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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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Yummy Math! Best Math Blog EVER

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Evaluate, inspiration, Knowledge (remember), Math, Middle/High School, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Websites | Posted on 18-10-2012

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What it is:  Yummy Math is an absolutely fabulous blog/site dedicated to helping students and teachers understand how math is relevant to the world.  What a great mission!  The blog was started 2 years ago…bummed that I am only JUST discovering it.  Brian Marks and Leslie Lewis are the creators of Yummy Math.  They have worked together to make an easy way for teachers to bring real-world math into the classroom.  Math (like everything else) should be taught within a context.  I believe this is key!  When understood in context, students can make connections to their learning and, as a result, really learn it.  The goal here is to engage students in math so that they yearn to reason, think critically, problem solve, question and communicate…in short: DO math!  Each week, multiple activities and ideas are added to the Yummy Math site.  This means that you are in constant supply of real-world math problems for your students to engage in.

Categories include:

  • Algebra
  • Data and Probability
  • Geometry
  • Number Sense
  • Sports
  • Holidays/annual events
  • Math and Science
  • Math and Food
  • Math and Social Studies
  • Math and Art
  • Movies and Entertainment

How to integrate Yummy Math into the classroom: You know that dry math curriculum that you feel TRAPPED by?  Yummy Math exists to free you (and your students) from the endless memorization and unconnected practice.  This is the perfect supplement to any math program.  Use these activities a few times a week to really get your students thinking outside of the (math) box.  These will stretch your students, and help them grow exponentially in their understanding of math and all of the cool things it makes possible.

These are not your typical “real” world word problems.  None of that, if train a is traveling north at x, and train b is traveling south at y what time will they meet? Garbage.  This is…what is the real cost of owning an iPhone 5?   or  The House of Representatives passed a law in 2007 to increase the efficiency of light bulbs, what is the real energy savings that can be realized with CFL and LED.  Not only relevant, but really interesting!

Tips: You know what is EXTRA helpful?  That Yummy Math has already done all the leg work to tell you which Common Core Standards these project are meeting.  Yes. They are awesome!

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Yummy Math  in your classroom.

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