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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Encourage your kids to read books

At this tech age, our kids spend more time with computers than other outdoor or indoor activities. Reading books is a healthy habit which can be encouraged by providing online reading links to our kids. Parents can guide kids and teens providing site links or useful resources for online ebooks. Good news is that most of the online resources provide free access to the stuff either it is an ebook, video, audio, or a power point presentation. 'Tar

'Tar Heel Reader' is an online free site  for beginning readers of all ages. Books are easy to read with big words which teachers can use in classroom for development of language and reading skills.

More about the site:
Link: 'Tar Heel Reader' 

Many of us many think that the site name is strange, so the explainaiton is that 'Tar Heel is a nickname for the state and people of North Carolina. And the name comes from the fact that tar, pitch and turpentine created from the vast pine forests were one of North Carolina's most important exports early in the state's history

More about the site:

It offers a collection of free, easy-to-read, and accessible books on a wide range of topics. It fulfills the needs of older students as well who do not have access to easy-to-read, motivating, and age-appropriate text.

The books may be downloaded as slide shows in PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash format. Each book can be speech enabled and accessed using multiple interfaces. Site also offers books in other languages such as Arabic, German, French, Latin etc.

Facts: Books have been read in 133 countries and all 50 US states. They have books in 12 languages. Over 25,000 books are currently being read each week. Over 100 new books are added each week.

How to search at the site for appropriate reading?

These are suggested audience ratings. Rated E/Everyone means the book is appropriate for everyone. Books marked Rated C/Caution may have content that is not appropriate for some readers. The Favorites page is a good way to give your readers a selection of books that you have approved.

You can download a slide show of a book easily. Just follow these simple steps:
Go to the first page of the book. On the left side you’ll see a column of buttons. The second is labeled Setup. It will take you to the reading controls page. There you’ll see links to download the book as PowerPoint, Impress, or Flash.

Experienced educators who are knowledgeable about beginning readers of all ages review books published on Tar Heel Reader.

Write a book!

You can also write a book and submit at the site. You need to get registration for writing a book;

- Sign up for free at the registration page. They recommend you to read about the Beginning Literacy Framework before beginning to write. It will help you appreciate the kind of books they seek.
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