Saturday, February 20, 2016

Speakaboos: Your Daily Five Must Have

Throughout the first 100 days of kindergarten, I switched up a bunch of teaching methods and learning tools. There were things that I absolutely loved, but the children had no interest in. There were things that the children couldn't get enough of, but didn't enhance their learning the way I wanted. However, throughout those 100 days, there was one teaching tool that both myself and the children couldn't wait to utilize each day! Now that I have teacher and student tested this tool for 100 days, I can confidently say there is one teaching tool that our classroom could not function without: the interactive storybook platform Speakaboos!

https://www.speakaboos.com/

When Daniel asked me if I would like to review Speakaboos, I jumped at the chance! After devoting years to make sure this resource would be the best in its field, the makers behind Speakaboos have truly found the winning combination! This company has literally has thought of EVERYTHING a teacher could ever want in a learning resource and more! Here is a list of the top 10 reasons why we love Speakaboos in our classroom!

1.
Speakaboos is accessible across all devices: over the web, iPads, iPhones, Android phones and tablets meaning whatever devices you have available in your classroom, Speakaboos will work for you! The platform can even be used offline! Now that's amazing!

 2. 
They have a library of over 200 stories and songs available to listen to. Plus new content is constantly being added each week so Speakaboos has a library that no child will ever tire of reading! It is a win win!
 
3.
There are many familiar faces for children that motivate them to read! There are stories about popular TV show characters like Sid the Science Kid, Elmo, and Angelina Ballerina. There are also digital versions of our favorite classroom stories such as The Snowy Day, Duck on a Bike, and Fly Guy!

4.
The design is so incredibly child-friendly! It opens up like a virtual storybook with the cutest little jingle and has an interactive map to weave through the stories which are expertly arranged by content area. Additionally, at the bottom of the book, all stories are arranged by character if your students would prefer to browse books that way.

5.
One absolute must have for me when it comes to a listen to reading site is highlighted text. Many sites out there either do not have this functionality or it is delayed. Speakaboos highlighted text is by far the best I have ever come across. My students love to see their sight words appear on the screen and it helps them pick up new words each day.

6.
Differentiation! We all know that is a popular buzz-word in education and this app has it included! There are 3 different versions of stories available. They range from straightforward reading to a student to the advanced read to myself. After listening to the stories over and over, children feel so proud to be able to move up to the read to myself level and what is better than having students feel like successful readers!

7.
The stories are so interactive for the students! This isn't your old-school cassette listening center! In addition to their traditional stories which allow students to hear the stories read aloud, with read and play mode, you can click on characters and interact with the text by answering their questions which truly engage students.

8.
With a big push on non-fiction texts, Speakaboos is right on trend! There are so many informational texts that appeal to all children. My boys are particularly obsessed with learning all about trucks series! These are not only fun to read, but also teach them so many new facts that they can't wait to share with their classmates!

9.
 If you have English Language Learners, Speakaboos is the perfect resource! They have "Find It" books that build vocabulary in specific topics ranging from shapes, to animals, to clothing. Your students will be picking up new language in no time!

10.
 Speakaboos isn't just focused on stories! They also have sing-a-long songs that my students are OBSESSED with! These songs help build fluency while still highlighting sight words so the children can associate words with the song. Even the most reluctant readers will be tapping their feet and singing along with these songs in no time!

I hope this post has convinced you that you need Speakaboos in your classroom! Speakaboos is hands down the most fun that your students will have reading each day! I have such highly motivated readers as a result of using Speakaboos and I know you will too! 

For more information, check out www.speakaboos.com and I promise your students will thank you for it! 
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