TeachersFirst's Audio Books

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These educator-reviewed resources from TeachersFirst offer audio books so all students, including emerging readers and ESL/ELL learners, can experience literature and other reading selections in audio form to reinforce and inspire literacy skills and enjoyment. Be sure to explore each site, as many include multiple categories of books and different download or listening formats. Some selections are audio only. Others include text to follow on the site as you listen, while others include options to interact with the book by clicking, responding, and watching animations. The helpful reviews suggest ideas for ways to use the audio books in the classroom or outside of school to reinforce literacy skills, improve English skills, or study literature in new ways. Narrow your search by choosing TeachersFirst's specialized collections of audio books with accompanying text or audio books with interactive features.

 

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World of Tales - Viktor

Grades
K to 8
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World of Tales collects folk and fairy tales from various sources into this site. Many are tales long past copyright and therefore available for use without copyright concerns. There...more
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World of Tales collects folk and fairy tales from various sources into this site. Many are tales long past copyright and therefore available for use without copyright concerns. There are also links to animated or audio folk tale versions. Some of the animations are from YouTube so may be blocked by school filters. Search tales by geographic origin, theme, author, book, and more. You can also change the "theme" of the page display to make it easier to see on a projector. There are advertisements that clutter the page and slow it down a bit, but having such a searchable collection is very handy.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): folktales (65), stories and storytelling (32)

In the Classroom

Declutter the display of a specific tale by using the Readability plugin (reviewed here) on your computer or copy/paste the text into a clear page to share on a projector interactive whiteboard. Have students highlight their favorite passages or examples of characterization. Have students create story maps of these classic tales or produce their own "skit" versions to record on video and share on TeacherTube (reviewed here) or SchoolTube (reviewed here). Make this resource available on your teacher public page for students to select and read their stories of choice during a unit on folktales/fairy tales. World language classes can read these English language versions of tales from land/language they are studying and write dialog between characters in their new language. Students could also create scenes using a comic creation tool from the many tools among TeachersFirst's Comics Resources.

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Zoo Whiz - EdAlive

Grades
K to 8
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Zoo Whiz is an education site that encourages kids to be "whizzes" in math, reading, and word development. There are levels and content for students from 5 to 15 years ...more
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Zoo Whiz is an education site that encourages kids to be "whizzes" in math, reading, and word development. There are levels and content for students from 5 to 15 years old. There are over 11,200 interactive activities to help unleash the whiz in every student. Once sign-up (free) is complete, you are guided to provide the age range (5-6 is the youngest). This tailors activities to the individual child (great for differentiation). As students master the skill, more difficult activities are presented. Parents and teachers can easily view progress. The activities go beyond simple drill and skill to build higher order thinking skills and problem solving strategies. As students play games, they earn Zoo Whiz "money" that will allow them to purchase animals to build up their zoo. It is necessary to create an account on the site. Teachers can set up a class account with individual accounts for each student. Students can use the same account on home computers. Premium accounts are available with additional activities; however, there are many items available on the free portion of the site.

tag(s): audio books (32), grammar (216), logic (235), operations (126), preK (279), problem solving (272), punctuation (43), sight words (37), word choice (26)

In the Classroom

Create a classroom account and accounts for each student to monitor students' progress. This is an excellent tool for differentiating. If you don't want individual accounts, create one classroom account and have students can take turns earning money for the zoo and deciding how to spend it. Share this site with parents through your newsletter or classroom website as a resource for practice at home.
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MobileRead - MobileRead.com

Grades
3 to 12
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Join Mobileread, a social networking site for eBooks. View as a guest, or join to be able to submit a nomination or comment to a discussion thread. Find free ebooks, ...more
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Join Mobileread, a social networking site for eBooks. View as a guest, or join to be able to submit a nomination or comment to a discussion thread. Find free ebooks, eBook lending libraries, eBook reviews, Notable eBook uploads, and poetry. Discover latest technology, audio books, hardware reviews, and accessories. Conversion, reading software, and authoring software fulfill your Ebook needs. Get mobile links, Ebook blogs, web clipping software, or Mobile Mobilereads. The option to choose a language is available to accommodate for ELL/ESL readers.Be aware: This site has a lot of public interaction. Either explore the site yourself for whole group activities or monitor carefully .
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): audio books (32), book lists (126), ebooks (41), social networking (112)

In the Classroom

Consider sharing parts of this site on your interactive whiteboard. Expand your language arts classroom with a variety of books through free eBook resources. Give each student his/her own personalized book club to match interests. Enjoy your favorite interests too. Find the latest information on eBook technology.

