Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Announcify is a text-to-speech extension that will read webpages aloud for you.  It also cleans up the webpage while it is reading it aloud, taking out the clutter.  Announcify helps keep your focus by blurring out all of the text except for the paragraph currently being read. 

There is a floating menu on the left side of the screen that allows the user to click the forward and backwards arrows to un-blur each paragraph in an article, one at a time.  It also has a play / pause button to stop and start the text-to-speech.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Unite for Literacy

Unite for Literacy is a website that contains a collection of short picture books that are read by a live narrator.  These original, non-fiction picture books support beginning readers of all ages. Features of the books include predictable, rhythmic language, images with clear, familiar subjects as well as text that ranges from one word up to a few sentences per page.

The 13 different categories of books range from "Animals" to "Healthy Me" to "Technology" and each contain a varying number of titles.

The library does not require registration or a password. You can read any of the books and listen to the narrations as much as you like.

Visit Unite for Literacy to read and listen to a book with your beginning reader today.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

PicMonkey - Premium Content

Do your students like to include images in their written work?  
Would you like to add fun details, information or images to the assignments you give to your students?  
Are you looking for a new way to create social stories?

PicMonkey might be just the thing you need.  PicMonkey is a photo editor that can add color and pizazz to yours and your students work.  

PicMonkey is available as both a Google App and a Google Extension

The PicMonkey App is a free photo editor.  As a photo editor it has "Collage, Touch Up, Teeth Whiten, Fonts, Effects, Filters, Frames, Stickers & more" according to the website.

The PicMonkey Extension instantly allows you to edit web page images and screenshots.  You can "instantly grab images from any Web page and open them up in PicMonkey for editing."

PicMonkey is simple to use.  Here’s how it works: 

Click the PicMonkey icon when you’re viewing a web page. In one kajillionth of a second, every image on that page and a screenshot of the entire page appears as a tiny thumbnail in a sidebar. Select one to edit, and wah-la!  PicMonkey shows up to do your bidding.

PicMonkey is a free online photo editor that says Booyah! to whatever your creative heart desires. Its lean and fast engine lets you perform basic edits, like crop and rotate, and enhance your images with luscious effects, overlays, fonts, textures, frames and touch up tools.  Ridiculously easy, staggeringly gorgeous.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Phonetic Spell Checker

Spell checkers are getting more and more sophisticated.  They are able to pick up more misspellings, daily.  Even though, there are still times that Google or Word cannot determine what was written on the paper, they give you a squiggly line but no suggestions.

Werdz is a website that can help with this.  According to their website, "Werdz is a phonetic spell checker that uses the sounds of clusters of letters to determine how a word should be correctly spelled.  It correctly spells words like sossidge, lettis and menny utha werdz." 

Test it out for yourself.  Go to Werdz and type in a phonetic spelling of a word and look at all of the suggestions that populate. 

You can listen to the different options by selecting the speaker icon or selecting the work.  Selecting the word will take you to OneLook.  Selecting the speaker icon you will be re-directed to howjsay.com.


One Look not only provides pronunciations of words but it also provides different search options.  By going directly to the sight, you can look up a definition or a related word.  One Look also lets you search for portions of words or words related to word sections.  It is and interesting sight to explore.