"Seeing" the Story with Notability

To
follow up on our last post, Bring Your Own Device Advice, I wanted to share how
I use one of my favorite iPad apps, Notability, to help students with
reading comprehension. Many tutors, teachers and SLPs use the Visualizing
& Verbalizing (VV)
 method by Lindamood-Bell to ensure that students
are visualizing language. This is such an important component of comprehension.
With
my iPad handy, the student and I read the first sentence or two from
a paragraph. We discuss what the student is imagining, focusing on character
and setting. One of the great features of Notability is the drawing
feature. If the student is comfortable drawing, he can select all the colors he
envisions, draw the main character or setting on the first page of Notability,
and put in a significant amount of detail. when we were limited to using pencil
and paper, the student (or I) had to re-draw the character in every scene,
which was time consuming. It often resulted in the use of stick figures which isn't
quite the same.

With Notability,
the drawing of the detailed character can be copied, shrunken, rotated, and
pasted into new pages so that, as new sentences (and scene/scenarios) are
added, the character can be pasted into each scene. Here is an example of a
VV story about a ferret getting into a dresser, opening a pantry door,
eating his food and going into the clothes hamper. I find taking the time to
draw the main character takes a bit of time up front, but pays dividends when
the student can see the details throughout the drawn story. This helps when
students are required to remember and re-tell stories. I hope you find
Notability helpful!

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Advice for Students

In many parts of the U.S., schools are enacting Bring Your Own Device (BYOD). It means students can bring their laptops, smart phones and/or tablets to school. Here in Howard County, Maryland many of our middle schools and high schools are now BYOD. For students with language disabilities, this is a big help if you know the students' needs and can provide apps to support learning. Here's advice I have been giving parents to promote learning with smart devices.

Word Processing
First, you need software on your device to write papers, take notes and keep up with the enormous amount of information students are navigating daily. For iPad users, Pages, is free and has all the bells and whistles needed for documents and beyond. I love that students can import pictures easily from Safari to add visuals to any projects.  Microsoft also has Office for iPad and Microsoft Word for iPad and for other tablets (Office Mobile) which requires a subscription. If you are not a fan of Pages, you have alternatives. Let me suggest your student try Pages first for two reasons: (1) many times  figure out new programs faster than the rest of us, and (2) it is designed for the iPad (and free), so it's a great choice.

Pages
Microsoft Word for iPad
























Note Taking

Most of my students use Pages for note-taking on their iPads, but others like one of two programs: Notability or Penultimate. Both allow students to type, draw, import pictures, capture audio during lectures and organize their notebooks. If you want to use the audio capabilities, make sure you get the teachers' permission before recording anything in class.

Notability
Penultimate

Planning and Organization
Each of my students learns to use Inspiration Maps on the iPad when we are working on written expression. Students can brainstorm information for paragraphs, essays and research papers. They can plan in diagram mode or in outline mode. Outlines have never been easier in this software and they can be exported to Pages or Word so no re-typing is needed.

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/inspiration-maps/id510173686?mt=8
Inspiration Maps

Current Events
Many students have current events assignments and sometimes write about these events. Zite is a wonderful app on the APP Store, Google Play and Amazon Fire. Students choose categories they need to stay abreast of (health, news, sports, etc.) and the app refreshes itself constantly with the latest articles streaming. Having the latest articles at your fingertips takes the work out of finding the article and they can spend more time focusing on writing about the event chosen.

Zite

Time Management
How many times have we heard, "He did the work, but he didn't turn it in on time." One of the most useful functions of a smartphone, tablet or computer is the ability to schedule due dates for homework, projects and events. For kids with Executive Function difficulties, help is usually needed in keeping up with due dates. There are many different options. I prefer Apples iCal because it syncs across all of my devices with reminders built in to help students stay on top of due dates. However, there are many apps for just this purpose. Cruise the App Store or Google Play to find the calendar that works best for you. If your student uses Google, they have a great calendar systems, as well.

iCal

Vocabulary Apps
We've talked about how important vocabulary is for learning and reading comprehension in past posts. I'd be remiss if I didn't plug our own vocabulary apps - InferCabulary and Word Quations. InferCabulary is on the App Store and focuses on nouns and adjectives. WordQuations for verbs will be on the App Store in October. Go to our website www.CommunicationAPPtitude.com to sign up for an email alert so you'll will know when WordQuations hits the App Store!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/infercabulary/id796698831?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
InferCabulary

Have fun exploring the apps world!