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What it is: Literactive is an outstanding website for reading material for pre-school, kindergarten, and first grade.  The program is made up of leveled guided readers, comprehensive phonics activities, and supplemental reading material that is aimed at developing reading skills in a sequential, motivating manner.  To use and view the site is free.  To download material you are required to register but registration is also free.  The guided readers are fully animated and each comes with a breakdown of every word in the stories.  The Road to Reading is an interactive journey for students that moves them sequentially though pre-reading activities, alphabet awareness, letter sounds, short vowels, CVC word blending, initial blends, long vowels, and various phonic activities.  There are over one hundred learning activities that can be used for individual or whole class use that can be downloaded for free.  Worksheets are available in pdf format that correlate with each reading skill.  An ESL version is offered for each guided reader, stories can be translated with the click of a mouse.  E-picture books tell traditional tales for early readers and e poetry is a collection of interactive poetry including poems by Rober Louis Stevenson, Edgar Allen Poe, Edward Lear, and more.  The Literactive website is packed full with reading activities for primary students that will have them on the road to reading!     How to integrate Literactive into the classroom:  Literactive is a complete reading program that should be included in any primary classroom.  I am amazed at the comprehensive list of activities, stories, and scope and sequence of this program.  Because activities are downloaded, after having downloaded them your computer does not need an Internet connection to use them.  Use Literactive as a daily reading center, individually in the computer lab setting, or for whole class instruction and reading.  The activities on Literactive are highly motivating and provide an excellent foundation for reading.     Tips: Register for free today and transform your classroom into a reading-rich environment for your beginning readers!  Thank you to @annemarie80 who sent a Tweet about this site!   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Literactive in your classroom. window.google_render_ad();

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Podcast Summit

Posted by admin | Posted in Language Arts, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Spelling, Teacher Resources | Posted on 20-02-2008

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As promised I want to share some of the incredible uses of podcasting in the classroom that I heard at the Colorado Podcast Summit yesterday. One of the keynote speakers was ISTE Primary Teacher of the Year Carol Greig. Her Keynote entitled “Podcasting for the Struggling Reader” was truly inspiring. Carol teaches kindergarten in the Eugene School District in Oregon, here she started a podcasting program for her struggling readers called Reading Buddies. The Reading Buddies program uses several iPod shuffles that are loaded with reading lessons (created and recorded by Carol) that go home with the students. Carol said something that I think rings true with educators everywhere, “No one can teach my students as well as I can.” Reading Buddies allowed Carol to go home with her students every night using the iPod. The goal of the Reading Buddies program was to help struggling readers reach the benchmark. Carol loaded the iPods with reading lessons based on the individual child’s needs, this provided guided learning at home with and extended student learning. In the Reading Buddies packs Carol included vocabulary picture cards which she created, fluency cards, a book or two and the iPod Shuffle. A sample lesson might sound something like this: “Take out the green picture card. What picture do you see first? That’s right, a cat! Cat starts with the letter C. Cat, Cat. What is the next picture?” Carol pauses after a question so that the students have time to think and respond. The Reading Buddies program helps kids with vocabulary, fluency, alphabetic principal, rhyming, phoneme segmentation, and literature. The iPod “buddies” have been a huge success with 99% of students reaching the reading benchmark by the end of the year. Carol started getting calls from parents requesting that their student be a part of the Reading Buddy program, parents and other educators in the district started offering help to create the recordings for the Reading Buddies. At the end of the first year a parent called to thank her for the wonderful program and things it had done for her son, but she also benefited. After her son went to bed, the mother would listen to the reading buddy and follow along, she learned English by listening to her kindergarten son’s Reading Buddy! There are some good rules that were set up for the students who have reading buddies, each child was told that only the child who was given the Reading Buddy was allowed to use it, if a Buddy was lost or broken the students family was responsible for replacing it. It is a privelege that can be taken away if the Buddies were not cared for. They have never had to take a Buddy away or replace one that was lost or broken by a student. The future of the Reading Buddies program includes expansion to other grades, older students could have their anthologies or science text recorded on the Shuffle. The Reading Buddies program won the presidential award for reading and technology…it is easy to see why!

The new iPod Nano would be great to use as a reading buddy because students could have audio and visual presented. The Shuffles are nice because they are so affordable (the 1G just dropped to $49 yesterday!) I am hoping to get a Reading Buddy Program up and running at my school. I will keep you posted with any success stories or lessons learned!

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[…] and help students develop a love for story.  Books Should Be Free is a great way to start a Reading Buddies program at your school with some MP3 players or iPods that can go home with students loaded up with […]

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