Paths to Literacy

for students who are blind or visually impaired

Note-Taking Strategy to Log School Reading Assignments

Liam reading the braille tape on the cover of Goodnight Moon
My son Liam is 7 years old and in a second grade mainstream classroom. He is deafblind and a braille reader. One of the teacher's expectations for second graders is for them to read at home nightly and record what they read. The record sheet we would get would look something similar to this one that we found on Pinterest.
 
A sheet like this was hard for us to use with the brailler and line everything up perfectly every time. We tried using braille label paper, cutting it out, and sticking it on the reading log form, but that was time consuming and messy, as well as being hard for Liam to do independently. It seemed like it was a lot more work than it needed to be. I knew that I could just fill out the form for Liam using print instead of adding braille, but that goes against my beliefs about accessibility for my son and supporting his independence. I wanted something that would be simple to use when recording Liam's nightly reading and I wanted something that Liam could do independently with little help from me. I discussed my thoughts and possible solutions with a friend (Thanks Charlotte!) and came up with using large note cards and a note card box.

Materials: 

  • 5x7 note cardsa labeled box for Liam's reading list cards
  • Box to hold the cards (Cover labeled in braille) 
  • Brailler

Procedure: 

  1. Read assigned homework
  2. Add the note card to the brailler and Liam writes the date and the book or pages that were read
  3. Place the card into the box.  
  4. Box can be returned to school for the teacher to review.
 
Liam reading Goodnight Moon       Liam using a brailler to record his reading       Liam puts the card in the box       cards recording Liam's reading in a plastic box
 
Liam enjoyed this note-taking process so much the first time that he wrote his assigned reading 3 times on 3 different cards! (Motivation and independence!)
 

Parent Tip:

I am not as fluent in braille as I would like to be. Liam is way better at contractions then me at the moment (I am working to catch up!). I use brailletranslator.org to help make sure that I am able to help Liam with writing if he needs it or gets stuck. I look up the words on my cell phone for convenience.  
 

Variations: 

This note-taking strategy can be used for many different  things! You could collect many different note card boxes and label them for whatever use you may have!
 
Examples:
  • Memories
  • Word Lists
  • Addresses
  • Grocery List
  • Book reviews
  • To-do Lists
  • School Notes or assignments

Collage of reading log

Comments

Note Taking Strategy

Posted by Nita

This is a great way to enable children to take ownership of their learning and other areas of their lives where note taking is essential. Thank you

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