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Oxford Owl: free ebooks (with audio!)

What it is: Oxford Owl is an incredible collection of free children’s ebooks for kids ages 3-11.  Each ebook has accompanying audio so that students can choose to read along, or read independently.  The books also have activities that focus on reading comprehension and story recall.  There are several options for filtering the ebooks so that students can find just the right story including by age, by book type, and by series.  In addition to the ebooks on the site, you can find fun activities and recommendations for each age group, games to print and play, and online games with characters from the books and site. How to integrate Oxford Owl into your classroom:  I am a big fan of books.  Huge even.  It doesn’t matter where they reside, books make me happy.  It makes sense then, that Oxford Owl would be a squeal worthy site for me.  Free ebooks with audio you guys!  This site reminds me a little bit of Lookybook...I’m still lamenting its demise. Oxford Owl is a great way to instantly expand your classroom library.  Books are leveled by age and include both fiction and non-fiction.  You will find biographies, dictionaries, fiction, myths and legends, non-fiction, phonics, picture books, poetry and books for struggling readers.   The stories that I went through were truly fun to read!  Use the books on Oxford Owl during reading time on classroom computers.  Students can choose a book to go through as a read along (SO very helpful when there are students who really need to read with a buddy, but the buddy situation is limited).   If you only have one or two computers in your classroom, get a headphone splitter and let students read together in small groups.  The related activities are a great way for students to self-monitor comprehension.  Students can also read these stories independently.  When I taught 2nd grade, I had a voracious reader who quickly read through all of the classroom books and was ready for more.  He was only allowed to check out from the library once a week (and usually those books went home) so I would have him use Lookybook.  Oxford Owl would open a whole other world of books for them to read! We all have days where a few extra minutes to deal with a problem, set up for the next activity, etc.  Oxford Owl could be connected to your interactive whiteboard or projector for students to listen to a story while you get things sorted.  The whole class can enjoy the story together.  My students loved books on the IWB because they could all see the pictures and read along.  Oxford Owl is also ideal for that time of year when the germs settle in and the voice has gone on strike. One of my favorite things to do in the classroom was reading with small groups of students.  It gave me the opportunity to give them the individual attention that they really deserved and let me get to know them as readers better.  But…what to do with the rest of the class?  I assigned tub work that students could complete independently.  The tubs were centers related to what we were learning during the week.  Each tub contained all the necessary materials that students would need.  This was independent learning they could work on while I was with the small groups.  Oxford Owl would make a great addition to the “tub” work.  Students could visit the computer center and choose some books to read and play the associated games. Tips:  Now for the unfortunate news: Oxford Owl is flash-based.  BOO! Not ideal at all for a classroom full of iPads like we have at Anastasis.  Luckily, there is a solution.  There are several Flash Browsers that you can download for the iPad to view flash content.  My favorite is Rover (because it is filtered and created for kids!).  If your network is well filtered, I would also recommend iSwifter and Photon. P.S. We Give Books is another outstanding place to find free ebooks! P.S.S. Hat Tip to The Techie Classroom- an outstanding blog to add to your reader if it isn’t already there!

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Happy Thanksgiving! – Anyone have a Donor’s Choose Project?

Posted by admin | Posted in Blogs, collaboration, education reform, Grade Level, inspiration, professional development, Teacher Resources | Posted on 24-11-2010

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Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American friends!  For those of you who won’t be celebrating with us in the States, let me assure you that I will eat a piece of pie on your behalf :)

This week has been relatively quite on iLearn Technology as I wrap up projects, start some new projects, and get ready for the holiday.  Just because I have been quite here doesn’t mean that I have been slacking; here is what I have been up to:

  • The Community of Learners Dream Team– my first post on the Cooperative Catalyst blog.
  • In October, I joined @adambellow of edutecher.net in his Change the world campaign.  You can read more about that here: EduTecher Change the World post. I am cheating and calling it a day early so that I can post the results and not have to worry about it tomorrow.  From October 1 to today I have had 54,656 absolute unique visitors to iLearn Technology (according to Google Analytics). Truly amazing!  That works out to $546.56.  Now, like Adam I had to cap my contribution at $400 (teacher who is not employed makes even less than a teacher who is!).  I would love to use my contribution to fund some teacher Donor’s Choose projects.  If you have a project on Donor’s Choose that you would like funded, please leave a comment below.  If I get an overwhelming response, we can put it to a vote.  If anyone would like to donate to help reach the $546.56, or would like to match in any way, please leave a comment.  Help me to fund projects and dreams that will change students lives and make learning a richer experience!

I am truly thankful for all of my readers, you all encourage me regularly!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Comments (23)

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, ktenkely and Adam Bellow, Christina Spiezio. Christina Spiezio said: RT @ShellTerrell: Happy Thanksgiving! – Anyone have a Donor’s Choose Project? http://bit.ly/gzV6nN by @ktenkely #edtech […]

I have 3 art projects on Donors Choose!
Titles are “Sparking Our Imaginations.”
My kids love art but our art supplies are so limited to paper and paint-please give thanks 2 those with a lot less-Title One School: http://bit.ly/9nxcWz

Well, Happy Turkey Day to you too! I would love some funding for an LCD. My school is still in the dark ages. I don’t even have a 1970’s overhead. I will eat some pie and think of you. http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=408037&verify=1454564013
Thanks for the Help!

