Learning Ally Blog: Access and Achievement

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Now more than ever, people with learning and visual disabilities are flourishing in the classroom, launching productive careers and becoming assets in their communities. This blog spotlights remarkable individuals who demonstrate that having a visual or print disability is no barrier to educational success.


Great Start Audiobooks Grades K-5
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August 23, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

Our volunteers, who are subject matter experts and voice-over artist, spend hours recording our audiobooks to secure the right for all students to learn and out of their love for reading and education. It's the human-narration of our audiobooks that provides an added advantage to our members. Here at Learning Ally we use terms like prosody and fluency to discuss a struggling reader's need to hear tone, pitch, stress, and timing to support content absorption and ensure that your child is not just reading but also learning. 

Here's a list of audiobooks that we recommend for K-5 grade level readers to help you get started with your Learning Ally membership have been newly recorded and added to our library.  Enjoy!

 

Jack and the Beanstalk

Lexile Level: AD660L

Synopsis
Join young Jack as he climbs a giant beanstalk to a magic castle in the clouds. Meet a hen that lays golden eggs and a harp that sings by itself. And don't forget the ogre. A classic fairy tale with a vigorous look that will leave you chanting "Fee-fi-fo-fum!"


 

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Manthchev

Lexile:AD490L

Synopsis
When the local Pet Club won’t admit a boy’s tiny pet elephant, he finds a solution—one that involves all kinds of unusual animals in this sweet and adorable picture book. Today is Pet Club day. There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed. The Pet Club doesn’t understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. Now it is time for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend. Imaginative and lyrical, this sweet story captures the magic of friendship and the joy of having a pet.


 

Horton and the Kwuggerbug and More Lost Stories
by Dr. Seuss

Lexile: AD650L
Synopsis
A new Dr. Seuss book! This follow-up to The Bippolo Seed and Other Lost Stories features familiar Seussian faces and places--including Horton the Elephant, Marco, Mulberry Street, and a Grinch--as well as an introduction by renowned Seuss scholar Charles D. Cohen. Seuss fans will learn more about Horton's integrity, Marco's amazing imagination, a narrowly avoided disaster on Mullbery Street, and a devious Grinch. With a color palette enhanced beyond that of the magazines in which the stories originally appeared, this new volume of "lost" tales is a perfect gift for young readers and a must-have for Seuss collectors of all ages!


 

Voices from the Oregon Trail by Kay Winters

Lexile: 520L
Synopsis
It’s 1848, and brave families band together in covered wagons to head west. Each spread introduces a different speaker to tell his or her part of the story: there’s Carl Hawks, son of the wagon train leader; Louisa Bailey, the newlywed; Chankoowashtay, a Sioux brave; and more. Like its acclaimed predecessor Colonial Voices, this book showcases a thrilling—and often dangerous—time in our history. Richly detailed illustrations bring the story of the great Westward Expansion to vivid life.


 

Mr. Granite Is From Another Planet! by Dan Gutman; Jim Paillot (Illustrator)l

Lexile Level: 580L
Synopsis
It's the start of a new school year, and A.J.'s third-grade teacher, Mr. Granite, is out of this world! He's a supergenius who talks weird, acts weird, and looks weird. He knows everything. Is he a computer posing as a person, or does he come from another planet?


 

I Survived the Hindenburg Disaster 1937 by Lauren Tarshis

Lexile: 700L
Synopsis
In May of 1937, the Hindenburg, a massive German airship, caught fire while attempting to land in New Jersey, killing 35 people. Lauren Tarshis's latest thrilling addition to the New York Times bestselling I Survived series, will feature an 11-year-old boy in the middle of this historic disaster..


 

El Deafo by Cece Bell

Lexile: GN420L

Synopsis
A 2015 Newbery Honor Book Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful--and very awkward--hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear--sometimes things she shouldn't--but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become "El Deafo, Listener for All." And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she's longed for.


 

Serafina and the Twisted Staff by Robert Beatty

Lexile: 870L
Synopsis
Serafina's defeat of the Man in the Black Cloak has brought her out of the shadows and into the daylight realm of her home, Biltmore Estate. Every night she visits her mother in the forest, eager to learn the ways of the cat amount. But Serafina finds herself caught between her two worlds: she's too wild for Biltmore's beautifully dressed ladies and formal customs, and too human to fully join her kin.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 240,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

Read More about Great Start Audiobooks Grades K-5

Audiobooks to Movies: Christopher Robin
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August 6, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. – Christopher Robin

 

Christopher RobinsDon’t you love when Hollywood turns our most favorite childhood stories into big blockbusters? Maybe not. Lucky for us, Disney’s new film Christopher Robin answers the question, “Whatever happened to Christopher Robin?”.

