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Tar Heel Reader

What it is: Tar Heel Reader is an excellent website that is “a collection of free, easy-to-read, and accessible books on a wide range of topics. Each book can be speech enabled and accessed using multiple interfaces (i.e. switches, alternative keyboards, touch screens, and dedicated AAC devices). The books may be downloaded as slide shows in PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash format.”  There are hundreds of books on a variety of topics.  In addition to the ready-made books, you and your students can create your own Tar Heel Readers.  Students can add pictures to their readers from Flickr or by uploading their own images.  Each of the stories can be read silently, or read to students with a child, male, or female voice (computer). How to integrate Tar Heel Reader into the classroom:  Tar Heel Reader is a great place for beginning or struggling readers and English language learners.  Each of the stories has the option to be read silently or read aloud.  Use Tar Heel Reader to create custom stories to motivate your struggling readers.  You can include pictures of people they know, subjects they love, and make them a character in the story.  The stories can be read online or downloaded in multiple formats.  Because the stories can be downloaded as PowerPoint presentations, they can be opened in Apple’s Keynote and put on an iPod (Nano, Classic, or Touch) for mobile reading.  Students will love searching the Flickr collection and creating their own stories on Tar Heel Reader.  Older students can create books for younger grades describing science concepts (think weather, food chain, plant cycle, etc.).  This is also a great site for students to use during National Poetry month (April) to create poetry.  Use Tar Heel Readers as a ‘big book’ that your class can read together using an interactive whiteboard or a projector.  Set up a reading listening center during silent reading time with Tar Heel Reader on your classroom computers.     Tips: Create a favorites page for your students.  Although the site has been created for beginning readers, some books may be inappropriate for your students.  There is a section of books for teens that are beginning readers.  Note: to create a book of your own you will need to register for free.  You will need an invitation code.  I requested a code in the comment section and got a response within 10 minutes of my comment.  You can send me a request Tweet http://twitter.com/ktenkely and I will send you an invitation code.   I learned about this site from Larry Ferazzlo’s excellent blog.  Thanks for highlighting this great site Larry!   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Tar Heel Reader in your classroom.

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Lookybook

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 11-06-2008

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What it is: Lookybook is amazing me today. This site, still in Beta version, is a place where kids can go to read and view picture book in their entirety. These are quality picture books such as “Alphabeasts” by Wallace Edwards and Franklin books by Paulette Bougeois. After a book has been read, it can be reviewed, rated, shared and put on a virtual bookshelf (Shelfari style), you can also purchase the book directly from this site. The site is simple to use and navigate and registration is completely free. I am so impressed, before I could write this post I spammed all of my teacher friends with this website! :) Seriously, you should go take a look right now and then come back and finish reading my post..it’s okay, I won’t hold it against you!

How to integrate Lookybook into the classroom: I can think of about a million applications of a site like Lookybook in the classroom. It is truly like having a virtual library of picture books right in your classroom, but best of all, your students have the same library when they go home!! Lookybook can become part of your classroom library of books, books can be read by the whole class using a projector (no more “I can’t see the pictures!”). The ability to review and rate the book right within Lookybook is wonderful because students learn to share their reactions to a book and discuss with others. Invite students to create their own virtual bookshelves where they can share their very favorite picture books. This is a great site for struggling readers to visit at home with a parent. The possibilities of this site are exciting and I can’t wait to see how the kids end up using it! An added bonus? You bet! Lookybook allows you to embed picture books right into your own blog or webpage. You read right, you can add full versions of the picture books right to your class webpage! I ask you, does it get any better than this?!

Tips: This would be a great site to use with Book Adventure, all of the books I have searched have had quizzes on the reading motivation website.

Leave a comment and share how you are being amazed by and using Lookybook.

Comments (1)

[…] worthy site for me.  Free ebooks with audio you guys!  This site reminds me a little bit of Lookybook…I’m still lamenting its […]

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