enhancing readability

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Enhancing Readability. Using the COLA strategy Dr. kathy rotter Assistant Professor, The college of New jersey rotter@tcnj.edu. What types of things do you make that kids read?. Writing on Board Handouts Tests Study guides Lab guides Bulletin Boards. Where did it come from?. COLA. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


Enhancing Readability

Using the COLA strategy

Dr. kathy rotterAssistant Professor, The college of New jerseyrotter@tcnj.edu

Enhancing Readability1Writing on BoardHandoutsTestsStudy guidesLab guidesBulletin Boards

What types of things do you make that kids read?2Where did it come from?3COLAContrastOrientationLetteringArtwork4What color do you prefer?Can you read this well? How about this?Or this?Or this?

5Changing colors6Without contrast the lines are pushed together in a manner that makes it very hard to read the material put on the page. Without space, there is very little contrast. Space around the words makes them easier to read.

With space, it is easier to read the information you need!7Even the space between letters can effect the speed of your reading.A condensed font is harder to read.A spread out font can slow you down as well.

8When underlining you must be careful as the shape of the words can be shaped by the line. You must also be careful of use of bold in that it draws so much attention to itself!9Without clear borders it is very hard to read info. Borders help contain the eye and make reading easier. Borders also help students with reading difficulties locate the info they need to finish their work.10ContrastBlack on white is best contrastPlenty of white spaceColor is in clear contrast yellow is the enemy!Underlining issuesBold issuesClear crisp borders11Read this please!tomato


somebodyrunning12OrientationAll info moves top to bottom, left to rightImportant info is at top left positionMaterials aligned leftClear visual path13A font can be very interesting to see but not as much fun to read.Cursive writing is especially hard for students to read. By age twelve, most people have evolved into their own unique handwriting which is a combination of cursive and print, making their handwriting even hard to read than this. a, a, a, a, ap, b, d, qelephant vs. ELEPHANT

14I really hate it when a teacher uses an overhead that is too small to read from the back of the class. If you copy a page onto an overhead, it will be too small to read.

Italics impact reading speed.You read faster without them!

Changing fonts midway slows reading.15LetteringPrinted, never cursiveFont choiceOne fontBig enough to read at viewing distanceUse upper and lower case, not all capsAvoid italics16ArtworkUsed to support infoNot just to be pretty!Not too busy or distractingPictures easy to recognize

17Why crowd everything into one corner and leave the rest of the page blank?

If I care about having my pupils read what I write, I need to make the right things bigger!18Use of SpaceInfo makes good use of space availableNo crowding of infoKey points are biggest19General good ideas!Print at all times!Put boxes around key info you want students to find.Watch matching questions as they require diagonal tracking skills.Visuals have real power, use them wisely!

20Cutting the reading demandSimplify directionsNot: Please read the following questions and consider the best possible answer. Mark the correct answer with an X.Yes: Mark the answer with an X.Allow bulleted answers when possibleHighlight key info for those who cant.

21Dont give compound directions. Use bullets. Not: Underline the two main ideas in the story then put a check over the one you think is most important.Yes:Underling the two main ideas.Put a check over the one you think is most important.22Oh and just one more thing!Having pupils copy info from board or overhead. Many of them cant.

Do you want to measure knowledge of the subject, or ability to copy?23Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.

Albert Einstein



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