Thank you once again for granting my request for an Excel Grant to buy eBooks at a level appropriate for my ELL students. With the money, I was able to purchase 84 new titles, mostly fiction, at reading levels appropriate for my ELL students. As a side benefit, the reading levels also work beautifully with most of my Special Education students. The response has been amazing.
One of my ELL classes came to the library and I taught them how to access the books on our computers. I asked them at the beginning of the lesson to pull out their smartphones (90% of the class have smartphones) and place them face down next to the computer. Once I had everyone on the webpage and had shown them how to find and open a book on the computer, I started down the line to show them how to put the app on their phones. By the time I got to the 8th student, they had already downloaded the app on their phone and had downloaded the books they wanted! Since their teacher was absent on this particular day, I asked them to teach her how to access the books when she returned. They did and she was so impressed with how quickly they were able to make this way of reading a part of their lives.
Next I worked with a Special Education class that I had show the MackinVia eBooks to earlier in the year. They all logged on with little or no further instructions from me (even through they had last used the website with me back in October!) I showed them how to sort the list by newest and they were excited by all the compelling titles I had added.
My library serves the three small schools on the Evergreen Campus, each with a very diverse population of students, many who have immigrated with their families, even more who come from impoverished situations. Many of our students speak more than one language, usually with English as their second or third language. As important as it is for our ELL students to learn how to communicate in English, In order to improve in reading they need to have access to materials at their level that don’t look like it’s designed for a 2nd grader to read. And it is so important for these students to be reading at an appropriate reading level. Research tells us that students need to read material at their level in order to improve reading skills. Research also tells us that when a student reads in their 1st language, it helps promote acquisition and reading skills in the new language. But what if the materials is in digital form that could be downloaded to a phone of other device. Then only the reader would know what the cover looks like!
~ Joanne Benson Glasgow, Teacher Librarian, M.Ed.
Evergreen Campus Library – Serving AAA,, HS3 and TEC