Update – December 2009
Another tool to use – Kurzweil 3000
I knew about Kurzweil before but never used it. A few days ago I saw how it could be used for ELL’s and all I can say is —-Wow!
If your board has it loaded on your computers, then make sure you use it. It is excellent for beginning ELL’s and is surely helpful for all.
Used with elibrary.com, you can access any book, and have the program read it to the students. Meaning for words can be looked up as it comes up, etc. You have got to try it. It is truly invaluable.
Here is some more specific info:
Kurzweil 3000TM is the comprehensive reading, writing and learning software solution for any struggling reader, including individuals with learning difficulties, such as dyslexia, attention deficit disorder or those who are English Language Learners.
With Kurzweil 3000, Kurzweil Educational Systems, Inc. is committed to helping schools meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and demonstrate success in the classroom for all students.
Kurzweil 3000 – Reading, Writing and Learning Software for Struggling Students – offering:
Access to Any Curriculum – The software can access virtually any information, whether it is printed, electronic, or on the Web. Because Kurzweil 3000 is also content independent, teachers in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges alike use it to help students succeed in the classroom regardless of curriculum or lesson plan.
Increased Reading Fluency – Educators and independent research have demonstrated that Kurzweil 3000 provides not only the tools students need to improve their reading speed and comprehension, but also the features that make it possible for them to learn and study independently.
Study Skills – With the aid of visual and auditory feedback, the software helps students keep up with assigned reading, learn critical study skills and successfully complete writing projects and tests. With its robust study skills tools, Kurzweil 3000 facilitates active reading including: highlighting, text circle tools, annotations, Bookmarks, Voice Notes and Extract in order to create outlines, study guides, or word lists – all things that can improve their reading comprehension and retention.
Decoding Support – It then reads the words aloud to the student in clear, humanlike, synthetic speech, while a patented dual highlighting feature adds visual reinforcement. For students who have difficulty physically accessing curriculum materials, Kurzweil 3000 provides a digital means of engaging with text and can support students who use alternative methods for accessing the computer.
Writing and Self-Editing Tools – As students type, the software speaks each letter or word, so they can quickly re cognize and correct spelling mistake s. The Check Spelling As You Type feature underlines misspelled words in red. The audible spell checker and customizable word prediction further assist students with creating and modifying reports, essays and papers without teacher intervention.
Independent Test Taking – With Kurzweil 3000, students can independently complete worksheets, classroom tests and standardized tests with greater confidence and fewer mistakes. Students with accommodations can easily answer fill-in-the blanks, multiple choice, true/false, short answer, essay and other test forms while using a customized selection of writing tools, comprehension aids and visual modifications. Teachers can save documents with specific toolbars and feature locks, while also controlling which Kurzweil 3000 features are available to students during testing. Kurzweil 3000 supports the teaching and learning of reading skills that are necessary for meeting state and federal mandates. Kurzweil 3000 not only reads questions and answers aloud, it allows students to type answers directly onto the image of a scanned test, thereby offering more independence for both the student and teacher. In addition, the product is proving instrumental for both classroom and standardized assessments.
Another site worth checking out