If you’re hoping to find ways to get your students reading independently for fun this summer, check out some of the wonderful resources available through Storyline Online and Learning Ally.
First, Storyline Online:
It’s a free resource where famous actresses and actors read popular storybooks online with simple animations from picture books. The videos can be played through Youtube, Vimeo or SchoolTube.
Some teachers use the channel for “reading center” activities because the lengths (10-20 minutes long) fit in well with this.
At home, a site like this can be used with newly independent readers; they can preview books, then have a go reading it entirely on their own.
There’s a wide array of books that have been read, some even favorites from my childhood, like Harry the Dirty Dog read by Betty White.
Justin Theroux (filmmaker and actor, who is also dyslexic) reads The Garbage Barge. He does a fantastic job of reading.
Students can read physical books from the library, buy them, or read them online or through a digital device through the public library Libby app.
Patricia Polacco’s autobiographic book about dyslexia Thank You, Mr. Falker is also available.
For older students, it may be difficult to find content age-appropriate content, pictures, and audio, but Learning Ally has updated its app to include more graphic novels with audio.
If you don’t have an individual subscription to Learning Ally (it’s $135 + documented need for a print disability), you can check to see if your school might have an institutional subscription.
If you or your students haven’t been formally identified, then it might be worthwhile getting formally tested by an educational specialist, school psychologist, or neuropsychologist. Formal identification with dyslexia may also qualify you or your student for accommodations at school or for you at work. The costs of dyslexia assessment can vary widely – from about $1000 to thousands of dollars. That may be out of reach for many families, but if sometimes it can be paid for by a school as part of an Independent Educational Evaluation; comprehensive assessments can also be useful for guiding the education of students for several years.
Learning Ally recently posted a video with some of their updates in their audiobook app. The updates look great!