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Learn English Kids - British Council

Grades
K to 8
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This kids' branch of Learn English (created in the UK) contains interactives, short stories, crafts, songs, and even an opportunity for students to help their younger brothers and sisters...more
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This kids' branch of Learn English (created in the UK) contains interactives, short stories, crafts, songs, and even an opportunity for students to help their younger brothers and sisters learn English. A free log-in allows you access to printed versions of the stories (with questions), the ability to make comments, enter competitions, answer polls, and even create a "character." Another log in for teachers and parents opens up suggestions for teaching and using the resources of the site. Professionals can also find video tips and access to helpful articles. Access to the site is available in other languages such as Chinese and French, all aimed at teaching English. A text help feature using "BrowseAloud" opens up the English learning to students with vision or reading challenges. Note that vocabulary used is British, so you may need to explain a few words to US or Canadian students, e.g. "rubbish bin."
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): interactive stories (32), preK (279), songs (52), vocabulary development (126)

In the Classroom

Primary grade and preK teachers will find many useful interactives for basic skills like colors and phonics on this site, even though it is intended for learning English. Share the activities as a center or for extra practice for struggling students. Check with your administration about whether students can register individually for the site. Introduce this site to your class on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers and have your ELL/ESL students use it as one of your learning stations. Short stories and other interactive features of the site would work well with special education students, too. Be sure to share this link with parents of your ELL students if they have Internet access at home.
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Read Me a Book - RKS MArketing

Grades
K to 2
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Find a variety of FREE audio books for literacy development. There are books of the day, the latest chapter of a chapter book, a women's book section, sound of the ...more
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Find a variety of FREE audio books for literacy development. There are books of the day, the latest chapter of a chapter book, a women's book section, sound of the day, and letter of the day. A recommended list for different age levels also accompanies the audio books. With each book, a vocabulary list with definitions helps promote better comprehension. The sound and letters of the day offer featured sounds and pictures to exemplify beginning sounds of words with accompanying spoken words. This site requires RealAudio.

tag(s): audio books (32), ebooks (41), independent reading (126)

In the Classroom

Find an incredible way to expand your classroom library with free audio books! Use on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Use the stories as a whole group lesson, or in center time activities, or as an individual activity. Struggling readers can still develop comprehension skills and independence. Improve audio comprehension for the students who need more practice in this area. Use with your ESL/ELL students to offer a wide range of books to enjoy repeatedly independently. Use as a link on your class website for extra literacy practice at home.

Use as an example for podcasts. Have your students read their favorite books for your own class audio book activity on your website. Consider using podOmatic reviewed here. Encourage effective storytelling techniques while providing a wide variety of examples. Now you are able to meet each individual student's interests. Book lists provide further direction for more quality books.

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Technology and Reading Ebooks in Education - Drs.Cavanaugh

Grades
K to 12
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Find a comprehensive list of sources for eBooks and ways to use them. Dr. Terry Cavanaugh has a wide variety of information dedicated to using eBooks in the classroom. Find ...more
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Find a comprehensive list of sources for eBooks and ways to use them. Dr. Terry Cavanaugh has a wide variety of information dedicated to using eBooks in the classroom. Find links for online libraries, news, blogs, history, platforms, features, accommodations, samples, and borrowing guidelines. A section entitled educational applications, features creating eBooks with PowerPoint, digital Big Books, and eBooks in higher education. Classroom lesson ideas along with reading strategies help you incorporate eBooks into your curriculum. A link to the Florida recommended eBook list is also given. Find advice on video book talks, Book trading with eBooks, and an online Book cataloging library resource tool. A section for books promoting eBooks use in the classrooms lists resources to make you proficient. Find samples for creating eBooks to fit into your own classroom needs.

tag(s): audio books (32), ebooks (41)

In the Classroom

Capture your student's interest in technology and reading with eBooks. Join the latest craze to promote life long reading. Join blogs to see what other teachers are doing. Use as a parent resource to help promote interest. Use as background information while writing grants or proposals for technology grants. Be sure to investigate the variety of classroom ideas for using technology and eBooks.

Consider incorporating technology into your literature circles. You might want to start with a whole class novel, having students listen to certain chapters using an eBook. Have the "discussion director" for the group post questions on Edmodo reviewed here with the understanding that they may answer the questions on Edmodo, but these are "discussion starters" for the circle meeting in class.

