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Rewordify: help kids understand what they read

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?

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Build Your Wild Self

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Language Arts, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Websites | Posted on 13-11-2008

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What it is:  Build Your Wild Self is a website I heard about on A Geeky Momma’s blog (which I thoroughly enjoy!).  The site fits perfectly into my classroom this week as our Book Fair theme this year is “Safari”.   The site, created by the New York Zoos and Aquarium, lets students create a character called their “Wild Self”.  Students can choose a character and then add crazy hair, arms, legs, etc. to make them wild. There are even fun sound effects for the different backgrounds they add! 

 

How to integrate Build Your Wild Self into the classroom:   This would be a great site to use with students after reading a book like “Where the Wild Things Are”.  Students could create their own Wild Things and write themselves a Wild Things story featuring themselves.  This is also a great site to use with kindergarten and first grade students who are learning about different animals.  As they build their Wild Self they can name what animal the crazy part belongs to.  Older elementary students also enjoy working on this website, my students created a wild self for their safari passports for our book fair this week and really enjoyed it from kindergarten through fifth grade.

 

Tips:   The Wild Self can be printed out, sent to a friend, or saved as a desktop.  

 

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Build Your Wild Self in your classroom.

Comments (1)

I used this site while incorporating a research project on animals for Kindergarten students. They were required to obtain a fact about a animal of their choice. This site was highly engaging, and worked off things that the children loved. Children are so animated these days, and lessons need to be just as animated as them. The students obtained their fact by picking an animal part to add to their wild self, and at then end of their design the program described their animal part in detail and told exactly why the animal needed the part. For example if they added giraffe hoofs to their animal, the program told the students that a giraffe hoof gets as big as a dinner plate so they can get rid of a lion with one kick! Afterwards the students could pick a zoo website from a list of 5 and explore some more. What a great website! THANKS!!!!

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