The personal benefits of blogging aside, being connected to others on this vast network of the Internet means that I often receive helpful resources and interesting comments from random, but kind, strangers. My latest “feel good” moment comes from a comment by Samuel Sennott on my Wiki-Powered Word Wall post.
Sam took the idea of a regular plain-jane word wall that many of us have on a bulletin board or empty wall space in our rooms (yes, even you secondary teachers probably have a few vocabulary words up there) and turned it into an idea for an interactive, talking word wall. While Sam provides all of the details and even includes a How-To Guide that you can download for using a Mac’s text-to-voice program to create your own talking wordwall, I’m sure there is an equivalent Windows version that can be made.
Samuel even went on to explore what one of his colleagues described as a talking “smart” word wall; by projecting your word wall on an electronic whiteboard, you could have students interact with the word wall directly on the large screen, having them add daily words and/or weekly spelling words. With the use of the MacOS text-to-voice that comes preloaded on each machine, the students could also hear the words spoken, practicing their pronunciation and phonics skills. Imagine having a powerful motivational tool like this in front of your class? Even without the interactive white board you would still have a stampede of students begging to take their turn to type in a few words and then make the class computer talk!
For more great information like this, visit Samuel’s Blog “All Together We Can Do Our Best“, which focuses on helping students with special needs.