Reading Comprehension
The Neuroscience of Joyful Learning
Great article on Neurological-based learning. Go to the "RAD lessons for the classroom" section. In a nutshell, RAD focuses on three principles:
Novelty promotes information transmission
Stress-free classrooms
Pleasurable associations linked with learning

Books and Literacy
Finding a book and making it accessible is key to engaging in the RAD principles. For example, a fourth grade classroom could be assigned to read Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, a text that could be daunting for some struggling readers. Enter The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco.

Novelty promotes information transmission through the Reticular activating system. The following resources provide a novel way to engage learners to read and promote literacy.
Voice Thread - This is a free online tool that allows users to collaborate and share images, documents and videos with their peers. Users can leave comments in five different ways: using voice on microphone,using voice on telephone, with text, as an audio-file or video. The final product can be imbedded onto other websites or exported to mp3 or DVD for archival purposes.
Into The Book - This is an interactive website using 8 research-based strategies for reading comprehension. The eight resources are: using prior knowledge, making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, summarizing, evaluating and synthesizing. The Teacher section provides lesson plans, exploration of 8 strategies and a list of recommended books for students based on each strategy.

Stress-free classrooms
Stress-free classrooms propel data through the Amygdala's affective filter. The following resources are able to be imbedded into the Microsoft Word 2003 toolbar to promote stress-free reading and literacy.
Word Talk - This is a free text-to-speech plug-in for Microsoft Word. It will speak the text of the document and will highlight it as it goes. t contains a talking dictionary to help decide which word spelling is most appropriate.
Text to Speech on Apple Computers: Using the "Speech" option under System Profiler users can interact with documents and web browsers with literacy support. (Image link will take you to an article on speech recognition on a MAC)

image links to site on speech recognition on macs

Pleasurable Associations Linked with Learning
Pleasurable associations linked with learning are more likely to release more Dopamine. The following resource allows learners to make creative links to the book(s) they've been reading.
Aaron Shepard Reader's Theater - Students can create a mini-play based on the book they've been reading, for example a mini-play on The Butterfly and upload a video or audio clip of that play onto Voice Thread .
Photo Peach - This site allows users to take images and turn them into a film, creating the ability for learners to re-tell the story they've been reading.

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