FREE online books

This is one of the more exciting things that I’ve come across in quite a while. For individuals who have not downloaded or purchased an e-reader to receive free e-books, this is a great alternative (or addition). I recently stumbled upon TWO sites that have free books online. Truly the internet is a marvelous tool.

  1. Online Storytime at Barnes and Noble: Here you will find a nice selection of books read BY THEIR AUTHOR in a quasi-animated video. (The video pans in and out on the book’s illustrations.) Not only does it include some all-time and seasonal favorites (in December they’re spotlighting The Polar Express, Strega Nona, and Where the Wild Things Are, just to name a few), but I think it is especially neat that the authors are reading the stories. How many times have you read a children’s story and wondered where the emphasis would be placed if the author was reading it? Exactly. Not to mention, it might be a nice alternative to the TV when you need about 10 minutes to get your life in order with small children around.
  2. We Give Books: This site features online books that you actually read. You can click through the pages full-screen and zoom in and out on the pictures. It requires more attention by the adult, but it can be set up nicely with one switch for students with special needs. I think it truly is a great way to allow students to “flip” through a book, who might otherwise be entirely dependent upon others to turn the pages. (Also, it expands your personal library in a matter of seconds.) They have a number of popular titles (The Little Engine That Could, The Tale of Peter Rabbit) as well as some new books, too (Llama, Llama and Goodnight iPad). Added bonus? If you sign-up (it’s free, so why not?), for each book that you read, they donate a book to a literacy charity of your selection – until January 2012. SO. GREAT.

Happy reading!

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Online Activities

I’m definitely a huge advocate of creative play and decreasing the amount of multimedia instruction/exposure, but sometimes, the computer can be a great teaching tool, too. Here are some of my favorite links for parents/therapists/educators that want to use the computer more with your children:

Fisher-Price online games: This site has online games for infants, toddlers, and young children. It’s a great site for teaching basic computer skills and educational skills (anything from cause/effect to colors, shapes, opposites, etc.).

Owlie Boo: This site has online games to help develop more basic computer skills including: key clicking, mouse movement, and click and drag. This site works well with a touchscreen, too.

Starfall: This is a favorite of many educators that I work with. It has all sorts of basic learning videos and interactive sites for young children to enjoy, especially for letter recognition and reading development.

Here’s a great list of a number of additional sites by Teaching Learners with Multiple Special needs.

Happy playing!

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