iTeach 1:1 and Learning to the Core are hosting a weekly technology linky on Thursdays for the rest of the summer. This week's theme is integrating technology into reading.
How great is this? I was super excited when I read about this linky! As a Title I Reading teacher, I don't know that there could be a more perfect linky for me to join.
It's very pretty tricky finding ways to incorporate technology into my classroom. I have no student computers, no SmartBoard, no iPads/Tablets, nothing! The only thing I have is my personal work laptop and I can't even use that all the time; I'm at the back of the building and I'm not joking when I say that my internet didn't work about 20% of the time. No need to fret though, I'm always up for a challenge, let me introduce you to the websites that I've found that work great in a 1 computer classroom!
WeGiveBooks.org is one of my favorite places to go for technology in my classroom! I discovered this website during my student teaching experience while trying to find an online version of a children's book; I've been using it ever since. My favorite thing about We Give Books is that they donate a book each and every time you read a book on their website. Yes, you read that right; they donate a book every time you read! To date they have donated over 2 million books to children.
During the winter holiday season, I introduced this website to my 5th Grade reading group. I didn't tell them about the donation until the end. When I pulled up the website and they were all able to sit at their desk and read the book they were all excited. When we reached the end I told them that they just made a donation to a child who doesn't have access to books. I made the donation in their homeroom teacher's name. At this point, we only had a few minutes left in class and each and everyone of my students was begging me to read another books so they could help another child! Seeing these students, who refuse to read, beg me to read more and more makes me know for a fact that this website is something that I couldn't live without.
BrainPOP and BrainPOP jr. are two other websites that I use in my classroom all of the time. My students just love Moby; you know, the little robot in the videos. Both of these sites are great for my students. Since I would with the students who are below grade level and very reluctant readers, these sites offer great resources that are very engaging. BrainPOP is best for students in grades 3-6 and BrainPOP jr. is best for K-3. I love using the videos and then having the students break into teams to compete to see who can answer the most questions correctly afterwards. They also offer teacher guides, vocabulary work, and other activities to go along with each video.
You can cover so many skills with these sites. Some of the skills covered are: phonics, comprehension, study skills, story elements, and even information about famous authors and books. Both sites make a great resource to use as an introduction to a topic, a quick review of a skill, or to use as a remediation tool.
Last, but not least, my little ladibug document camera! I just love having this little gadget handy in my classroom. When I didn't have enough books for each student to have a copy or when I didn't want to run a ton of copies of a printout I could just turn on my little ladibug and my projector and BAM everyone can see what I'm trying to teach! This little guy has so much to offer: 14"X11" capturing size, video recording, picture storage, and much more.
Well, I think that's all for today. Do you use any of these forms of technology in your classroom for reading? What do you use and how do you use it?