I have a wonderful project on DC for a set if 5 ipads for my classroom. Bing is offing to match all of my donations so I need only $1300! Please choose me and help my kiddos experience some wonderful new technology!

Thanks for the consideration!
Amy

Sorry! I forgot. “Mission iPad” is the name is my project! Thanks again!
Amy Boecker

I just had a very generous addition of $150 to fund a DC project. Anyone else who would like to donate let me know!

Dear Kelly,

What a generous and thoughtful gift you are offering to teachers!

We create a lot of movies in our classroom and are constantly rerecording or restarting the computer because the internal microphone isn’t reliable. We’re hoping to purchase a microphone through donorschoose.org. Any donation to our project would be appreciated! :-)

Thanks for your consideration and Happy Thanksgiving!

~Linda

http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/search.html?zone=411&community=62:1&school=25689

This is such a generous and wonderful idea. I currently have a proposal on donors choose called “Let’s Get Them Ready Now”.
http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=441764

It is to get 2 ipods for pre-k students for digital learning.
Happy Thanksgiving!

My project is for my second graders to get some habitats for live critters in the classroom. We have less than $100 left but the deadline is looming! We would appreciate any donations! Life Science Lives Here! http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=409236
Thanks for the great inspiration. I subscribe via e-mail and use your suggestions frequently in class as well as after school with my 6th-8th grade program!

I have a project that I would love to have funded for 4 ipod touches. There are so many applications for education that would help my low income and ESL students to succeed and also help gain more technology in the classroom for my students. My goal is to get enough for every student. They all deserve an education that fun, exciting, and helps them to be the best they can be. I need all the help I can get. Please help!!!

I would like to nominate my grade 6 classroom for much needed technology. As I live in Canada I am not eligible to apply for Donor’s Choice which is so disappointing. I haven’t been able to find any grants…Currently, for technology my class has an overhead projector, but I have been loaned an older projector which I connect to my personal laptop. I would love a document camera, a Tablet PC, and a Flip or similar-type video camera to bring my classroom alive. Thank you so much for considering my request.

My cousin Emily is a hard-working teacher in NYC. She always has a project going at Donor’s Choose. Here is the link to her page.
http://www.donorschoose.org/emilygduncan?utm_source=dc&utm_campaign=facebook&utm_medium=tp&utm_content=teachergotdonation

Thanks!

I would love to receive a document camera in my class. I am not eligible to register for Donor’s Choice as I live in Canada, sniff, sniff…

My wife and I are both teachers, and I’ve been fortunate to have had 29 of my proposals funded. My wife is a DonorsChoose newbie this year and has had 2 projects funded. Her current project is to get some Tag Readers into her classroom. http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=467363 LeapFrog is matching the donations, so she is more than half-way completed. Thanks!

I have had the pleasure of meeting Steve Bergen, one of the founders of Tech International Charter School. With an emphasis on technology and international connections they are looking to open the doors to education to immigrant families, English language learners and special education students. Please check them out at http://www.ticharter.org/. Thank you for doing so much to give back to students!

Wow, thank you all for sending in your projects:
1. I can see we are going to have to put this to a vote!
2. Anyone else who would like to donate/match to these projects?

[…] before Thanksgiving I announced that I was using the money from my Change the world project to help fund a (some) Donor’s […]

“I hate reading!” A dagger to my heart that I hear from many of my incoming middle school students. How do you get non-readers to read? Enter technology… namely Ipod touches. My Donor’s Choose project seeks to purchase 3 IPOD touch’s to drive motivate students to read for the love of reading. Here is our link:
http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=421611

How will we use the IPODS?

Want books to come alive? I mean literally alive? Watch our students claymation videos of their favorite books having a book-shelf conversation. See the videos here:
http://book-space.com/viewtopic.php?f=31&t=720
Don’t miss the best picture award…. Harry Potter Meets Twlight!

Each week my students record book pitches to their friends using Voicethread.com here is a recent example
http://voicethread.com/share/1501628/
Students will be able to use the IPODs to listen to and share this reading podcasts. Last week 75% of my students found at least 1 new book to read from the audio book pitches. One student found 5!

This is just a tiny taste of what will happen with the addition of new technology to our classroom. Thanks for all your support!
-Mike Cohen
Windy Ridge K-8 School
Orlando, Florida

I would love for part of my project to be funded. I am a third year teacher who strives to put tech into all of my students learning especially in terms of literacy. We are requesting two voice recorders and the link to our donors choose page is http://www.donorschoose.org/twt-p/477046 .

Thanks for all you do in this blog, it is an amazing resource and you are an inspiration for many teachers! Thanks Kelly!

I would love funding help! I am having difficulty getting donations and would appreciate a donation as well as any funding tips!

http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=464774

[…] unique visitor that I had on iLearn Technology in a little over a month.  Right before Thanksgiving I announced the amount I would be donating ($400) and have since received some generous donations to add to […]

I know this blog post is a bit old, but I was researching some ways of getting DonorsChoose projects funded and came across this post. I actually follow your blog and at the time didn’t have a project up. If you have any suggestions from ways to earn funding (or even just a shout out on Twitter), please let me know. I will be very appreciative!

I really want to try and get my project funded for a MacBook and iPod touches for my students. I recently went to the Apple Learning Tour and I’m on fire to have my students work with garage band and the iLife suites, but my district has no Apple Products.

Thanks Jason, I’ll work on helping you get funding. You know I love a Mac centric project :)

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