TeachersFirst's Audio Books
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.
GradesK to 2
This site requires Flash and Windows Media or similar player. The printable pages require Adobe Acrobat. Get them from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomAdd this link to your classroom computer for students to use for extra reading practice. Share this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Set this site up as a learning center (or using individual computers, if available). Don't forget the headsets! List this link on your class website. Use free printouts to reinforce what was learned in the stories and for students to take home or do as homework. The "Watch and Listen" link at the left will take parents to a page where they can download podcast versions of the stories to take in the car!
Grades4 to 12
Be sure to check out the videos, which include commercials from the 1960s!
In the ClassroomThis site has so much to offer, the possibilities are endless. Obviously, this site is handy with ESL and ELL students. But there is SO much here to explore for teachers of elementary (social studies or language arts), AND secondary teachers trying to reinforce grammar skills, connect history and writing, and more.
Share portions of this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With primary students, set up learning stations. Have cooperative learning groups explore the site together. Have groups investigate a specific area of this site and create a multimedia presentation to share with the class: wiki, blog entry, podcast, online book, or video. Need some "technology tips?" Try enhancing students' learning by having them create a podcast using podOmatic, reviewed here. Share "student-created" videos on a tool such as TeacherTube, reviewed here. Transform learning and have students write online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades3 to 8
Click on the Teachers link to explore lessons and other resources. Your class may wish to leave comments after they listen to the stories. Check out the Gallery, which shows photos of the actual setting for the myth. Unsure of the archaic terms? Then use the glossary that's provided for each myth and legend.
tag(s): myths and legends (26)
In the ClassroomShare this site on your interactive whiteboard or projector. With younger students, use this site in your listening/computer corner for students to listen and read along the multitude of stories at this site. Your class may opt to write their own story of local myths or legends, and then submit it to this site. Transform learning and have students write online legends or myth books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
GradesK to 5
In the ClassroomShare the slide show on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have students work on individual laptops (or desktops) to listen to the story on their own. Since audio is available, even the youngest students can participate. What a fun way to celebrate Lincoln's 200th Birthday or Presidents' Day! After viewing the slide show, have students write age-appropriate letters to Lincoln, asking him specific questions about topics highlighted in the slideshow. In younger grades, discuss the questions together and brainstorm a class list.
GradesK to 12
Teachers who desire professional development and fresh ideas will want to include this site in their repertoire.
In the ClassroomUse this site to help ANY grade level create original books. Have students work with a partner to create a book together. With older students, challenge them to create a book as a culminating project for a research assignment. Have younger students create books at the beginning of the year to introduce themselves to the class. The possibilities are endless at this creative site! Modify learning and use some of the ideas to make online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
GradesK to 3
Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. Some of the activities at this site require Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomShare this story on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Have your students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write new endings for the story. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
GradesK to 3
Be aware that this site does include some appropriate advertisements. The site requires Flash. You can get it from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.
In the ClassroomShare this fairy tale on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Turn down the volume (or turn it off), and have students take turns reading the pages to the class. Challenge your students to write new endings for the story. Use the story to teach students about plot, characters, conflict, setting, and other key elements in a story. Create a story map on your interactive whiteboard, pausing to switch between the interactive version and your story map as the story plays aloud!
Grades6 to 10
In the ClassroomShare the Inside Stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have students work with a partner to navigate the stories. Have students offer a solution at the end of the story. Check out the ready to go lesson plans. Have your students do research about environmental illnesses and extend their learning by creating a wiki or blog discussing the causes and solutions. Use a blog too like Telegra.ph, reviewed here. With Telegra.ph you just click on an icon to upload images from your computer, add a YouTube or Vimeo, or Twitter links. This blog creator requires no registration. Strenghthen learning by having your students create video clips using Clipchamp, reviewed here, or a podcast using Anchor, reviewed here, about these and other environmental mysteries. Upload the videos to YouTube or TeacherTube (explained here).
