I stumbled onto a WONDERFUL new teaching aid this week… by accident! I made a quick trip to our local teacher supply store last week, and in the process of looking for something else, ran across these neat colored reading guides:
I work with a number of students who struggle with reading, and thought this could be a helpful tool to keep their eyes tracking on a single line at a time. All those dots and lines on the page can be distracting! So, I picked up a blue and yellow version to try out.
These made an INSTANT difference for some of my students!! A couple of students who had struggled for years with notereading were able to sightread with steady rhythm!
I was so impressed with the results we got with this simple little tool that I did a bit of online research. I found a ton of information on the use of colored overlays on the Irlen Institute site, and some really interesting examples of what students actually see with and without the colors on this site. It was exciting to stumble onto something so simple and inexpensive that might help a number of students!
My local store only had a few colors, but I found a full catalog of colors, plus full page overlays on this site. There are several brands of overlays available; the ones I ordered are called “Big Reading Guides” and made by Ashley, Inc. They’re a perfect size to fit over a line of music in elementary method books, and I really like the opaque strips at the top and bottom.
I’d be really interested to hear from anyone who has used tools like this to work with struggling readers. Notereading can be such a hard challenge for some students, it’s always exciting to discover new tools and tricks!