I end up using a projectable book, you can also print the books, if you have hybrid or in-person students. I use RAZ-Kids Level Up as independent work and the students seem to really enjoy it. Even though RAZ-Kids has been around for a while, I did just stumble upon an ELL vocabulary library. This has been a great resource for all my students and I have also used these books as part of social studies lesson
2. Epic Books
Epic Books offers a free online library with a variety of online books. I currently have this at a paraprofessional-run station during our class reading rotations online. Some of the titles are in a video format or red aloud. Some books also include a quick. I also use these books as part of science and social studies, as they pertain to the theme. I also like to choose books based on the month or time of the year. There is also an option to set up individual student accounts.
3. Boom Cards
We all know and love Boom Cards! I also have this a paraprofessional-run station during my online reading small group time. I have my Boom Cards organized for staff by subject, topic and level so that they are easy to find. I have also discovered that it is also good to organize the cards by independent use or if they would be okay to use with a small group.
I have used Orton-Gillingham for in-person instruction and for online instruction. This multimodal approach engages visual, auditory and tactile learners. If you get on their email list, they will send you free templates every Friday! Since teaching online, and using the templates, this becomes another station that a paraprofessional can run during online sessions. It can also be a resource to post on your Google Classroom for students to go over by themselves.
5. Adapted Books
Upon my return into the school building, I remembered how great adapted books can be! The Autism Helper has a wide selection of adapted books that are both for putting together a printed book or as Boom Cards. Adapted books are really engaging for emerging readers in a small group, but can also be utilized during an independent reading time, in order to keep students engaged and practicing basic reading behaviors like pointing to the words and turning the pages. This is a great way to engage a small group of readers or teach students to practice reading behaviors and read independently.
I hope this was helpful for finishing out the year, for ESY, or to keep in mind for next school year. Let’s all take a moment to acknowledge what a year it has been and the work that we did to get through it and really be there for our students and their families. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!