Monday, July 2, 2007

Website of the Day - The Visual Dictionary

In most kindergartens and first grades you will find a literacy center called, "Read the Room" based on the idea that students find and learn to read the words around them. Teachers work hard to make the room "Print Rich" for this purpose.

The Visual Dictionary is like having a "Read the World" website. The site collects and hosts images of words found on in all sorts of places. You can browse the images, look words up or use the search box to find what you need.

I can see two great ways for special education teachers to use this site. The first is as participants. Go on Read the World field trips and take digital photos of every word you see or focus on the functional community words you want your students to know. Then send your images to The Visual Dictionary.

The second way this site could be useful is to help our learners generalize site words. I have had more than a few students who can read sight words on their flashcards or in there primer, but can't generalize this to the same words found in other locations. Now we can print and make flashcards of the same words in different types of fonts at different angles. Or we can use the images to make interactive media such as slide shows or other programs.

The limit is our imagination.

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