Thursday, November 13, 2008

Students Win Building Wings Reader's Theatre Contest

I received the article below yesterday and I liked the idea of the Reader's Theatre Contest and thought I would pass this along. After reading the "Building Wings" book I feel that it is a significant encouragement and support to kids. In that light I am excited to share what the Don Johnston Company is doing. I hope you enjoy the article.
All the best to you!

November 12, 2008--Volo, IL--Don Johnston, a leading publisher of accessible literacy technologies, has selected two winning schools to receive a Start-to-Finish audio, computer and paperback book collection in the 2008 Building Wings Reader's Theater Contest. The winning entries included a student-produced storybook video from Pomfret Community School, Connecticut and a Web 2.0 wiki from Highland Park Junior High School, Minnesota.
The Reader's Theater takes students on a journey of self-discovery using Mr. Johnston's book, Building Wings: How I Made It Through School. Reader's Theater materials were developed by educators in Schaumburg School District 54, Illinois. The book, written on a 3rd grade reading level, has stimulated conversations among educators and students about what it feels like to struggle in school and what it takes to overcome a learning disability. (emphasis mine)

The online computer book and teaching materials are free to help educators find creative learning approaches to improve students' reading and writing skills.The Building Wings Reader's Theater Contest was open to any school. The presentations were chosen based on a rubric involving creativity, originality, quality, multimediaand overall presentation theme.

Reader's Theater materials, include:
* Audio of Building Wings, personally narrated by Don
* Reader's Theater Script
* Compare and Contrast Worksheet
* Visualization ChartsView the Reader's Theater Showcase


Linda Bates, Certified Special Education Teacher, and students at Pomfret Community School submitted a digital photo storybook complete with student voice-overs and characters in costume. In the storybook, students share their secrets to surviving the classroom and what works best for their learning styles.
Mrs. Bates said, "The best gift we can give our students is acceptance. Each studenthas different ways of learning and retaining knowledge. Don's Reader's Theater brought a new energy to our students and created a sense of community among the 18 students who participated. They feel very proud of their successes, along with winning this Start-to-Finish book collection for all of our students to enjoy!"
Barbara Wollak, a Speech and Language Professional, and Julie Rossini, Special Education Teacher, along with students at Highland Park Junior High School submitted an online wiki using Web 2.0 features. Highlights of this presentation include a book chapter review, a purpose-for-reading plan, an interactive book discussion, a visitor counter and a video of the students.Mrs. Wollak shared, "Several of our literacy groups are reading Don Johnston's book Building Wings. Students and staff agree that this book is motivating and inspiring. Many of us can make connections from Don's life to our own experiences."Both schools received a collection of Start-to-Finish Library ( ) paperback, audio and computer books.
Start-to-Finish books are designed to strengthen students' reading fluency and comprehension skills and were developed by Don Johnston and a field of literacy experts for students who read below grade level.


Don Johnston empowers educators with specialized accessible technologies and supported reading and writing tools for students with cognitive, physical, and learning differences. Since 1980, the company has partnered with literacy experts, assistive technology specialists, speech language pathologists, psychologists, teachers, researchers, and scientists to develop over a dozen accessible technology and literacy products.

Visit . 1-800-999-4660

View the Reader's Theater Contest Showcase

Download the FREE Building Wings Readers Theater Toolkit and Materials

Learn more about Building Wings: How I Made It Through School

Learn more about Start-to-Finish Library


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