2006 Conference General Sessions



John Crick
Crick Software Inc
14687 NE 95th Street
Redmond, WA 98052

Day Phone: 425 467 8260
Fax: 425 467 8245
Email: john.crick@cricksoft.com

Students who are physically challenged need tools to help them to do the basic reading and writing tasks that are essential for learning.  Most of us take it for granted that we can browse through a CD to find out information, then write about it using pen and paper, or a word processor.

For students who depend on a switch to access the computer, this is normally an impossible task, particularly at a K-5 level.  Even if there is a way of accessing the information, how do they then write about it?  Many able-bodied readers and writers, too, struggle with extracting information from a text, and then writing about it.  They need carefully structured support to help them to become active learners.

The National Reading Panel emphasizes the importance of Active Comprehension, and we know that for learning to be truly effective, it has to be active.  When students read information, they need to communicate that information to others in order for real learning to take place.  For the teacher, too, this written feedback is essential to find out what the student has understood, and what further instruction is necessary.

Find Out & Write About is an innovative and highly effective series that enables K-5 students of all abilities to research information and write about it independently.  It is very carefully structured, and because it is built in Clicker, it is fully switch accessible.  The series focuses strongly on the principles of active comprehension and text restructuring, both of which are recognized by the National Reading Panel as highly effective teaching methods.

Each Find Out & Write About title has been carefully researched and includes three levels. The text has been meticulously restructured at each level to suit children of different abilities.  The text is supported by real speech, so it is very appropriate for early and struggling readers as well as those who are more fluent.  Students are able to read or listen to the well-illustrated pages of information at whichever level suits their ability.

Each page of information has a ‘write about’ button which links to a Clicker writing grid that is directly related to that page.  The writing grids enable students to write with whole words and phrases.  At the simplest level, students rebuild the exact sentences they have read on the information page.  At level two, the grids offer a wider choice of words, enabling students to write sentences of their own.  Level three grids provide writing frames with a vocabulary list, and a link to a keyboard grid, so that students can create their own text.

As the student works through the material, they gradually build up a significant piece of writing.  They are able to work independently and at their own pace, with the continuous support of writing grids linked to every page.  With the built-in speech support too, the student is firmly in control of his or her own learning.   

At this presentation you will see in detail how this award-winning series enables students of all abilities to experience success with real reading and writing tasks, and how switch users have totally equal access to the materials.

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