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Saturday / September 23

Two Websites for Learners with Disabilities

Often teachers look for tools to help reach those students who are struggling. There are many different tools available out there to help reach all students at their level. Two websites that I have found to be helpful in reaching all students are SpellingCity and ReadWorks both are easy to use and have a feature to reach students at their levels.

Does spelling/vocabulary always give you a problem? SpellingCity is a great tool not just for students with disabilities, but for all learners. SpellingCity lets you either select a Spelling or a Vocabulary list from predetermined lists, or create your own lists. I love this feature because I take the words from our vocabulary books and create a list using their weekly words. Students are then able to learn their spelling or vocabulary words through engaging online activities.

As the teacher, you can either assign students different activities to do or let them explore the activities themselves. One of my favorite activities is the Initial Sound Speller and the SillyBulls that helps students learn to spell and sound words out.

ReadWorks is one of my go-to websites and has recently had some fantastic updates. There is now a digital version on the website where you can create student accounts and have students read and respond to questions at their level. As the teacher, you can create student accounts either by having students sign in with their Google accounts or creating your roster. You then can assign students reading passages based upon their reading levels and have them respond to questions about those passages. There is also a section where you can have the students review the vocabulary of the passages. Another fantastic feature to the new mobile website is that certain books are currently available in audio format–an incredible feature to students with disabilities as it will read them the passage. Just think about how great this tool can be to those students who struggle with reading.

If you have not checked out the Article a Day, that is another great feature for ReadWorks. The best part is you can find an article at your student’s levels. Just make sure you know your students’ Lexile Levels. If your school does not use Lexile, there are many charts that you can find online that will help you convert the levels. Looking for Paired Texts to go along with certain topics? Guess what ReadWorks also offers. You can find texts to go with almost any topic and once again find them at the proper level for your students. When you get a chance make sure you do check out ReadWorks to help your students who not only struggle but those students with learning disabilities.

There are many more tools that can be used to help reach students of all learning. Make sure to check out Using Technology to Engage Students With Learning Disabilities for other great tools and tips to reach all learns.

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Written by

Billy Krakower is a full-time teacher at Woodland Park Public Schools in Woodland Park, New Jersey, where he has taught computers and special education to grades 3 and 4 for over eight years. He is the Chief Financial & Event Officer for Evolving Educators, LLC (evolvingeducators.com). Billy co-moderates two weekly Twitter chats, #NJed chat and #satchat (for educational leaders). He co-hosts “SatChat Radio,” a weekly show interviewing educators on BAM Radio Network and available on iTunes. Billy is one of the lead organizers of edcampNJ and edcampLeadership North NJ. He is on the teacher advisory board for ReadWorks. Billy is a 2014 ASCD Emerging Leader, and a member of the NJASCD Executive board and serves as the Technology Committee Chair. He also served as co-director of NJ-ASCD Northern Region (Fall 2013 – June 2015). He has presented at more than 20 local and national technology conferences on topics including Twitters & You, The Science Behind a Mystery Location Call, and Connecting Beyond the Classroom.

Billy has an Advance Certificate in Educational Leadership and a dual Masters Degree in Special Education & Elementary Education from Long Island University. Billy is a Google Certified Educator and an Edmodo Certified Trainer. You can read more about Billy, his awards, and his presentations at www.billykrakower.com. He is passionate about helping every child and adult enjoy and learn using technology tools in easy, fun and empowering ways.

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Latest comments

  • Billy. I’m the Mayor (founder, president) of VocabularySpellingCity. I was just reading my blog, which Laura helps update, and I read about your book and your article about us. Enjoyed it. I’m glad you got to meet Laura f2f, isn’t she great. I’m going to get myself a copy of your book. Did you see her post? http://www.spellingcity.com/blog/billy-krakower/

    John

    • John. Thank you for your kind comments. Yes I did enjoy meeting Laura f2f and I did see her post.Thought it was a great post. Thank you for buying the book and let me know if you have any other questions.

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