Tanna Gallaher, a Dyslexia Specialist at Raymond E. Curtis Elementary School in Weatherford, Texas, encourages good reading habits to support lifelong learning. Ms. Gallaher’s motto is to read, read, read, and she advocates for independent reading at school and at home.
“It is important that students are able to choose what they are most interested in reading, whether that is fiction, nonfiction, magazines, websites, or other materials,” she says. “I encourage all parents to discuss with their child what he or she likes to read and ask questions often about what they are reading at the present time.”
Taking her motto a step forward, this teacher recently asked her third through fifth graders to write a sentence about using Bookshare on their mobile devices (at home, in class, in the park, or in the car).
Students talk about Bookshare and accessibility features that help them accomplish their teacher’s mission:
“I like being able to follow along as I listen to the words. Also, when I pause it I can read a word over and over again so I can memorize it.”
“The books are easy or hard, but I like being able to choose.”
“I like being able to read any book I want in my classroom.”
“I like that my book is right in my pocket! Plus, if I am reading a book and I have trouble with a word, I can just listen to the word I need.”
“Bookshare helps during my class because it helps me remember what I’m reading. When I have trouble reading or cannot figure out a word, it reads it to me. I can understand the words and the story better.”
“Some books don’t have pictures and without pictures I don’t really have as much information. When Bookshare reads the words, I understand the whole story. What would a book be if you didn’t know the words?”
“Bookshare makes reading much smoother and easier. I have been able to read books that I wasn’t able to read before.”
“Normally when I am reading I have a regular speed, but when I come to a word that I don’t know it slows me down. With Bookshare I can listen at one speed and it doesn’t mess up words.”
“Bookshare helped me read faster and I can read in the dark!”
Tanna Gallaher is a Bookshare Mentor Teacher and the 2015 grand prize winner for her efforts to promote Bookshare and lifelong learning in her school throughout the year. Today, eighty percent of her students successfully use technology for independent reading.
“I’ve shared my passion for Bookshare with the dyslexia therapists at six elementary schools and three secondary campuses in the district, and with a lot of teachers, parents, and administrators,” she says. “I will continue to promote the accessible library for reading anytime and anywhere.”
Stay tuned for more great stories of educators, individuals, and students who use Bookshare. Their experiences may inspire you to make new reading resolutions in 2016. Here’s to lifelong learning!