Category Archives: Reading

Oxford Owl

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oxfordowlOxford Owl is a great site for beginning readers!   There are a lot of ebooks that are at an emergent reader level with lots of predictable and repeated text so perfect for the Kindergarten or 1st grade student.  They can listen to the story read aloud or turn the speaking off and read it themselves. A  plus is that there are activities to use at the end of the stories to check comprehension.  Take a look and see what you think! (and enjoy the English accents of the readers)

Read, Give, and Share with We Give Books!

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I  found a free resource and never put it on this blog. The text following was actually from their site as they want you to copy and paste to your own blogs.  I did use this site when I was still teaching.  It’s a great resource for online books and donates books to worthy causes also!  I loved having sources for good online books that I could have up on the Smartboard where all the kids could see.

We Give Books is a free online library of children’s books that enables your kids to help other children around the world while they’re reading. The best part is, your reading will directly impact the great work of non-profit organizations around the world! Their tagline says it all, “combining the joy of reading with the power of giving.” It’s the perfect tool for parents, teachers, caregivers, and anyone who loves children’s books!

When you go to www.wegivebooks.org, you’ll be able to read a special selection of books without a We Give Books account, but you have to sign up to access their full library. It’s definitely worth it, though. It’s just a quick form, and once you’re signed up, you’ll have access to over 150 quality children’s books! There are a lot of familiar classic titles, and even more new ones for us to discover. You can sort the books by age level, genre, author, and seasonal selections in the “Featured” section, so everyone can find something they like.

On the Causes page you can learn more about where your donated books are going. This fall, We Give Books is focusing on early childhood literacy across the United States and supporting great causes like Jumpstart for young children. In the winter, you’ll be able to read to support global literacy and give books to non-profits like Room to Read. They also give you the option to donate to help your book donations reach even more children.

We Give Books is a program of the Pearson Foundation and Penguin Group. Penguin works with its authors to provide an outstanding selection of online books while the Pearson Foundation donates print books to charity partners. We Give Books is a great way to get your children excited about reading and to teach them about the importance of helping others.

Kidspiration Project

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At the beginning of 1st grade we do a lot of work with the kid’s names.  One of the projects I did with all the 1st graders when I was the tech specialist and what I did with my own class this year is done in Kidspiration.  I love using Kidspiration with 1st graders.  I’ve already used it for 2 projects this year.  In the sample I have above you can see that the kids put the letters of their names and then search the huge library of graphics in Kidspiration for words that begin like the letters of their names.  They had a good time and were practicing letter sounds as well.  I’ve taken 3 different name projects that we did and put them together in a slide show on our web page for them to share with their families.  if you’d like to take a look you can go to this LINK.

At the End of the Day

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Little by little I’m getting used to being back in a classroom after 3 years of teaching my tech classes to K-5.  But it’s taking a bit longer to get used to a classroom of 1st graders.  I had forgotten how busy they can be for a whole day since it’s been about 12 years or so since I was at this grade.  I’ve found that putting a story up on the SmartBoard at the end of the day lets us have a very relaxing last 10 minutes.  I’m able to remind individual kids of things they forgot to do to get ready to go home, I can pick up the bits and pieces that have been left around and the kids walk out with me in a much calmer state. One site I like to use is this KOL site, in particular the Arthur stories.  1st graders love these stories and they sit enthralled as the story unfolds showing the actual illustrations of the book and highlighting the text as it’s read aloud. There are other story categories listed on the left side of the web site but Arthur is the favorite.

Zimmer Twins for 5th Grade

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I’ve been trying to do some end of year things with 5th graders that would be good or creative alternatives to what they may normally do on the computer or during their free time. I think this is especially important now that the year is drawing to a close.  A week or so ago they loved using BeFunky for all its photo effects so now here’s another site that they seem to enjoy.  In fact the lab has been so quiet for the two classes I used it with that you could have heard the proverbial pin drop. Knowing what a class of 5th graders during the last 50 minutes of the day is usually like it was actually quite relaxing!  Zimmer Twins is a web site that allows you to create cartoon “movies”. The site can be used without registration but movies can’t be saved.  Registration would be perfect for kids at home however,  allowing them to save their projects.  They also state on the site that they monitor daily for appropriate content.  Today I dug a bit deeper in and found a short teacher section. They give ideas for teacher use including suggesting that the teacher can register with their email address and then allow all the kids to use the nickname and password.  I’ll probably do this next year now that we have a district policy for kids putting work up on non-district sites.  Check out Zimmer Twins .  It’s an interesting and enjoyable site for all ages.