As the school year ends I find myself thinking about all of the great books that I can’t wait to catch up on during the summer. Reading is a great escape, and after the work they’ve done all year, I always advise my students to go enjoy some good books during the summer. Unfortunately, there are several students that aren’t always capable of reading at grade level, which means they won’t be able to read successfully on their own, or read something that will be engaging to them. The problem isn’t just at the elementary level, which is why Read Please has a great tool to help students.
Using synthesized voices, Read Please can help struggling or emergent readers read almost any electronic text. By copying and pasting text into the program’s reader, it can help readers that don’t always have someone to sit down with them by reading words or sentences out loud. It helps improve fluency, word recognition, and can enable older students that might feel “goofy” about carrying around early reader books to read more engaging texts from websites, eBooks, or stories other students have typed. While there is a fee for a more robust version of the software, it’s possible to download a free version with limited functions and voices.
Those of you with Macs, however, can use the built in voice feature of Mac OS. Just open up the TextEdit program, and type or paste what you want to be heard. Then click on the Edit menu and choose Speech>Start Speaking.