Our Learners .... What do they need?

Please watch the following video...





If they can't read it - they won't get it! Use your computer to quickly check the readability of the handouts you are giving to your students.

readability.doc - Selecting your computer options to do all the work for you!

defaultA Twist on Readability - AS TEACHERS, we can use readability to decrease the frustration levels of our students but let's try flipping that around to help them apply writing strategies! Teach the students about Fry's Readability Graph and have them determine the readability of an easy to read book (one very easy to their level). Once they have determined that the readability is, let's say, 2.3 - their assignment is to INCREASE THE READABILITY by applying writing strategies (like elaboration, sentence combining) and the use of a thesaurus to replace worn out words like "nice" with something like "pleasant" because an increase in syllables makes the readability go up. You can have the students use the thesaurus in the WORD program or teach them the old fashioned way.

To access the Thesaurus on the computer, please highlight the word and hit SHIFT and F7 at the same time or access by going TOOLS/LANGUAGE/THESAURUS.

If you are interested in a little unit on creative writing using the above mentioned ideas, please see my unit - Adventures in Writing by Jennifer Berthelot.


Accessibility Tools on Your Computer

defaultUse the Accessibility Wizard to set your computer up for your own specific needs. Vison, hearing and mobilty needs may be addressed through some aspects of this wizard. If needs are heavy, more specific software or equipment may be required.

Magnifier:default This is a quick tool that may help student with slight visual impariments.






Narrator: I found this to be very choppy and hard to understand. Consider using a free service site like www.ispeech.org. Requires a free membership.

On-Screen Keyboard:default Provides a minimum level of functionality for mobility-impaired users.



MP3 Players/Ipods/Digital Storytelling & More

Using Your Mp3 Player to Enhance the Education of Your Children

I heard recently that pediatrician's recommend reading out loud to your children for 15 minutes per day. That's not a whole lot to ask, and it is a good place to start, a good minimum. Pull out the mp3 player and help your children listen their way to academic success.



Ipods, MP3 Players - Audiobooks: Let kids listen while they read along to some popular audio books. Itunes has many titles for kids and young adults. You can even record yourself reading, giving instructions, pre-record your voice for a student to help them with a lesson or project.  Kids can use MP3 Players to express themselved orally when they are not able to communicate their ideas as well in written form.

Audio Book and Podcast Links

Podcasts have limited uses - as a way to learn more and as a way to share one's learning. Me on Podcasts.MP3 - Click to listen.

Playaways (self contained book and plugs) - Introduce technology with these :) http://store.playawaydigital.com/

Story Nory - http://storynory.com/ - Audio books Online. You can also download the MP3 file by right clicking and "save target as" to load on a MP3 player. I will show a sample downloaded to my MP3 Player.

Robert Munsch Books - Over 45 books read by Robert himself!! Save the MP3 file and load up that MP3 Player for storytime!

http://librivox.org/ - Free audio books.

Activated Storytellers Podcasts - http://activated.libsyn.com/

Reading Rocket Podcasts - http://www.readingrockets.org/podcasts/  (availible through itunes and you can subscribe to them).

Audio Books For Sale:

Itunes - Audio books for sale.



Your local book retailer will also have audio books for sale.

DIGITAL STORYTELLING RESOURCES - This will take you to another blog/portal with all the resources you will need to start the process.

Free Pictures to Use for Digital Storytelling -  Download images from this site to try your hand at photostory.

BLOGGING RESOURCES - This will take you to another blog/portal with the resources you will need to star the process.


Venn Diagrams, bubbl.us,

ispeech.org-Make MP3 files from text docs



Additonal Resources

Cogdogroo - http://cogdogroo.wikispaces.com/StoryTools - 50 ways to tell a story. This site goes over web based tools you can use to create your own web-based story.

http://www.toondoo.com/ - have students create their own comic strips to pull main ideas or concepts from their work.


http://www.mathtrain.tv/ - Mathtrain.TV is a free educational "kids teaching kids" project from Mr. Marcos & his students at Lincoln Middle School in Santa Monica, CA.

Creating Global Collaborative Projects - http://gpp.wikispaces.com/ (K. Brown)

LD Online  - http://www.ldonline.org/indepth/technology

http://www.greatschools.net/content/specialNeeds.page?fromSchwab=1 - Scroll down to the section on Technology to Support Learning. There are lists of possible technological devices that can meet the needs of various learners.

Educause Learning Initiative (Great Handouts) - 7 Things Your Should Know About Series
Google Apps (PDF)
Wikipedia (PDF)
RSS Feeds (PDF)
Digital Storytelling (PDF)
Google Earth (PDF)
Ebooks (PDF)
Blogs (PDF)
Podcasting (PDF)