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Zoodles - Mark Williamson & Rich Humphrey

Grades
K to 3
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Zoodles offers a safe web platform for kids that includes fun and educational games, videos, and activities. The BASIC membership to this tool includes countless activities in a variety...more
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Zoodles offers a safe web platform for kids that includes fun and educational games, videos, and activities. The BASIC membership to this tool includes countless activities in a variety of subject areas. Many of the activities come from other sites (Starfall, PBS kids, etc.). But this is a nice compilation of subjects and activities. The safety in this program is that once it is downloaded and opened, children don't view the regular computer toolbars anymore. Thus they can't search the web on their own. To exit the program, click QUIT and OK.

There is a parent play-along mode that helps guide learning experiences in a more personal way. Zoodles has been created to work on virtually any type of computer, including tablets and smart phones. Games are searchable by age (toddler to 8 yrs old), and subject. Many games will also have parent ratings with the educational and fun value of the activity. Creating an account is easy and requires simple user information including email and the child's age. This is used to populate age-appropriate games. There is a premium membership with more features.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): addition (251), body systems (57), constitution (79), counting (120), grammar (216), numbers (204), operations (126), phonics (75), preK (279), subtraction (208)

In the Classroom

Create 2 or 3 (or more, as needed) classroom accounts with different age levels to provide diversity for students. Each account then be bookmarked on classroom computers for student use. Share this site through your classroom blog or newsletter as a resource for learning games at home. Use activities from the site on your interactive whiteboard or projector as a classroom activity. Provide this link to parents to use on rainy days or during the summer.
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The Story Home - Purple Button Media

Grades
K to 8
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This award-winning site contains both original and classic short stories and children's tales in audio form. On the left sidebar you can choose the genre. Each selection has a brief...more
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This award-winning site contains both original and classic short stories and children's tales in audio form. On the left sidebar you can choose the genre. Each selection has a brief summary on the opening page, so you can decide whichever story appeals to you. In addition to the mostly shorter selections, there is a fairly extensive list of stories that are around 10 minutes in length. Some stories are audio only (no text). You do NOT need to pay to simply listen from the website. Click the "play" button to play. Downloads cost money.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): listening (91), preK (279), reading comprehension (116), short stories (25)

In the Classroom

Have students try out this site with headphones on individual computers. Turn up your speakers and share this on your projector or interactive whiteboard as a listening activity. Use this site as extra listening practice for ELL/ESL students or any class. Create some reading/listening comprehension questions for students. Or better yet, have cooperative learning groups listen to DIFFERENT short stories and create 3-4 comprehension questions. Then have students rotate stories and try out the comprehension questions created by their classmates. Since nearly all stories are audio only, this site is excellent for listening practice. If you have print versions of these classics, be sure to have them handy at a listening center for beginning readers to follow along.
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Childtopia's Classic Tales - Childtopia

Grades
K to 12
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This section of the larger Childtopia website offers seven classic tales in interactive, audio book format: The Emperor's New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, The Tin...more
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This section of the larger Childtopia website offers seven classic tales in interactive, audio book format: The Emperor's New Clothes, The Ugly Duckling, The Little Mermaid, The Tin Soldier, The Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks, and Little Red Riding Hood. These audio stories are available in English, Spanish, French, Catalan, and Basque. The text appears on book pages, and you simply flip the bottom edge of the page to move forward and back. Although the advertisements at this site are a bit distracting, this collection is still worthwhile.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): folktales (65), french (88), spanish (108)

In the Classroom

Share these stories as an interactive whiteboard or computer "center" for students of all ages to listen and enjoy. With emergent readers, mute the volume, and read the story as a class or in small groups. In world language classes, have students read the tales in their "new" language. Have students act out the tales. Challenge students to create their own comics to retell a classic tale using one of TeachersFirst's many comic/cartoon tools here.
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Many Books.net - Manybooks.net

Grades
4 to 12
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Many Book.net is a free web site offering eBooks from Project Gutenburg, The Human Genome Project and audio books, and creative commons works. Using author, title, genre, language,...more
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Many Book.net is a free web site offering eBooks from Project Gutenburg, The Human Genome Project and audio books, and creative commons works. Using author, title, genre, language, and recommended eBooks find your favorite reads. Join an RSS feed or Twitter to receive updates of the latest eBooks. Submit your work for consideration and possibly to be added to the selections. Register to create your own bookshelf with eBooks you have read. Keep it private, share as an embedded URL, or share on the actual site. Find conversion tools to help with any formats required. Explore the devices available to read the eBooks.

tag(s): audio books (32), ebooks (41), independent reading (126)

In the Classroom

Fill your classroom library with all the ebooks from the classics. Encourage your students to keep bookshelves of the books they read, while you make your bookshelf available to use for assignment choices or options. Encourage the continual exploration of author, time period, subject matter, and genre. Enchant your voracious and gifted readers alike!

