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Read It, Write It, Say It

Post on tools that help students gain skills in reading, writing and speaking.

Lit2Go: Audio books for the Classroom

Lit2Go is an excellent collection of free audio books for education. The collection is sorted by grades ranging from Kindergarten to twelfth grade. It also has a smaller collection of audio books in Spanish. The books range to simple nursery rhymes to non-fiction recordings on mathematics, history, and other topics. It is a great place to start your school collection of audio books and files. The nice thing is that it is free!

You can access these audio files via the Lit2Go website or using iTunes. There are advantages to both methods.

1. iTunes: Open iTunes and go to the iTunes. Then use the search box in the upper right hand corner and search for Lit2Go. You will get two items as a result of your search. Click on Lit2Go: Audio Files for K-12. The advantage of using iTunes is that you can easily organize your Lit2Go file into Playlist for exporting to CD’s or to iPods that your students can use in school and on iPods that can be checked out from the library. (iTunes is a free download for Windows or Macintosh Computers.

2. Lit2Go website: The website has a very nice search form for finding what you want. You can search using any one or more of the following: Titles, Authors, Keywords or Reading Level. The advantage of the web site is that you can also download a written version of the story if you want your students to follow along as they listen to the story.

I would use iTunes to find the stories I wanted to use with my class and then go to the web site to find the written story if I wanted a copy of the story.

Lit2Go is a great way to provide students with stories and good literature to listen to and read. Most homes have CD players or MP3 players so they can use these files at home. Parents can listen and read with their children to extend reading practice beyond the classroom.

In the upper grades, using MP3 players is a good way to introduce new authors to students. Also, some students say they get teased if they are reading on the bus on the way home. They don’t get teased if they have earphones in their ears.

Sample Kindergarten Nursery Rhyme.

MP3 A Diller a Dollar

PDF A Diller a Dollar

Hope you can find a use for this resource,

Jim

Read It, Write It, Say It – Using Google Maps

Reading, writing and oral communication are extremely important skills in all academic areas. We can improve these skills through practice and authentic audience. Technology has made it easier for teachers to provide their students with an authentic audience. Blogs, Wiki’s, and podcast are some of the most popular tools for publishing student work. I think Google Maps, along with screencasting, provides another way to practice these communication skills and to publish map based stories.

Let me explain the process by using the Underground Railroad as an example. The first step is “Read It”. The students could use the Internet, history books, or historical fiction to learn about the Underground Railroad. They would write about the routes, history or people involved in the Underground Railroad. Then using Google Maps, they would create place marks on the map showing where the events took place. In the small boxes for each place mark, they would enter text, pictures, and hyperlinks on the topic. These maps can then be shared online and people could read what the students have written. If you embed the map into a blog posting the readers could leave comments for the students. A lot of teachers have done this using Google Maps, but the last step “Say it” is the added twist.

Using screencasting software the students can now show their map and record their voice explaining the map to the audience. I used Jing to do my story. It is free and easy to use. As an example,I created a three-minute sample about places I have lived. It isn’t great, but it does show how you can have your students create “map stories.”

Let me know what you think of “map stories.” If your students create a “map story” send me the link and I will feature it on my blog and in one of my workshops.

Jim