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The Tale of Despereaux Adventure

What it is:  I learned about this awesome interactive site from Larry Ferlazzo’s blog.  It is just too good to pass up blogging about it!  This interactive story book lets students create their own tale in the Kingdom of Dor.  The students become a part of the story as they create a character version of themselves that takes part in the story adventure.  Students can choose to have interactive games and puzzles included in their story.  The story is a virtual pop-up book, it is read to students and they can read along with subtitles.  Along the way, students have to help solve problems in the story by playing an interactive game.    How to integrate The Tale of Despereaux Adventure into the classroom:  The Tale of Despereaux Adventure is a really impressive site.  This would be a great introduction to the book by Kate DiCamillo.  The site would act as a teaser for the book that would have students eager to read.  Even if you aren’t reading The Tale of Despereaux, this is a fun way to get students interested in reading (most of them won’t even realize that they are reading!)  Set up a Tale of Despereaux center on your classroom computer during reading time for a month.  Each day two new students can visit the center and take part in their own adventure.  This site could also be used with an interactive whiteboard or projector for the students to create a whole class story.  If students choose to read the story with the interactive games, they  will be stopped along the way to complete puzzle and logic games throughout the story.  These type of games are great to get kids thinking creatively and outside of the box.  The story can be viewed in different languages, this would be a fun site for foreign language classes to visit in the language they are studying!   Tips:  One thing I don’t love about this site is that it asks students to enter their first and last name to be part of the story.  I teach my students never to put their last name online.  I ask my students to make up a last name when creating their story.    Leave a comment and tell us how you are using The Tale of Despereaux Adventure in your classroom.

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Snap! Digital Reading Program: 128 leveled readers

Posted by admin | Posted in Download, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 08-08-2013

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Snap! Digital Reader Library iLearn Technology

What it is: Snap! Digital Reading Program is a set of interactive leveled books that can be printed, viewed on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, interactive whiteboards or classroom computer.  All of the books in the program have been developed to help teachers meet requirements in the Common Core Standards in vocabulary and comprehension through the use of direct instruction, close reading, modeling, guided and independent practice, and text-dependent questioning.  Each leveled reader has a digital interactive version that includes fluency exercises, comprehension and multiple-choice type assessments.  As your students read, you can track what they are reading, view the digital assessments and performance reports.  These reports include information about CLOZE scores, multiple choice scores, and fluency.  You can also see information about the  last book they read (word counts, difficulty, words read correctly, etc.).  Snap! Digital Reading Program also includes lesson plans associated with each book.  While the program isn’t a free one, a year-long subscription to all materials (interactive ebooks for student, printable PDF versions of the books/lessons/other materials, and the data analytics for all of your students is just $89.  Pretty reasonable for access for every student in your class!

How to use the Snap! Digital Reading Program in your classroom: I’ve mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating: when you have a limited classroom library (due to space, as a new teacher, budget, etc.) ebooks are such a great way to instantly expand that library exponentially!  Snap! helps you do that and more.  Not only are you able to offer your students additional access to reading material, they have the added benefit of getting interactive books that give you data so that you can better guide students in choosing books that will help them fall in love with reading.  The readers can also be used for reading interventions, guided reading, shared reading and tutoring.  The leveled readers are for students in grades k-8, so even if you have a super advanced second grade student, you can continually challenge them.

Snap! Digital Reader Library iLearn Technology

The flexibility of this program is fantastic!  I’ve long been a fan of Learning A-Z for their printable books, but they are limited to a printout.  With Snap! you have the option of printing out books, but students can also access them from home device, on the iPad, Kindle Fire, Android, interactive whiteboard, or classroom computers.  The eBook version of the reader includes audio, photo slideshows, glossary terms, videos, fun facts, interactive maps and animations.  The PDF version includes lesson plans, alphabet book, word books, assessment materials and individual student record books.  Regardless of how much technology you have available in your classroom, the Snap! program works.

In a one to one setting you get the best of all worlds.  Every student in your class instantly has access to 128 quality interactive books and activities.  Did I mention $89?! That is a great deal!  You also have the ability for offline pdf books that can be sent home for extra practice.  When I taught second grade, my students loved having a print copy of the ebooks that they read in class.  It was always a treat to have those printed to color and share at home.

In a one or two device classroom, you can set up a reading center for students to cycle through.  Students can visit the center once or twice a week to read.

Model reading strategies for the whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  Students can practice reading along and be introduced to new vocabulary.

Tips: The iPad version is not called “Snap!” Digital Reader.  The app you will download to access the interactive ebook library is Mobl21 HD.

Snap! Digital Reader Library iLearn TechnologyPrice of app: Free* ($89 yearly subscription required!)

Device: iPad with iOS 5.0 or later, Kindle Fire, Android, computer

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