 

The new movie follows Christopher Robin to adulthood, having him not only miss his beloved childhood friends, Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Tiger, & Eyore, but also remind him of the loving and playful boy who is still inside.

Rotten Tomato Audience Score 92% liked it!

Before you go see the movie, our volunteers have recorded a few audiobooks that you all can read-a-loud and enjoy and you too will wonder, "What happend to Christopher Robin and the child within us?"

 

Winnie

Synopsis
The True Story of the Bear Who Inspired Winnie-the-Pooh
Who could care for a bear?When Harry Colebourn saw a baby bear for sale at the train station, he knew he could care for it.

 

Winnie-the-Pooh

Synopsis
Since 1926, Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends—Piglet, Owl, Tigger, and the ever doleful Eeyore—have endured as the unforgettable creations of A.A. Milne, who wrote this book for his son, Christopher Robin, and Ernest H. Shepard, who lovingly gave Pooh and his companions shape. These characters and their stories are timeless treasures of childhood that continue to speak to all of us with the kind of freshness and heart that distinguishes true storytelling.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 370,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

Read More about Audiobooks to Movies: Christopher Robin

#Stopcyberbullyingday - Audiobook Recommendations
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June 13, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

Cyberbullying Day is an international awareness day encouraging people from around the world to show their commitment toward a truly inclusive and diverse online environment for all, without fear of personal threats, harassment or abuse. Our students are plagued with this new type of cyber threat and we are committed in spreading the word and educating adults and students about how to avoid being bullied and to take a more positive and supportive tone when chatting with peers online.

To help you create an informed conversation about bullying we've selected a few good reads for you and your students to enjoy.

 

CyberBullying

Synopsis
Before the advent of the widespread use of the internet, bullying was confined to school grounds, classrooms, and backyards. Now, the virulence of bullying has taken on new meaning, as bullies take to the web to intimidate, harrass, embarrass, and offend others. Through email, cell phones, text messaging, and social networking sites, bullies can carry out their bullying in many cases without ever having to confront their victims, and often without consequence.


 

Cyberbullying in a digital age

Synopsis
Cyberbullying has become more prevalent through the use of e-mail, instant messages, chat rooms, and other digital messaging systems. It brings with it unique challenges. Cyber Bullying provides the most current and essential information on the nature and prevalence of this epidemic, providing educators, parents, psychologists and policy-makers with critical prevention techniques and strategies for effectively addressing electronic bullying.


 

A Smart Kid's Guide to Online Bullying

Synopsis
Online bullying has become a serious problem for America's children and teens. Readers will learn how to identify bullies online, how to deal with them, and how to avoid becoming bullies themselves.


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 300,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

Read More about #Stopcyberbullyingday - Audiobook Recommendations

Audiobook Library Suggestions (April) - Literature
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May 10, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

Human-narrated audiobooks truly make the difference in ensuring a student engages with and comprehends the books that they're reading.  Our volunteers spend hours recording these books to secure the rights for all students to learn and out of their love for reading and education. Here's a list of audiobooks that have been newly recorded and added to our library.  Enjoy!

 

Alexander Hamilton

Grade Level: 12+

Synopsis
In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, National Book Award winner Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”


 

Amelia to Zora

Lexile:AD1040L

Synopsis
From Amelia Earhart, pilot and adventurer, to Zora Neal Hurston, writer and anthropologist, readers learn about the hardships and triumphs of 26 amazing women and discover what inspired each one to change the world around her.


 

Cabin Fever

Grade 3-7
Synopsis
Greg Heffley is in big trouble. School property has been damaged, and Greg is the prime suspect. But the crazy thing is, he’s innocent. Or at least sort of. The authorities are closing in, but when a surprise blizzard hits, the Heffley family is trapped indoors. Greg knows that when the snow melts he’s going to have to face the music, but could any punishment be worse than being stuck inside with your family for the holidays?


 

Dog's Best Friend

Grade Level: 3-7
Synopsis
Releasing the same month as the MIDDLE SCHOOL movie, this next installment of James Patterson's hit series has non-stop laughs starring everyone's favorite underdog.


 

Fourth Stall

Grade Level: 3-7
Synopsis
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid" meets "The Sopranos" in this fresh, funny debut novel--an offer no tween can refuse.


 


The Giver

Grade Level: 7-12
Synopsis
Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12 he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.


 

The Education of Richard Rodriguez

Lexile: 920L
Hunger of Memory is the story of Mexican-American Richard Rodriguez, who begins his schooling in Sacramento, California, knowing just 50 words of English, and concludes his university studies in the stately quiet of the reading room of the British Museum.


 

Invisible Man

Grade Level: 12+
Synopsis
A Science Fiction Classic: From the twentieth century's first great practitioner of the novel of ideas comes a consummate masterpiece of science fiction about a man trapped in the terror of his own creation.


