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Story Time

Barbara gathers the students on the rug for story time. As they come to the circle, each child is encouraged to choose a book that they sign out to take home for the evening. Books are displayed on a rack at eye level, where both ambulatory and non-ambulatory students can readily reach them.

Lindsay chooses a book from the rack.Lindsay and a classmate choose a book from the accessible book rack.

A prominent member of the circle is "Forgetful," a stuffed bear who the children have adopted as their mascot this year. "Forgetful" is a character created by Pati King-Debaun and is featured in her series of children's books entitled Storytime Tales (Don Johnston, Inc.) Each weekend, Forgetful travels home with a different student, journal in hand. During these visits, students and parents record Forgetful's weekend adventures in this journal and when Forgetful arrives back in the classroom on Monday mornings, Barbara and the student read the journal entries to the whole class.

Today Barbara is reading a book that she herself has created for the class, entitled Forgetful: Come Back to Your Room. The storyline is simple but compelling to the children: Forgetful has gotten off the bus in the morning, but is nowhere to be seen. Each student in the class takes a turn looking for Forgetful and finds him in a different place in the school (e.g., on the computer in the director's office). At the end of each episode, the child in the story implores "Forgetful, come back to your room!"

The story uses repeated language patterns, reinforcing basic sight words and familiar vocabulary. As Barbara reads, each child is delighted when its their turn to be featured in the story. At the end of each episode, the children bellow out the refrain, "Forgetful, come back to your room!" together. Martha joins in by hitting her BIGmack (Ablenet) switch which also echos this refrain. Barbara pauses between pages, until Ricky directs her to "turn the page" a message which has been recorded into his BIGmack switch.

video iconView Video Clip of Ricky and Martha using their BIGmack switches to participate in activities.

To make the book, Barbara used a QuickTake camera (Apple) to capture the images of each student in the classroom and of Forgetful in his various hiding places. These images were stored on the computer's hard drive and imported into Kid Pix Studio (Broderbund). This enabled Barbara to make a "slide show" or electronic book, accessible to her students with physical impairments by a single switch. To produce a hard copy book, Barbara printed out each page and laminated it on thick cardboard. The pages are bound together with string, notebook style, making it easier for all her students to turn pages independently.

video iconView Video Clip of Barbara demonstrating how she created electronic and hard copy books about Forgetful with her class.

Today, Forgetful is getting ready to take a long trip to another preschool classroom 30 miles away. Barbara has arranged for Forgetful to spend the week in this classroom, during which time the students there will write a story accompanied by pictures about Forgetful's adventures. At the conclusion of the story, Barbara packs Forgetful in the box, accompanied by the book and by the computer disks with the electronic version of the book. The students wish Forgetful well on his journey and the mailman comes into the classroom to pick Forgetful up.

video iconView Video Clip of the class preparing to send Forgetful off on a trip to another classroom.


talking headBarbara Comments on Story Time

black boardBarbara's Daily Schedule

school busBack to the Bus Route

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This material was developed by the National Center to Improve Practice (NCIP)  in collaboration with the Center for Literacy and Disabilities (CLD)  at Duke University.   NCIP was funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs from October 1, 1992 - September 30, 1998, Grant #H180N20013.  Permission is granted to copy and disseminate this information.  If you do so, please cite NCIP.   Contents do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of Education, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by CLD, NCIP, EDC, or the U.S. Government.  This site was last updated in September 1998. 

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