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Freedom Scientific LSG Presents
The WYNNing Word
March 16, 2005 (Archive)

Teacher typing on notebook computer to prepare a TestTalker sessionEach month our free monthly e-newsletter will feature stories, news, best practices, and an Ask-the-Expert column, all focused on supporting you in bringing literacy to your learners.

FEATURE STORY:
"I've taught for a long time and seen a lot of products," said Mrs. Sequeira, "TestTalker changes the teacher’s perspective. It frees up time and helps students succeed. As long as I’m here, it will be here."


When Molly Sequeira, a learning support teacher at St. Matthew's Catholic School in Charlotte, N.C., saw TestTalker at the Learning Disabilities Association of America conference in Atlanta in 2004 she knew she had found a unique solution to a problem she faced everyday. Her students were struggling to complete tests. Students had difficulty decoding test questions and couldn’t focus on the answers. "I called my principal," Mrs. Sequeira recalled, "I told him I’d been to Atlanta and the answer was technology and TestTalker."

"Not everyone has the same abilities and many of our students don’t know how to take tests," explained Mrs. Sequeira. "As teachers, we found ourselves reading the tests to students but with time constraints, no teachers' assistants and a class of 28 other students, it wasn’t a practical alternative. TestTalker allowed my kids to complete the tests at their own pace. Many kids have different learning styles when it comes to reading. We use technology to make them independent and successful."

Mrs. Sequeira found the money in her budget to purchase a Teacher Edition of TestTalker and a scanner needed to scan tests and worksheets. "For about $600 we were on our way. It's an affordable answer for our districts," she said. "Other products we've looked at charge much more and give you much less. For just a little more than our initial investment we can have six students at a time using TestTalker. We plan to grow the program so each teacher in third through fifth grade can use TestTalker in the classroom."

Using the Teacher Edition, tests, quizzes and worksheets are scanned. Then students can complete them electronically. The Student Edition reads the material aloud and students answer the questions. Utilizing a bimodal approach, learning is enhanced and students are empowered to feel successful.

St. Matthew's teachers and students have already seen the benefits of TestTalker, just six months into the program. "Our school has students who have been identified with learning disabilities, as well as students who just need a little extra help. My job is to work with both kinds of students. My kids have different issues and TestTalker lets me address everyone's needs."

”"I'm not the only believer," said Mrs. Sequeira. "One of my fifth grade teachers was doubtful that a particular student would be able to pass her Social Study and Science classes because of his low reading scores. I convinced her to let me scan the tests. I assured her that TestTalker would do the rest. She was blown away when she graded his test and he earned an 85! On top of that, while he worked at his own pace, she was able to answer questions from the rest of the class. Now I scan every quiz and test for her. She is one of TestTalker’s biggest fans! My goal next year is to teach her how to scan her own worksheets."

COMING NEXT MONTH:
BEST PRACTICE: We will take a more in-depth look into the classroom of Molly Sequeira and how she incorporates TestTalker into her teaching methods. Don't miss her students' success stories! Maybe the students and teachers of St. Matthew's will inspire you to investigate the benefits of this exciting new software!

ASK-the-EXPERT
:
The WYNNing Word has been designed to help educators learn more about literacy issues and apply proven methods in the classroom. Freedom Scientific's resident expert, Lynn Regan, will answer your questions in her monthly column. To submit questions, please e-mail Lynn at wynningword at adelphia.net.


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For more information, call 1-800-444-4443 or e-mail wynn at freedomscientific.com.

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