The student who needs more

I learned two tricks over the last three years that I wish I could use more often. First, most DVDs have caption tracks. I accidentally turned on the captions for a rather difficult DVD in economics. Before I could turn it off, I realized that several kids whose first language was not English were thoroughly engaged in the presentation, something that was rare for them. They were able to hear words and see them on the screen, making connections they had been unable to make before.

Second — well, really, it’s the same trick — I found that kids I knew to be dyslexic picked up material like sponges from good videos, and the captioning helped them, too. What was really interesting was that I had three students thank me for showing them because, they said, they can’t learn from books. All three were dyslexic, but not known to be by the school district. Videos that tell a good story give them enough to pass the class, and often excel. Adding captions helps.

So when I saw this post at RedKudu, I was pleased to see that other teachers care about kids who have difficulty learning. It’s a great story, without an ending yet. Go see.

2 Responses to The student who needs more

  1. The captioning trick is fabulous. My video player at school leaves it on (no remote, no way to change settings) which was helpful when we watched Band of Brothers and some poetry pieces. The first school I taught at had an amazing video and audio check-out program for resource students. I had a number of students who would listen to the book while reading. Their reading and comprehension was up (and they felt like they were doing well) with the audio support.

    My nephews are big fans of Miyazaki movies (thanks to my husband), and love the reading of the captions while watching the movie though sometimes they move a little quickly for them.


  2. onlycrook says:

    I’ve always left closed captioning on at home (in part because that way I could still read what was going on as my noisy children walked by). When one of my sons was sick for 9 days in elementary school, he watched cartoons with closed captioning. It was amazing to see how much his reading improved after 9 days of straight cartoon watching with closed captioning.


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