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Read the Words

What it is: Read the Words is a free website that offers an audio player that will read anything you want. The Reader on the audio player can be listened to online, downloaded to a mp3 player, broadcasted as a podcast, or posted on a website or blog. The first step to creating your reader is selecting what you want read, this can be uploaded from a PDF, MS Word, HTML file, or input manually, cut and pasted, through RSS or URL. Step 2 is selecting a reader for your purposes, there are 14 readers to choose from. The readers speak English, Spanish, and French. Each reader has unique voices and some have accents. You can control the reader’s speed and pitch. Best of all it takes approximately one minute to generate an hour long recording. How to integrate Read the Words into the classroom: Read the Words would be an excellent way to guide a webquest for students, create a reader to steer students through each activity in the webquest. If you have mp3 players available for checkout, create a reader for guided reading. These can be used in class during silent reading time or checked out for home use so that the student learning day can be extended. The readers would be excellent for history or science reading where vocabulary can be challenging. Read the Words is perfect for your auditory learners and because you can have text that is already in your lesson read, the differentiation for these students is short and sweet. Read the Words would also be great for English language learners or for English speakers learning Spanish or French. Tips: Take some time initially to listen to each of the readers. Choose the one that is easiest for your students to understand and best fits your purposes. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Read the Words in your classroom.

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How to Do Research Interactive Graphic

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 29-03-2012

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What it is:  The research process can be a hard one for kids to master.  As a student, I remember thinking that it was a long process of random steps that were supposed to somehow come together as a completed project. I was constantly convinced that I would forget one of those steps and the whole thing would come crashing down around me.  I’ve seen this same behavior in our students at Anastasis. We mention the word research, and we are met instantly with groans.  Kids don’t really dislike research though, they do it all the time voluntarily.  Kids want to know how to be masters at parkour and they immediately search YouTube and Google for videos, tips, blogs, etc. to learn all about it.  Kids hear someone talk about dub step and will go through videos and connect with others who know about dub step.  They didn’t believe me when I told them this is research.  The Kentucky virtual library has a great interactive that leads kids through the research process step-by-step and lets them dig deeper into the portions that they don’t understand.  It has a fun game board-like interface so that it isn’t intimidating for kids to go through.  Every step of the process is covered from initial planning, to searching for information, to taking notes, to using the information, reporting and evaluating.  I’m not a stickler for this process happening exactly as it is described, but I appreciate that the site gives students a starting point so they aren’t so overwhelmed with the “research beast.”

How to integrate How to do Research Interactive Graphic into the classroom: The How to do Research Interactive Graphic is a great site to keep bookmarked and available for easy access for students throughout the school year.  Any time they are faced with the daunting task of performing a research project, they can access the interactive graphic.  Whenever your students are working on research, set up your classroom computers as a “research station” where students can perform searches online and access this graphic.  The interactive graphic will keep your students moving when they are feeling overwhelmed and stumped and provide a great foundation for conducting research.
The graphic is also a great way to introduce students to the research process.  Using an interactive whiteboard, or projector-connected computer, you can lead students through the process, explaining specific areas of focus for the project or your classroom.  I like that this site doesn’t just focus on the research paper, but shows students that research can have a variety of outcomes.
Tips: Within the graphic, there are pages that you can print out for your students.  Check out the notes section for an example of this.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using How to do Research Interactive Graphic in  your classroom!

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