GradesK to 3
tag(s): literacy (103)
In the ClassroomMerpy stories will be a wonderful addition to your computer literacy lab. Share the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector and read the stories together as a class. Individual or paired reading would also work well. After reading several Merpy stories, students may be able to create their own 'Merpy-esque' stories using PowerPoint and animated clipart. For the Spanish learner or ESL/ELL student, check out the four Merpy Spanish versions.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomPrint out up to 25 pdf copies of stories and poems if you do not have print versions. Make your own books and leave blank sections to be illustrated for aiding comprehension. If you have iTunes installed on your computer, you can download many of the selections directly into your iTunes library. Use individual laptops for reading the stories online or as a download. Make sure your sight-impaired students know about this helpful site. Special ed teachers and ESL//ELL teachers will love the availability of audio files and text together.
GradesK to 4
In the ClassroomWhy not introduce a word activity on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Complete the "Captain Huggy Face's Freeze Frame Game" as a class. Then create a learning center using this website and allow students to view the interactive stories and play the games during your language arts block. And don't forget about the ready-to-go lesson plans. Use these plans to help simplify the complexities of the English language (synonyms, antonyms, onomatopoeia, etc.). Be sure to list this site on your class website and in your class newsletter so students can have some Word Girl fun at home. at home.
GradesK to 2
tag(s): phonics (68)
In the ClassroomDemonstrate how to use this website on your projector or interactive whiteboard. Then have students work on at their own pace on individual computers or with a partner to read/listen to the story. Be sure to include headsets! An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website.
GradesK to 2
tag(s): phonics (68)
In the ClassroomDemonstrate how to use this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work at their own pace on individual computers or with a partner. Don't forget the headsets! An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website.
GradesK to 2
tag(s): phonics (68)
In the ClassroomDemonstrate how to use this website on an interactive whiteboard or projector. Then have students work on individual computers at their own pace. (Headsets would work best). An audio version of the story is provided, so even non-readers can easily navigate this website. This story is a perfect activity for the first week of school!
GradesK to 5
tag(s): folktales (49)
In the ClassroomUse the stories during listening centers or as enrichment to a theme or shared/group reading during class. Play the stories on an interactive whiteboard or projector and have students draw pictures of the story. If copies of the story are available, have students follow along with a partner during the audio reading. Learning support teachers will like the option of offering stories in audio to help weaker readers.
Grades1 to 12
Material created can only be viewed within the program. Drawings are not saved as a JPG or pic file. However, a "snapshot" of the screen can be created by using these keys in Mac: apple, shift, and 4 and click/drag to surround the portion to save. In PC use: control/print screen. These snapshots can be uploaded or used as a picture in other applications.
In the ClassroomQuick start: Click stage and in the center pane, click on backgrounds. Click on paint to make a new background. Different colors, pens, and materials can be used to create the background or an image can be brought in from your computer. Objects in Scratch are called a Sprite and can be added in by choosing the folders below the screen. By clicking the script tab, blocks can be moved in to create motion, add sounds (even record your own message), and change the look of the Sprite. Blocks are linked on to each other to create a series of events. A control block dragged to the top of the blocks control which key starts the event. Advanced options include adding variables and other controls.
Be sure to check with your Technology Department, as many districts require authorization to download or install new applications. Projects can be shared online; however an account is required.
Work is saved to the computer itself and only shared online via an account. To avoid problems concerning content made by outsiders or issues with sharing, save the work locally and either create your own gallery on a supervised class website/wiki or set up a single account where you share the "best" projects online via your own log-in. Remind students of the school's Acceptable Use Policy and consequences of violations, if you do allow them to join/share. Images used should adhere to all copyright rules. Use pictures taken in class or those with Creative Commons licensing (and provide attribution!).
Practical tips: Students quickly catch on to this program when allowed to play and easily see what they can make from it. Provide a simple assignment with defined rules/tasks to learn the tools. Younger students may familiarize themselves more easily working with a partner. Have students use a storyboard to write down what they will do/draw/say in their creation in order to keep tabs on what students and their creations.
Possible uses: For the lower grades, Scratch provides unlimited possibilities. Use as a new way to show vocabulary usage. Use the paint program to add information to a picture from your class field trip or science experiment. Use Scratch to help in storytelling a concept in a new and unique way, such as how rocks are formed. In the upper grades, use Scratch to show complex material in a new way. For example, students can draw DNA and show replication, etc. through their drawings and storytelling. Draw the different movements of landforms in plate tectonics. Draw or illustrate solutions to Math problems.