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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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Free Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

Posted by admin | Posted in Art, Geography, History, Language Arts, Math, Middle/High School, Music, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 24-09-2008

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What it is:  Free Federal Resource for Educational Excellence (that is a mouthful, hence forth shall be known as FREE) is a excellent resource for finding teaching and learning resources from federal agencies.  Resources are broken down in to subjects arts and music, health and physical education, history and social studies, language arts, math, and science.  Subjects are further broken down in to sub categories making it simple to find exactly what you are looking for quickly.  There is also a great section called U.S. Time periods where you can search US history resources by time period.  New sites are added to FREE regularly, you can get the new resources delivered to you by subscribing to the FREE RSS feed.  The teaching and learning resources linked to from the FREE site are valuable to your classroom and will save you loads of time in searching for quality resources.  

 

How to integrate Free Federal Resources for Educational Excellence into the classroom:  Use FREE to find quality online resource for any subject that you are teaching.  Some of the linked websites are specifically for teachers and some are activities and sites for students.  Use this as a first stop when you are creating new lessons or enhancing the good old standby lessons.  The FREEresources will enhance your lessons with rich content for your students.  

 

Tips:  Sign up for the FREE RSS feed for new resources delivered to you several times a week.  

 

 

Leave a comment and share how you are using FREE in your classroom.

 

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