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Cookie - Cookie.com

Grades
K to 3
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Cookie is a large collection of learning games, videos, worksheets, and arts&crafts for preschool to early elementary. Find math, science, art, and language activities in many different...more
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Cookie is a large collection of learning games, videos, worksheets, and arts&crafts for preschool to early elementary. Find math, science, art, and language activities in many different formats. Search by subject, top games, and new releases. Pre-school and early elementary teachers will appreciate the many videos on the site for learning to write numbers and letters, learning body parts, and days of the week. There are interactives for students related to addition, colors, alphabet letters, and more.

tag(s): alphabet (92), audio books (32), colors (79), geometric shapes (163), matching (24), numbers (204), preK (279), puzzles (208), songs (52), worksheets (59)

In the Classroom

These interactives make great center activities to support learning. Or if individual computers aren't available, use your interactive whiteboard or projector. Consider using the IWB as a student-run center for pairs to take turns. There are numerous activities to choose from and differentiate for your students' needs. This is definitely one to save in your favorites (or bookmark). Be sure to share this link via your newsletter or list it on your class website, blog, or wiki. Use your TeachersFirst public page (part of free membership) to share with a single click!
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Caldecott/Newbery Medal Winner and Honor Books Videos - North Carolina Public Schools

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K to 8
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Video versions of several Caldecott and Newbery award winning books are available for download at this site. Files are in RealPlayer format and require the RealPlayer download available...more
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Video versions of several Caldecott and Newbery award winning books are available for download at this site. Files are in RealPlayer format and require the RealPlayer download available here. Once RealPlayer is installed, videos play instantly when choosing the link. (Note: Real PLAyer is a Windows program, so Mac users are out of luck.) Videos range from 6 to 20 minutes in length. Running time is displayed with titles. Titles include popular books used in elementary classroom such as Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, Paperboy, Stone Soup, and others.

tag(s): audio books (32), literature (275), myths and legends (25), newbery (2), video (253)

In the Classroom

View videos on your interactive whiteboard or projector after reading stories in class (or as a preview). Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here) to create a visual comparison of the book and the video. Share this link on your class website for students (and parents) to explore at home. School librarians may want to set up a kiosk of selected videos as a book promotion in the library/media center. Art teachers may want to share a video of Caldecott winning illustrations before asking students to illustrate a scene from one of their own favorite books.

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Highlights Kids Story Player - Highlights Magazine

Grades
1 to 5
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This site offers several original stories from Highlights Magazine. The stories feature audio, text, and beautiful illustrations. There is a wide variety offered, and the stories...more
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This site offers several original stories from Highlights Magazine. The stories feature audio, text, and beautiful illustrations. There is a wide variety offered, and the stories include both prose and poetry. You can also print page by page. Elementary aged ESL students and emerging readers will benefit from the double presentation of the stories both in text and orally. At the time of this review, there were five audio stories. All current stories are related to recent holidays and weather. Check back frequently as story choices may change along with the seasons. Don't miss the "Poetry Player" under the "Read it" tab for more readaloud options, including a Martin Luther King poem in January.

tag(s): audio books (32), holidays (147), martin luther king (37), reading comprehension (116)

In the Classroom

Share the stories on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Build oral reading expression with these examples, as well. Following this model, have your students select a favorite story or poem. After they make original pictures and/or graphics to go with the stories, have them record themselves reading the story page by page. Have students create an online book using a tool such as Bookemon reviewed here. Another options, have groups create videos and share them on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here. Share the Bookemon books or videos on your class website. (Be sure to get parent permission.) Share the Highlights site on your class webpage for families to read together.
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Kids' Stories Online - Karen Wade

Grades
K to 6
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This site aggregates free online stories, audio books, e-books, and videos! You can also submit your own stories. Most of the stories are recently written by educators and other site...more
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This site aggregates free online stories, audio books, e-books, and videos! You can also submit your own stories. Most of the stories are recently written by educators and other site members. Membership is not required. Some of the stories are children's classics and fairy tales. The songs appear to relate to current events and education in general. There are seasonal offerings like a music video about Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The site offers "free" activities related to the topic of the story, usually coloring sheets and simple games. A small part of the site is under construction. More stories and other items are constantly being added.

