Read&Write is a Google Chrome Extension, or add-on, that facilitates text accessibility for a variety of learners in many ways. By using Read&Write, students can have digital text highlighted and read to them through a device's speakers or with headphones. Additionally, Read&Write allows students to dictate their writing, giving them the ability to compose in ways that are appropriate for their ability. Read&Werite is automatically installed on all APS Google Accounts. In order to access it, you need to be using Google Chrome as your browser.
To access Read&Write, open up a Google Doc and click on the purple puzzle piece (see below).
Let me know if you have any questions! Honestly, the best way to get used to Read&Write is to use it. I suggest introducing it to your students and just letting them play. Of course, I'm happy to schedule a time to come in and help you launch it in your class!
From Read&Write for Google Chrome:
Wonderfully intuitive and easy-to-use, Read&Write for Google Chrome™ provides personalized support to make documents, web pages and common file types in Google Drive (including: Google Docs, PDF, ePub & Kes) more accessible. It’s designed to help everyone engage with digital content in a way that suits his/her abilities and learning styles.
Read&Write offers a range of powerful support tools to help you gain confidence with reading, writing, studying and research, including:
• Text-to-speech to hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting
• Text and picture dictionaries to see the meaning of words explained
• With speech-to-text, dictate words to assist with writing, proofreading & studying
• Word prediction offers suggestions for the current or next word as you type
• Collect highlights from text in documents or the web for summarizing and research
• Create and listen to voice notes directly inside of Google Docs
• Simplify and summarize text on web pages to remove ads and other copy that can be distracting
I recognize completely that there are significant challenges and hesitations to implementing Google Classroom as a learning management tool in the realm of early elementary school. My hope is that this year, I can support teachers in trying new and innovative ways to deliver rich digital content to their students through the Chromebook centers in their classrooms. Google Classroom, if set up the right way, has the potential for being an excellent "landing page" for your students when they log into the Chromebook.
Below, I've found a few blog posts/articles on how Google Classroom can be used in a 1:many or early elementary education environment. I look forward to working on this with you this year!
Alice Keeler: Google Classroom with multi-user devices
Lasota's Little Learners: Google Classroom in First Grade
How Google Classroom Transformed an Elementary Classroom (slideshow)
P21: Blended Learning in First Grade
Click here: The PBS Electoral Decoder
As we navigate this election season, and as we get closer to the finish line, students are going to be more and more vocal and curious about the politics and processes involved with selecting our next Commander in Chief. I really like this tool that PBS created - not only because of it's interactive features, but because it allows us to go back in time (waaaaay back!) to see how elections have played out over the past 200 or so years. With an interactive map at the forefront, students can scroll through the timeline at the bottom and see which candidate won which state, and when you get to 2016, the student can select which state they think each candidate will win, and can see the results at the top. What better way for students to get hands-on with our election?
Additionally, PBS has some fantastic resources for students in their "Election Central". Check them out and let me know what you think!
Wonderopolis is a fantastic, comprehensive kid-oriented "wonder" engine. With a friendly user interface and easy to use layout, kids will get lost in the "Wonders of the Day". The articles are inspired by questions submitted by students from all over the world, and feature rich text with interactive elements. Each article can be read out loud courtesy of a easy to use text-to-speech button at the top of each page. Also, challenge words (or in this case, "Wonder Words") are highlighted in yellow and when the student hovers over them, the definition is showed. Students can even take a quiz at the end of reading the article to check their comprehension of the words. Adding Wonderopolis to your arsenal of student-friendly search engines is a must, and additionally, this is a great tool to offer during free time or independent practice on the Chromebook. Check out this entry which wonders "Do All Trains Run Aboveground?"
ReadWorks.com is an excellent ELA resource that helps teachers find texts that are just right for each of the readers in their class. Recently on ReadWorks, they've developed a list of articles, broken down by grade, that focus on the presidential election. Check it out here!