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Bookshare Blog Posts

What We’re Reading {December 10 2010}: Great Books to Read Over the Holidays for Middle and High School Readers

I recently received an email from Emily, one of our student members and a prolific reader. She shared a list of her recently published favorite books and suggested that they might make excellent reading over the holiday break for other student members. This week, with her permission, I’m sharing Emily’s recommended titles, along with a synopsis of each book, with you. Depending on the reader’s maturity level, these books are appropriate for middle and high school readers. Happy Reading! Sweet Little Lies: An L.A. Candy Novel by Lauren Conrad – Jane Roberts was the average girl next door until her and her…

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Bookshare and ReadWorks– Collaboration to Help Improve Literacy Nationwide

What is ReadWorks? ReadWorks provides K-6 teachers and school leaders with a proven, research-based program focused specifically on teaching reading comprehension. ReadWorks, developed by educators, sole mission is to close the achievement gap in reading comprehension throughout the United States. ReadWorks provides: Lessons and units that explicitly teach the essential Concepts of Comprehension©. These are the skills and strategies students must master to be successful readers. Lessons and units with suggested pacing, printable student materials, non-fiction passages with questions and vocabulary, extension activities and assessments. Alignment with every state’s ELA standards plus the Common Core State Standards. Alignment with core…

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Publisher Spotlight: Top Ten from Cambridge University Press

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes at Bookshare, and that includes the feed of digital files from our partners. Every month we receive thousands of files from publishers around the world. Over 100 publishers have signed with Bookshare and are donating digital files, including all the major trade publishing houses (Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Hachette, and Scholastic) as well as top university presses (Cambridge, Chicago, Princeton, Columbia, California, NYU, Michigan, Stanford) and K-12 and postsecondary publishers. They send us their new releases and books on just about every subject you can imagine, including books that fill a specialty niche (like…

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Western Suffolk NY BOCES’ Teacher Shares Student Outcomes

Maria Aranguren, Teacher of the Blind and Visually Impaired sent us this wonderful letter. One of the biggest challenges facing students with visual impairments and their teachers continues to be the ability to access print instructional materials in alternate formats.  Bookshare has done a tremendous job of addressing this issue and I wanted to share some of our student outcomes with you. This year our total number of registered members for Western Suffolk Boces has grown to 62 students and 23 sponsors.  For the first two months of the 2010-2011 school year, our members and sponsors have downloaded 22 novels,…

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What We’re Reading {November 24 2010}

Dogs. You asked for books that feature guide dogs, dogs who are man’s best friend, loveable dogs, silly dogs, mischievous dogs…everything dogs. So, this week I give you…dogs!  I’ve focused this collection on books for all ages. Enjoy these great books, and be sure to comment and let us know what other great dog books are out there. Happy reading! The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has…

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“Great Resource for Inclusion Settings,” says IA Specialist

We asked Laura Koch, IA Specialist for Muscatine Community School District, Iowa, to share examples of how Bookshare has supported students in her school district this year.  Laura, an early adopter of our online library of accessible books, gave us this wonderful story for our website last year; we wanted to follow up to see how Bookshare was helping her students.  Here are Laura’s answers to our questions: Has Bookshare helped more students participate in inclusion settings? Yes..100%. I have teachers asking me about books on Bookshare before they enroll a student in class.  Without the benefit of class books…

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A Path Towards the Least Restrictive Environment

True or False: 1.      Special education students are general education students first. 2.      All students are special education students. The answer, both are true. Teachers who use Bookshare tell us again and again that students in special education can make progress in the general curriculum when it is presented to them in a format they can access. If the format of the material is appropriate to their learning needs, they can consume it. As consumers of the general curriculum, aren’t they general education students – just learning from a different format? In fact, all students learn differently. Some make copious…

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Bookshare and the Braille Readers Are Leaders Contest

This post is contributed by Allison Hilliker, Bookshare Collection Development Associate. Thank you, Allison! I love Braille!  I use Braille everyday for my Bookshare job and in many other areas of my life.  All of us at Bookshare think Braille is a terrific tool for many people, and we’re thrilled that we can help make such a wide variety of materials available to our members. Most of you know that the Bookshare library has over 90,000 books available in BRF (Braille Ready Format and DAISY), but did you know that there’s another fun way to enjoy Braille?  There is.  It’s the Braille…

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What We’re Reading {November 11 2010} Special Veteran’s Day Edition

Today we celebrate Veterans Day  (also known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day), a time to look back at the sacrifices members of the military and their families have made. In honor of the holiday, this special post provides books in the Bookshare collection that focus on the military, their families, and remembrance. I’ve also included books authored by veterans that share deeply personal experiences of war. We hope you enjoy the recommendations. Thank you to all who have served and are serving our country. Bookshare Military Special Collection: Books by or for veterans: Odysseus in America: Combat Trauma and…

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Reading Skill Improvements, More Reading Choices and Engaged Students!

Special thanks to Jeanette Donelson, special education teacher for sending us this great story. WE ARE INSPIRED! **************** I love Bookshare! The students I serve are in 9th through 12th grade with special needs across the spectrum.  I have students with dyslexia, Cerebral Palsy, and severe reading disabilities.  Most of them have difficulty reading books and comprehending what they read. With Bookshare, they can now download a textbook, print it out in larger print (which allows them to write notes and highlight), and use the text-to-speech software which is free with Bookshare, to hear the content read aloud. Accessible Curriculum Last…

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