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There are many assistive technology tools that will help convert text to speech. The following ones have many capabilities that would be beneficial to students who need auditory help when reading. Often literature selections from the basal readers have CDs that are used to assist students, but there are not the same tools available when reading other text. Now it is possible to take written directions to tests or quizzes, picture books, novels, student writing, website, PDF, or any text and convert it to speech with these helpful technology tools.
Read Please is a free text-to-speech download. If there is a PDF, this site can help convert it to speech. Open source software is software that can be used for free. Just go to the “search for software.”
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Free Rice is a site that has been featured in People magazine. The site will donate rice to the UN World Food Program for answers students get correct to vocabulary questions. It works well on the interactive whiteboard for whole class use. Students get addicted to it because they are not just doing school work but helping others.
The vocabulary levels get progressively harder as the student gets more answers correct. The vocabulary words probably best suit grades 4-8. However, there are multiple choice selections and it has sound clips that pronounce each word which is great for auditory learners or students with special needs.
The more obvious subjects that this works well with are Language Arts (Vocabulary Development) and Religion (Corporal Works of Mercy). However, Mathematics can also be stressed as each correct answer is 20 grains of rice. Students can keep a tally of rice donated.
What a great concept! Help the students’ vocabulary and help the world at the same time!