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Lit2Go

What it is: Lit2Go is a FREE online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format from Florida’s Educational Technology Clearinghouse.  With Lit2Go teachers and students can download files to an iPod or Mp3 player, listen to the Mp3 files on the computer, view the text on a webpage and read along with the audio, and print out the stories and poems to create a customized book.  Lit2Go can be searched by author, tiltle, or searched via the database (by authro, keywords, title, or reading level).  Each reading passage can be downloaded as a PDF and printed for use as a read-along or supplemental reading material for your classroom.  Many of the selections can be downloaded directly to your iTuens library making it a simple transfer to one or many iPods.     How to integrate Lit2Go into the classroom:  Lit2Go is a fabulous resource for all readers, but is especially valuable for struggling readers.  Set up a Lit2Go listening center in your classroom.  You can either download the audio to a Mp3 player or let the students listen from the computer.  Each audio file has a PDF text version that can be downloaded and printed out as a read along.  If students are listening from the computer they can also view the text online.  Lit2Go would be a great help for a reading buddy program.  Send your struggling readers home with a Mp3 player loaded with level appropriate stories or poems and the PDF print out.  Students can practice reading anywhere, even if a parent or sibling isn’t available to read with them.  Reading levels range from .10 to 53.  You are sure to find something for every student!  This is an easy way to help differentiate instruction.   Tips: Search Lit2Go in the iTunes store or visit the Lit2Go website to get started.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Lit2Go in your classroom.

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Playfic: create, play and remix text-based games

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, History, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-01-2013

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What it is: Playfic is a site that let’s users create, play and remix online text-based games.  I may have lost some of you already…but don’t leave yet! A text-based game is a genre of game that uses no graphics or sound, but instead, uses text to tell a story in an interactive world.  Think of a choose your own adventure tech-style.  Students can create a story that others can interact with by directing the story using words and phrases.  As an example, the story might be about a forest, describing what you can see East, West, North and South.  The player would type in a direction “East”, hit the return key, and the story progresses.  You can try out a sample text-based game here.

How to integrate Playfic into the classroom: Playfic has all kinds of good stuff for classrooms.  To create a story, students must first learn a little bit of coding.  Tutorials are included on the Playfic site, and are easy enough to get your students up and running in no time.  There is even a link to an Inform 7 (coding language) recipe book that will have your students dreaming up new scenarios and actively researching how to make them come to life.  Students can create games for each other while strengthening their writing and grammar skills.  This is wonderful for fictitious writing, but could also be used for students to explore “what ifs” in history and science.  Students can take a moment in time and dream up what might have been different about the world if the event hadn’t happened the way that it had.  As they are researching and learning about the actual event, they will also be analyzing why the event is important and critically thinking about it’s impact on the world we live in.  Similarly, students could explore a science experiment, hypothesizing what will happen and the different outcomes that might occur.

Teachers could create these choose your own adventure stories for students for new learning or review of a topic.  Wouldn’t it be cool to have a story using sight word vocabulary that prompted practice with the sight words?

I know a handful of students who really struggle with writing…it is PAINFUL.  These students are brilliant. They have great ideas to share. One of the students I have in mind came up to me today and said, “over break I taught myself Lua (programming language).”  Students like these will be all over this type of writing.  What a cool way to engage them and excite them about the writing process in a new way.

One of the things that I really like about Playfic is that it takes a lot of planning, organizing, and thought to create this type of story.  For some students the planning/organizing portion of writing is a real struggle.  This site would be so useful in teaching students the importance of those steps.  I also love that it will have them researching and looking up solutions for how to make their ideas come to life.  Just like we do every day in the “real world.”

Tips: The Inform 7 Recipe book can be found here. 

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

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