Expanded Dolch Word Cards
These flashcards, consisting of 220 sight vocabulary words and 95 words with pictures, can be used for reading practice or an informal assessment of a student's ability to read words in contracted braille and to spell words in uncontracted braille.
Cards measure 3 1/2 x 2 inches, with an orientation corner cut. Words are shown in contracted braille on one side and uncontracted braille on the other, with large print on both sides. Picture word cards contain a picture corresponding to the word. 30 blank cards allow for adding words. Indexing tabs and storage box included.
Note: You can use this with the Card Chart or the Braille Contraction Cards.
- Age Range:
- 5 and Up
Teaching Braille Through Expanded Dolch Word Cards
Article excerpt from the field, by Kristie Smith, M.Ed, CTVI
Originally published in the Fred's Head From APH Blog
“Once you learn to read, you are forever free.” -- Frederick Douglass
Recently I began teaching a blind student who was new to the many rigors of middle school. Upon meeting him, I discovered that he had very few braille-oriented goals. I asked him if he was fluent in braille and keyboarding. To my horror, he had only learned skills and test taking strategies through auditory and verbal responses. He could certainly pass a test while its being read to him; however, if he does not have an electronic reader or someone reading to him, he is lost.
The vision department did their part in teaching him braille and keyboarding skills, but the classroom teachers in his elementary school did not encourage him to produce the work. Time concerns and his being a good test taker came before aiding the child to pursue independence.
My student is now in the eighth grade, and he is struggling to keep up with his peer group. Since the time he became my student, I have been re-teaching him braille and keyboarding skills.
Too often I would find myself asking, “How do I help him?” when finally, I thought about the Dolch Word Cards from APH. I also brailled a list of the top twenty-five high frequency words that my student would learn to copy, read, and keyboard.
The flash cards include over 200 critical vocabulary words, featuring braille as well as print. Ninety-five of the cards have pictures included with the words. An additional 30 blank cards allow for customization and further development. A handy storage box with indexing tabs is also included.
My student asked me why he should do braille when he can just listen and grasp the skill. I countered by asking him how he would function in a burning building when no one else may be around to help him leave. “You would not be able to read the signs in the elevator or the floor numbers,” I preached. “How about if you have a child. Will your child be read to by an electronic voice.”
“Are you going to trust someone with your ATM card?” I asked. “You have to read braille to operate the machine.” I continued to reinforce that reading braille would help him to be more in control of his environment and make him more independent.
He pondered this for a time before relenting. Perhaps he was attempting to get me off of my soapbox but for whatever reason, he is now beginning to understand the importance of being a fluent braille reader.
The Dolch Word Cards from APH have helped my student with reading and spelling, though we still have a long way to go. He is beginning to recall the contractions and is able to spell some of the words while using his keyboard. I promised him and myself that as long as I am his vision teacher, I will not give up until he is fluent in braille.
Though he continues to struggle and does not have a strong background in producing his own work, he is making progress. Some of our success can be attributed to the Dolch Word Cards. I cannot think of a better way to summarize the importance of braille literacy than with the words of Dr. Seuss. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.”
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