 

Outcast United

Synopsis
The extraordinary tale of a refugee youth soccer team and the transformation of a small American town Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones—from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. 


 

Tales from the Odyssey Part 2

Grade Level: 3-6
Synopsis
Part Two includes: Book Four: "The Gray-Eyed Goddess," Book Five: "Return toIthaca," and Book Six: "The Final Battle."


About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 240,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

Read More about Audiobook Library Suggestions (April) - Literature

National Poetry Month: Featured Audiobook Titles
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April 23, 2018 by Jhara Navalo

National Poetry Month was started by the Academy of American Poets in 1996. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world celebrating poetry’s vital place in our culture. Poetry's rhythmic style and playful way of learning how to hear the syllables within words supports reading fluency. Breaking down words into smaller chunks aids in content comprehension, helping your child see the patterns within language and improve skills in ‘sounding out’ words. We hope you enjoy this list of audiobooks we put together for you to introduce poetry to your child and get them reading.

 

What A Day It Was At School

Grade Level: K-5
When your science homework eats your dog, you spend lunch dodging flying food, and your backpack weighs a thousand pounds, you know you've got a great answer to the question, “What did you do at school today?”


 

Shout! Little Poems That Roar

Grade Level: K-3
This vibrant collection of twenty-one poems celebrates the joys (snack time!) and pitfalls (2 + 2 = 23?) of childhood. Brod Bagert's often silly, always winsome poems cover everything from the seasons and the stars to finger paint and kids who quack.


 

A Poem In Your Pocket

Grade Level: K-3
Usher in National Poetry Month with Mr. Tiffin and his students, stars of the hugely popular How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? and The Apple Orchard Riddle.


 

The Raven And Other Favorite Poems

Grade Level: 9 an up
Features 41 of Poe's most memorable poems — among them "The Bells," "Ulalume," "Israfel," "To Helen," "The Conqueror Worm," "Eldorado" and "Annabel Lee" — reveal the extraordinary spectrum of Poe's personality and his virtuoso command of poetic language, rhythms and figures of speech. Alphabetic lists of titles and first lines.


 

The Charge Of The Light Brigade And Other Poems

Grade Level: 9 an up
Treasury of verse by the great Victorian poet includes the famous long narrative poem, Enoch Arden, plus "The Lady of Shalott," "The Charge of the Light Brigade," "Break, break, break," "Flower in the crannied Wall" and more. Also included are excerpts from three longer works: The Princess, "Maud" and "The Brook."


 

The Best Poems Ever

Grade Level: 7-9
Just in time for National Poetry Month, a fantastic collection of some of the best poems ever. These are some of the most amazing poems ever written, touching the heart, challenging the mind, and conjuring worlds of experience and imagination.


 

A Time To Dance

Grade Level: 7 and up
Padma Venkatraman s inspiring story of a young girl s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form.


 

Under The Mesquite

Grade Level: 7 and up
Lupita, a budding actor and poet in a close-knit Mexican American immigrant family, comes of age as she struggles with adult responsibilities during her mother's battle with cancer. A novel in verse.


 

Where The Sidewalk Ends

Grade Level: 4 and up
Shel Silverstein's masterful collection of poems and drawings is at once outrageously funny and profound.


 

Full Cicada Moon

Grade Level: 3-7
This historical middle-grade novel is told in poems from Mimi's perspective over the course of one year in her new town, and shows readers that positive change can start with just one person speaking up.


 

The Mouse Of Amherst

Grade Level: 3-7
Inspired, Emmaline writes her own first poem and secretly deposits it on Emily's desk. Emily answers with another poem, and a lively exchange begins. In this charming and fanciful introduction to Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Spires demonstrates the power of poetry to express our deepest feelings, while Claire A. Nivola's delicate pencil drawings capture the intricacies of life in Emily's world.


 

The President's Stuck In The Bathtub

Grade Level: 3-7
In The President's Stuck in the Bathtub, the lives of the presidents are served up as fact-filled and fanciful poems that will make you laugh, cringe, and gasp with amazement at the colorful cast of men and women who have lived in the White House.

About Learning Ally

Learning Ally is a leading nonprofit ed-tech organization delivering a comprehensive learning solution for struggling readers in elementary, middle and high schools. Our proven solution includes the most extensive library of human-read audiobooks that students want and need to read both at home and at school. This reading experience helps accelerate learning, enables a new level of access to knowledge and powerfully increases confidence and self-belief.

Learning Ally empowers over 240,000 students with improved comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, and critical thinking skills. For over 70 years, we have helped transform the lives of struggling readers by bridging the gap between their reading capability and their academic potential as they confidently become lifelong learners who thrive in school and beyond.

Learn More About Becoming a Learning Ally Member

Read More about National Poetry Month: Featured Audiobook Titles

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