PrAACtical Resources: Tar Heel Shared Reader
If reading is a priority in your AAC work, you’ll want to explore today’s featured resource, the website Tar Heel Shared Reader. Developed by a team at the Center for Literacy and Disability Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this variation of the popular Tar Heel Reader website provides PCS symbol support for core words that can be used in discussing each book. You can learn more about Tar Heel Reader here.
Their newest site focuses on interactive book reading and contains all of the same wonderful features as the original version plus several additional options. For example, you can specify which core words you are targeting while reading the book so that those appear in a strip below each page. That enables us to use those in modeling the symbols for those words as we talk and read the story. Sample phrases and sentences to model using the target core words are also provided in the comments area, which can be customized to highlight the particular words your learners are focusing on.
The main site for finding and reading books in this series is here. As with the regular Tar Heel Reader site, you can search for books to read and create your own to upload to the site.
This site has a number of other resources that will help with the implementation of good practices for building language and literacy through interactive book reading. There are a number of professional development modules that can be completed independently or used by a trainer to facilitate a group PD session. Modules are available on the following topics.
- Follow the CAR
- Changing Practice Through Self-Reflection
- Selecting Good books in Tar Heel Shared Reader
- Responding and Adding More
- Put the CROWD in the CAR
The section on Instructional Planning and Reflection has a number of forms that can help teams plan their shared reading experiences, create environments that support learning, and implement them with fidelity. Resources in this section include content in several areas.
- Hexagon Model
- Planning Form
- Classroom Characteristics
- Teacher Self-assessment
- Stages of Implementation Packet
The section on Administration and Coaching Supports will be very valuable to those who are guiding teams in using these materials. These resources will help school administrators and program leaders determine the readiness of their classrooms for this approach and assist them in guiding classroom teams in gaining proficiency with supportive instructional strategies so that they can be used with Tar Heel Shared Reader and infused throughout the school day.
It is well worth your time to explore the books and all of the wonderful resources on this site. Have you been using Tar Heel Shared Reader with AAC learners in your life? We’d love to hear about it.
This post was written by Carole Zangari