We met Helen, a Polylino user and Special Education teacher.
Hi Helen, tell us a little about yourself and what you do!
My name is Helen and I am a special education teacher and IT educator. Since the start of my career, I’ve seen the benefits of using digital tools as teaching aids to optimize student learning and outcomes. There is a ton of opportunity to use both digital and analog tools in order to give student access to an equitable learning experience.
What was it like to get started with Polylino?
When I started working with Polylino, I was teaching 3rd grade. It became a bit of an “aha-moment” for the students when they could, for the first time, find their own books to read. It was incredible to see how joyful it made them to be able to read on their own, and I found that they became more interested in reading. We finally had books available for all of the students at our school, which has been integral in creating an accessible learning environment.
How do you use Polylino in your classroom today?
I use Polylino both for independent reading and for group reading. It’s not always simple to find a selection of books that are age-appropriate and at students’ varying reading levels, so it’s been wonderful to have a tool like Polylino that has a broad selection of titles.
For group reading, I project it onto the smartboard and we listen to the book together first. Then, I print out pages from the book and have them work in pairs to complete activities, like placing them in chronological order.
I’ll also have students listen to a book first, and then read the text of those same pages in order to support reading and language development. If a student speaks a language other than English, I’ll have them do the same but narrated in their home language. In other words, it is possible to use Polylino in a lot of different ways!
Anything else you’d like to share with us?
I believe that ALL students benefit from a tool like Polylino. Having access to narrated books doesn’t delay learning – in fact, I think it promotes students’ interest in books and helps them find the joy of reading!