BEFORE submitting any stories created by your students, check with your administrator to be sure that your school allows students to submit stories to such sites.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): christmas (64), folktales (65), holidays (147), interactive stories (32)

In the Classroom

ALL elementary students will enjoy reading the simple stories from this site. This site is ideal for the regular classroom, ESL/ELL students, learning support, and the youngest of kindergartners. Share the interactive books on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Save this site on your classroom computer for students to use as a learning center or to explore during an indoor recess. Have students try out this site on individual computers.
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Reep World - Arlilngton Education and Employment Program

Grades
1 to 5
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This site offers simple stories about real people for ESL/ELL students. You can listen to the story, look at the text, print out colorful story cards, and practice vocabulary. Although...more
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This site offers simple stories about real people for ESL/ELL students. You can listen to the story, look at the text, print out colorful story cards, and practice vocabulary. Although the focus is on immigrants, the simplicity of the stories makes them good models for ESL/ELL writing practice and project development. In addition to the stories, there is an extensive section on health issues, including lessons on the body, emergencies, healthy lifestyles, medicines, food, and health problems. The curriculum for adults page contains useful information on lesson planning, reading and writing integration, family literacy, performance objectives, goal-setting, and assessment.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): literacy (103), medicine (67), nutrition (154)

In the Classroom

To help your weaker readers and ESL/ELL students, share the vocabulary words prior to reading, either on a handout or by projecting on an interactive whiteboard. Highlight the words in the text as you come to them. Use this site when teaching health issues to newly arrived ESL/ELL students and special education students. Use the personal stories, story cards, and photos on this site as models for projects your students may do about their family members.
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Librophile - librophile.com

Grades
2 to 12
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This site offers free audio books and free e-books. You have several options; you can play the audio book. You can also download chosen chapters for later use, open as ...more
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This site offers free audio books and free e-books. You have several options; you can play the audio book. You can also download chosen chapters for later use, open as an e-book, or open as a free audio book in ITunes. Most of the free books are in the public domain. There are some books on the site that are available only for a charge. Simply click on "free" to see the ones available at no cost. Separate links offer popular, audio, and ebooks as well as genres. There are many genres available, even children's books.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): audio books (32)

In the Classroom

Make a shortcut to this site on classroom computers as a reference. Suggest it to students as something they can use on their mp3 players. Share a story on your projector or interactive whiteboard (with speakers for audio). Provide this site on your class blog, wiki, or website for students to access both in and out of the classroom. Learning support and ESL/ELL teachers can suggest this as an alternative source of books for book reports. Students can listen and read instead of feeling saddled by tough text.

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My Young Child - Early Parenting Foundation

Grades
K to 3
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Find online stories to read with young children and help build values. Each title states the value taught: honesty, patience, self-esteem, respect, forgiveness, and fairness. Stories...more
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Find online stories to read with young children and help build values. Each title states the value taught: honesty, patience, self-esteem, respect, forgiveness, and fairness. Stories can be read together or children can watch a video and follow along with the story. The site includes a section for parents with tips on reading with children and promoting good values. The educators section of the site has tips for using the site in the classroom and includes more ideas for parents.

tag(s): bullying (52), child development (25), literacy (103), parent conferences (22), parents (56)

In the Classroom

These short videos/audio books are perfect to share on your interactive whiteboard or projector during class meeting or lesson on honesty or other character values. Share this site on your classroom website or newsletters for students to access at home and to share reading tips with parents. Videos can be embedded on your website or blog for review. This is a winner to share at parent conferences in primary grades!
 This resource requires Adobe Flash.

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Interactive Storybooks Online: Online Talking Stories - Woodlands School

Grades
K to 5
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This site is an aggregator of many sources of online stories with audio components. Most of the stories would appeal to the early elementary age group. There are some tales ...more
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This site is an aggregator of many sources of online stories with audio components. Most of the stories would appeal to the early elementary age group. There are some tales by Aesop which may also appeal to older children. Additionally, there are some classic children's stories. The text is not included on the sites. Since this is a British sponsored site, many of the stories may be new ones for American readers. Two of the links to "offsite" locations were not working properly at the time of this review. However, all of the rest were working fine.

tag(s): folktales (65)

In the Classroom

Have students try out this site on individual computers, using earbuds. Provide the text to the stories so they can read and listen. If individual computers aren't available, share this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Share the site with ESL/ELL students so they can improve their pronunciation and aural word recognition. Learning support students with weak reading skills can also benefit from hearing the stories. Make a listening center on classroom computers and share the link on your class web page for students to repeat the stories at home, as well.

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