Good morning all,
Heard about this great resource yesterday on Twitter from Patrick Higgins. It’s called http://speakaboos.com/ and it’s a free literacy site with fantastic interactive stories, songs, games, printables and more. I love the intuitive UI (user interface to all you non-geeks), which makes the site suitable for individual use by even the youngest students in a center or at home. The movies and animations are first-rate, with crisp graphics and terrific audio. The wide range of subjects mean you and your learners will easily be able to find content relevant to your curriculum.
Here’s the basic movie interface (the mainstay of the site):
Simple. Logical. Pleasing colors. Why can’t more sites be designed like this? I love the celebrity readers, the “Related Content” with ready-to-use lesson plans and worksheets, games, and apparently, a new feature enabling recording of some kind. Dunno what that’s about but it sounds like fun!
If you have an interactive white board (IWB), the flash activities are great to get the kids out of their seats and get their squeaky fingers* onto the board:
The “You might also like” feature is a handy addition that makes it easy to locate similar / related activities.
The service is free, but they do offer a “plus” version ($4.99/month or $49.99/year) that offers among other things the ability to access the site’s content across a variety of mobile devices including iPads, iPods and smart phones. Again, thanks to the site’s natural UI, it’s easy to see a youngster using this site for hours and hours on their own.
http://speakaboos.com/ is a terrific resource to build literacy, engage and entertain young learners with classic content, and for use in a classroom center. Check it out today!
Hope this helps,
* My students’ fingertips often squeak when they try to move objects on my IWB. The solution, which I learned at a conference recently, is to have the students use a fingertip knuckle instead. It seems a little awkward at first, but kids quickly master it, and they are able to move objects quickly and easily with no more squeaks!