Clicker Success Stories

Peggy Bergey

Since I am a Special Education teacher I am often asked to help students participate in the reading of a class book that is beyond their reading ability. I feel that it is important for these students to participate, as much as possible, in class activities. I strongly believe that for these readers to improve they need to read themselves.

After going to a workshop about Clicker I thought that I could use this program to assist these students. I asked a second grade teacher in my school for books that she used as class books. After getting the books I created templates for these books to help the students. These templates can be easily modified for use with any reading selection by adding the appropriate vocabulary.

Although this started as a project for special needs students, it can be used with all students. I have used it with second and third graders as created and with fourth and fifth grade students with more student input.

The initial introduction to the activity takes about 20 minutes to explain how to use the grids. On the first page the name of the story appears and an explanation of what the student will be doing. These explanations were given using buttons that had my voice recorded. On the next page the student is asked to read part of the story. Any words that may be difficult for these students are typed into another box. These words act as audio clues. The student clicks on the word and a computer voice tells them the word. This allows the student to get help on demand while still doing most of the reading alone.

The next step involved the writing of a summary about the reading. A series of questions were asked using numbered buttons, all of the words needed to answer the questions were put into grids. These grids, along with the vocabulary grids that come with Clicker, were color-coded for nouns, verbs and others. By using these grids the students were able to produce a summary of the reading that they were proud to turn in.

I feel that the concept of writing with grids can be used throughout the school year to improve both reading and writing.
I have used Clicker with older students who had just finished reading Hatchet. They helped to create the grids by supplying words that were unique to this book and not in their everyday vocabulary. The words were then color-coded to help with the writing of more interesting summaries of the story.

Clicker can be used in all areas of the curriculum by creating grids that contain vocabulary for Social Studies, Science and even Math.

Once templates are created the possibilities are endless!

Peggy Bergey