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57 Ways to Celebrate National Literacy Day

Did you know that today is National Literacy Day?  It is!  I think that literacy is something to celebrate, being literate is a gift I enjoy every day but don’t stop to appreciate nearly enough.  In honor of National Literacy Day, I thought I would share my favorite technology enhanced literacy tools.  In no particular order, here are my favorite ways to celebrate literacy.  What are your favorites? 1.  Save the Words– an excellent site that values language, vocabulary, and words. 2. Grammaropolis– an enchanting site that teaches students parts of speech through character and story. 3. Signed Stories– an online story collection accompanied by British Sign Language, pictures, and sound. 4. Learn Direct– where students can be the star in their own online storybook. 5. Inkless Tales– a literacy website with a beautiful mission statement “You can do anything. Try, try again. Don’t give up. Experiment. Write, draw, explore and more.” 6. Storybird- a beautiful collaborative storytelling website. 7. My English Images– images that illustrate difficult vocabulary and language concepts. 8.  Lexipedia– a visual dictionary and thesaurus. 9.  Tikatok– Students become published authors with Tikatok 10. Free Reading– an open source instructional program to help you teach early literacy. 11. Word World– a great site for kindergarten and first grade letter and word recognition. 12. Reading Rockets– free reading guides for teachers to improve reading achievement of kids. 13. Super Why! – a site that helps kids gain important foundational reading skills such as alphabet, word families, spelling, comprehension, and vocabulary. 14.  Get Ready to Read!– a great site that helps teachers equip children with the basic skills necessary for learning to read. 15. Roy the Zebra– Excellent site for emerging readers. 16. Fable Vision– the beautiful virtual town filled with stories and games. 17. Kidoons– brings time honored tales from the Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Perrault, Thorton Burgess, and more to life. 18.  GameGoo– fun educational games that help students develop reading and language skills. 19. Read Write Think– a collection of online student resources that support literacy learning k-12. 20. Seussville– the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss brought to life. 21. Digital Booktalk– book trailers that will whet your students appetite for a good book. 22. Storybook Web– a website based on popular children’s stories where students can listen to author’s reading excerpts. 23.  Mee Genius– where students can read books, personalize them, and share them with a friend. 24. Stage’d- a tool that helps students tell stories digitally. 25. Kerpoof– where students can create their own storybooks, comics, and movies. 26.  Lightning Bug– “your writing partner, helping you write a story from beginning to THE END.” 27. ePubBud– for publishing your very own ebooks. 28. Magic Treehouse- a wonderful website where students can engage in the popular book series. 29. The Stacks– a wonderful creation by Scholastic that excites students about reading. 30. The World of Peter Rabbit– an absolutely captivating site based on the work of Beatrix Potter. 31.  My Hippo Has the Hiccups– a free poetry ebook by Kenn Nesbitt. 32. Weboword– a visual vocabulary site. 33. National Geographic Young Explorer– non-fiction for the primary classroom from National Geographic. 34.  Online Audio Stories- an impressive collection of free audio stories. 35. Story Nory– another collection of free audio books for kids. 36.  Skratch Track– a virtual bookshelf for primary students. 37.  Picture Book Maker– a place for students to create picture books. 38. Story Cove– a collection of stories from around the world. 39.  Skype an Author Network– connects teachers, students, and authors over Skype. 40.  Word Ahead Vocabulary Videos– animated vocabulary videos. 41.  My Story Maker– a website where students are in charge of the interactive story. 42. Book Wink– an incredible site that motivates students to read through podcasts and web video. 43. Scholastic Story Starters– a tool that generates writing ideas. 44. Telescopic Text– a site that expands a sentence to demonstrate descriptive writing. 45.  The Tale of Despereaux Adventure- a beautiful interactive story book. 46. Literactive- leveled guided readers, comprehensive phonics activities, and supplemental reading material. 47. Pic Lits- a creative writing site based on pictures. 48.  Speakaboos– a collection of online stories and ebooks. 49. Animailia– a site based on the popular book by Graeme Base. 50. Mrs. P’s Magic Library– an absolutely enchanting site that celebrates books and reading. 51.  Free Rice– practice vocabulary while helping others fight hunger. 52. Shelfari– a virtual bookshelf. 53. Read to Feed- Heifer International reading project for kids. 54. Into the Book– an outstanding site that teaches reading strategies for comprehension. 55. Google Lit Trips– exploring literature using Google Earth. 56. Starfall– a must see website for phonics. 57. Book Adventure– a free reading motivation program. But the very best way to celebrate National Literacy Day…read a book!

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DIY: a maker site for kids

Posted by admin | Posted in Anastasis Academy, Art, Character Education, Create, iPod, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 08-03-2013

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What it is: I LOVE everything about this site.  It truly embodies everything I love about learning and technology.  DIY is an online club for kids to earn maker skills.  Kids (otherwise known as Makers) share their creations and work with a larger online community and collect patches for the skills they learn.  Each skill has a set of challenges that help kids learn different techniques and create something fantastic.  When a child completes a maker challenge, they can add photos and video to their online portfolio to show off their creation.  DIY is a website where kids get a public portfolio, an app that they can use to upload videos and pictures of their projects, makers can choose to do challenges to earn “Skills” badges, and a parent dashboard where teachers or parents can follow along on all activity.

Maker identities are always secure, children are asked to choose an animal and a nickname to help protect their privacy. Parents get access to see what their kids are posting online.

I love that this site encourages creativity, reflective portfolios and using technology constructively.  It is an outstanding balance of online and offline activity!

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How to integrate DIY into the classroom: At Anastasis, we strive to encourage a maker community.  We do have a 1:1 iPad environment.  For many, this equates to a technology rich environment (it is) where everything is done or consumed on a device.  I can think of nothing sadder than reducing learning to a device!  We most often use our technology to capture and share our learning.  DIY is a fantastic site that makes way for kids to be curious about the world around them, create something new and use technology to innovate.

DIY is a great place to help students discover the love and joy of being a learner and a creator.  It fosters a classroom culture of innovation and sharing of learning and accomplishment.  So many of the challenges incorporate learning that support standards and other learning that is “required” in the classroom.  These challenges would be great to take on as individual makers, in small groups of makers, or to tackle as a whole class.  Don’t think of DIY as an “extra” thing to add into your classroom routine.  Instead, look through the challenges through the lens of how it can enhance the learning objectives in your classroom.  Embrace the maker culture in your classroom and allow room for creativity and innovation.  The inquiry model of learning lends itself beautifully toward this.  DIY could be the catalyst to making the shift away from more traditional learning and into an inquiry based model.

Tips: Instead of assigning “traditional” homework (read: piles of worksheets), assign a challenge from the DIY site.  Better yet, let students choose their own challenge to tackle and make time in the classroom for them to share their creations and accomplishments.

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

Comments (1)

This is fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

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