Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Speakaboos to the rescue!

Let's talk reading groups.
We all know they are great for our students.
Working in small groups on skills they need help learning.
But what about those students that are waiting for their turn?
What do you have them doing while they are waiting?
I know, I needed something engaging, fun, and something they could do independently.
I mean, I can't stop every minute to answer questions or else my group won't get the help they need from me.
I have found the answer for my class and maybe it would work for yours too.



Let's just say if I pull out the Ipads I know my kids are going to be excited to work on them.
And right now my favorite app is helping me with those kiddos that have to wait their turn.

It's a great reading program called Speakaboos.
I have it downloaded to all my Ipads for my first graders to use.
And they they love it!
They beg to play it!
What more could I want!?!
Here are some of the reasons I love this app.
There are over 150 different stories for them to choose from.
Surely there is something that every child will like to read.
Most stories have 3 reading level options:  Read to me, Read and play, and Read it myself.
This makes it so easy for my students to read or listen to great engaging stories without me having to be right there the whole time.  






Here is how I've been using it during my reading/center time.
I usually have 4 groups.
Group 1: The Students services teacher takes a group and has them read and decode the story for the week.

Group 2: My Para-educator takes another group and works on the phonics/spelling skill for the week.

Group 3: I take a group and work on another skill from the week.  This could be main idea and key details, grammar skills or review of phonics skill by reading another text using that skill.  It really just depends on what the kids need.

Group 4: My last group, these are the kids that are still at their desk, get to use an Ipad and work with Speakaboos.  I allow my students to read any of the stories and activities.  You can manage those stories and turn them off if you would like or only allow certain ones for certain kids.  I, however, like having all the stories available so my students have a variety of text to choose that interest them.  I also love that they have the ability to chose to have the story read to them, or read it themselves.  I feel that even my high readers are learning even if they chose the read to me option.  Listening to the story read fluently is still a much needed skill for all students.

I only have 10 Ipads in my room for 19 students and naturally everyone wants to have an Ipad.  Thankfully the kids have really worked well together sharing them and listening to stories too.  If you think this might be something your students would like, you should totally check them out.  Speakaboos also offers a free 7 day trial so there's no reason not to give it a try.
If you do I'd love to know how you use it in your classroom:)










Monday, February 1, 2016

February Currently 2016


Oh Boy It's Farley
Isn't Farley's new button and blog just pres!
I LOVE it!!


Listening:  My daughter is making up sentences for her spelling words.  She's been at it for a while:/

Loving; My family are the best!  My oldest daughter moved out before Christmas so that's been hard but she came over for dinner last night and we had a great time.

Thinking: I have to be out on Thursday so I really need to start my sub plans but I don't want to do it:(

Wanting & Needing:  We are making me an office in the basement.  It's not going to be fancy but I will finally have a place to work and spread out without taking over the dinning room table, floor, living room... you get the picture.

Swooning:  I now have 2 desks for my office and I am over the moon to get them both downstairs so I can make it my own space.

Now it's your turn to link up with Farley!
Come on join the fun!


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