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Free Reading

  What it is:    Not all technology resources require students on a computer, some technology resources are specifically for you, the teacher, to enhance curriculum or for professional development.  Free Reading is one such site.  This incredible open source instructional program helps you teach early literacy.   Free Reading provides a 40 week scope and sequence of phonemic awareness and phonics activities.  The goals of Free Reading are to help you teach kids to read, to make quality research-based instruction for reading free, and to provide a community of educators with a common goal of reading intervention.  Free Reading is really, truly free… downloads, prints, teaching materials are all completely free!   How to integrate Free Reading into the classroom:    Free Reading is ideal for the reading intervention classroom, or for small guided reading groups.  The program is an excellent reading program for kindergarten through third grade and for pullout programs for struggling readers.  Even if you have a reading program in place, check out Free Reading.  You will find excellent tools and materials that can be integrated into the current curriculum.   Tips:   Free Reading has some great live sessions, be sure to check one out! (It is, of course, free!)   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Free Reading in your classroom.

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Custom Guide

Posted by admin | Posted in Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 08-01-2009

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What it is:  Custom Guide is a website that offers free quick reference cheat sheets for using technology (operating systems and applications).  The guides are two sided and remind me of Cliff Notes.  Custom Guide allows you unlimited distribution rights and they make great support handouts. References include: Microsoft Access, Excel, FrontPage, Internet Explorer, InfoPath, Office, OneNote, Outlook, PowerPoint, Project, Publisher, SharePoint, Visio, Windows, Appleworks, Mac OS, Entourage, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Photoshop, Elements, and Firefox.   My one problem with Custom Guide is that it is REALLY outdated for Mac guides.  I suppose that for some schools this would be okay since it can take a while to adopt newer technology and some of us are working with dinosaur computers and software, but for me it is no good.  Custom Guide also offers free online learning with interactive tutorials and you can even create your own custom courses.

 

How to integrate Custom Guide into the classroom:  Custom Guide would be very useful for the computer lab setting.  Print out and laminate the most used applications and operating system sheets.  Bind with a single ring and keep next to each computer.  As students have questions or issues, they can consult their cheat sheets for the answers first.  This is also nice for non-computer teachers who are using the computer labs or classroom computers with students.  The cheat sheets give them an added level knowledge quickly and easily.  If you are a computer teacher or a teacher who is known for using technology in your classroom, you undoubtedly get frequent questions about how to use applications from your colleagues.  I don’t always have time to sit down and give mini lessons, having these cheat sheets on hand could be a big help for those times.  

 

Tips: Even though the Mac Custom Guides are a bit outdated, the guides they do have are very handy.  When you sign up for a free account, you can ask for updates to be sent to you when they add a new guide.  In the mean time, Apple has some great support guides for their products.

 

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

Comments (2)

[...] to Kelly Tenkely and her iLearn Technology blog, I’ve just learned about Custom [...]

I just checked out Custom Guide and this is a great website for people who don’t know much about the software and technology that is out there right now. It is especially helpful in explaining how to use this type of technology in a manner that is easy to understand and very clear.

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