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A LONG 3 Days!

iLearn Technology has been down for 3 LONG days.  I was so happy to see the problem resolved this morning, I have a lot of new sites to share!  The big news over the weekend was that my iPhone app was approved by Apple.  It is called Pickn’ Stix here is a review by TUAW: Fun for kids and adults: Pickin’ Stix by Steven Sande on May 16th 2009 Pickin’ Stix (click opens iTunes) took me back to my childhood in the early sixties, when I had a little cylinder filled with colorful plastic “Pickup Sticks”. You’d toss ’em in a pile, and then try to pick them up without disturbing the other sticks. Not only was it a great way to stay engrossed for a while, but it was also teaching me and my friends manual dexterity, as well as how to use our depth and relational perception to figure out how to move a stick without moving any others.Now Jonathan Tenkely has come out with his iPhone version, just the thing to pass to the kids when they’re bored and you want to keep them out of trouble. Jonathan’s wife Kelly is an educator who runs the great iLearn Technology blog, so it’s not surprising that his first iPhone app is a combination of fun and learning.With the US$0.99 Pickin’ Stix, you shake the iPhone to “toss” the sticks, then use a finger to “pick them up”. The better you do at tapping on the top sticks, the faster you’ll get done. You lose points for tapping on sticks that are partially under other sticks.The only complaint I have is that Pickin’ Stix, currently in a 1.0 release, has no way to keep your best time or score, or to compare your time to others. I’d also like to see an advanced mode with more sticks to pick up for an additional challenge, and a way to pause a game. And if Tenkely can figure out a way to get a kid to give the iPhone back to you after you’ve let ’em play for a while, he’ll have it made!What other childhood favorites would you like to see on the iPhone and iPod touch? Let us know in the comments.So that is exciting!  If you do download Pickn’ Stix, please be sure to leave a review in iTunes.

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Rewordify: help kids understand what they read

Posted by admin | Posted in Evaluate, Inquiry, Interactive book, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), web tools | Posted on 14-08-2013

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Rewordify-understand what you read iLearn Technology

What it is: Rewordify is a neat online app that helps struggling readers, ESL/ELL students, etc. improve their reading comprehension and vocabulary development.  Students can copy and paste a difficult passage into Rewordify and it instantly transforms the text by highlighting words it has substituted with more common/easily understood, language.  Students can click on the highlighted word to view the original word that was replaced.

Teachers can use Rewordify to create vocabulary activities from any high-interest reading passage, make over 350 classics more accessible, and show students how to surf the web the way a strong reader does.

Settings within Rewordify let students adjust how they interact with difficult passages based on their own preferences and learning needs.

How to integrate Rewordify into your classroom:  Rewordify is a fantastic web app for struggling readers (or any reader!).  Often, non-fiction can be difficult for students to read and understand.  Even strong readers can struggle with the new vocabulary and terms used.  Rewordify simplifies the text so that students can read through it successfully for comprehension.  It doesn’t stop there!  Since all of the words that were reworded are highlighted, students can see new vocabulary in context.  Rewordify can help students build up the ability to recognize context clues and how to use them to increase comprehension.

Anastasis is inquiry based.  We do a LOT of research, even with our youngest students.  The Internet is packed with fantastic resources for learning, but these resources are typically not created with student readers in mind.  As a result, students may struggle through a text and lose out on some of the rich learning in the process.  Rewordify is a great solution for us because students can quickly copy and paste text into Rewordify (works on iPads too!) and instantly read a more student friendly version of the text.

Classic literature is classic for a reason.  This literature holds timeless truths, superior storytelling and enchanting characters.  Students rarely choose to read the classics on their own because the language can add a difficult layer to the reading, causing the story to be lost in the frustration.  Rewordify has more than 350 classics built-in to be read directly on the site.  Students can choose a book to read, modify their settings of how they would like to view the words, and jump right in.  Students can choose to have the words default to the easier, modified word; can ask Rewordify to highlight words that it would have changed so that they can click on the word if they need an alternative; or see both versions of the word in context side by side.

ESL/ELL students will enjoy this site for the way that it allows them autonomy in their reading and vocabulary development.

Rewordify is also a great way for students to learn and practice vocabulary and discovering new synonyms for words.  Any text can be added to Rewordify, high school students could plug-in their own writing to determine if they have used interesting language.  If nothing is highlighted, there could be some work to do on word choice.

If you only have one or two computers available to students in your classroom, why not set up a bookmark to Rewordify that students can visit as needed during research, reading, etc.?  Students will be empowered to read anything they encounter with increased confidence.

Tips: In addition to the classics, you will also see a variety of news websites and articles that work well with Rewordify.  Whole pages of the site are automatically reworded for ease of understanding.

What do you think of Rewordify?  How do you plan to use it in your classroom?

Comments (2)

[…] though, so i’m including a link to an excellent explanation from Kelly Tenkely’s blog. http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=5100 > > > Susan Stephenson > http://www.thebookchook.com > > […]

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