Tag Archives: reading

Truck Stuck – A Story Before Bed

My nephew Zander lives down in Texas. I don’t get to spend time with him nearly as often as I wish I could. Just like any other toddler, he loves a good bedtime story. Since I cannot be with him each night in person, I decided to record myself reading a story. I went on the hunt for something that would work, and came across A Story Before Bed.

Choose one of the books in the library on the site, and record yourself reading it by using your webcam. It won’t cost you anything to get started. If you are happy with your recording and want to share it with a special child in your life, simply pay a flat $6.99 fee. After the fee has been paid, you can email the link to your story to the kids, and they can then watch it as many times as they like. This works great for parents who are traveling or in the military, grandparents who don’t live nearby, and even crazy uncles who live where it rains way too much at times.

As I said, I recorded a story for Zander, by reading the book “Truck Stuck”. I had a lot of fun doing this, and I’ve already been told my efforts were a hit. My assistant Kat has a granddaughter who is about to turn three. Kat showed the video to Jenna, who was enthralled by it. She made her Nanna replay the book four times in a row. I sincerely hope that Zander loves it as much as Jenna does.

I know I’m not the only one out there who has a special child in their life that you cannot be physically near. Why not record a bedtime story for them to enjoy? You’ll be creating memories that they can carry with them throughout their lifetime.

Starfall for Beginning Readers


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During Gnomedex, we held an open mic period where attendees could come onto the stage and pass along resources that the rest of us might not know about. Now, I know that this particular video will not interest many of our younger followers. However, it is a FANTASTIC resource for those of you with young children in your lives! If you don’t have kids of your own, forward this on to someone who does. I promise that they’ll thank you for it.

Starfall can help a child learn to read, or improve upon the skills they’ve already gained, by using phonics. There are several different stages on the site, including ones for children just learning their ABCs all the way up to activities for kids who can already read basic words and sentences.

This is an excellent way to boost your child’s skills in a fun environment.

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What Do You Read?

Earlier today, I posted a video (and blog post) filled with tips on how to maximize your comprehension when it comes to whatever you are reading. That video made me reflect on the types of things I tend to read. I don’t often sit down with a book. When I do, though, my concentration is so absolute that I tend to tune out everything else. I let myself become absorbed by the text. This allows me to truly comprehend and digest whatever it is I’m reading.

I also spend a great deal of time reading things online. I’m constantly perusing blogs, forums, website postings, news sites – you name it, and I likely read it if it’s online. Even though it’s something I’m reading on a computer screen, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve my full attention. It doesn’t mean that it isn’t just as important as a book I can hold in my hands.

What do you read the most? Do you spend time curled up with a book, or are you like me… preferring to read what people in the world are up to, thinking, feeling and writing about? If you haven’t been keeping up with what people are doing on Lockergnome and Geeks, now is as good a time as any.

Be sure, as always, to keep your eyes on our downloads pages. We’re constantly updating it to bring you the very best and hottest software and apps at the lowest prices we can get for you!

How to Improve Reading Comprehension


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I enjoy reading the chat room that we have. I tried to record this video several times, and had trouble. I’m a perfectionist, whether it’s when I’m recording a video or read something. I enjoy reading, and love enhancing my knowledge as much as possible. To this end, I have a top five list here that was submitted by Dallas. This list is full of tips to help you improve the way you read and comprehend things!

  • When reading a book, you must be completely focused on the book. Quite often, people will complain that they cannot comprehend/retain what they are reading (or have already read several times). Take a look around – the television is on, the radio is playing, your computer is pulling you in and teasing you to take a peek every two minutes. There are constant distractions. You need to focus in order to properly absorb what you’re reading. To do so, you have to remove those distractions.
  • Take your time. Unless you’re in the middle of a test where you only have a set amount of time… slow down. What’s the rush? You need to take your time – it’s not a race!
  • Take a lot of breaks. Even if you love what you’re reading, taking a short break is necessary to keep your comprehension at its maximum level.
  • After a certain amount of pages or chapters, take some time to pause and reflect on the main points of what you just read. Let your mind digest the information you have taken in. The more you reflect on something, the more likely it is you’ll remember the things you need.
  • Use highlighters often. Highlight or underline something that may be useful to you, or if you have a question about it. This allows you to come back and revisit when your mind is fresh.

These are excellent tips that should help you when you’re reading, and attempting to remember what you’ve just done. These will be especially helpful to those of you in college or school! Thanks to Dallas for putting these together, and sharing them with us.

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Can You Read?


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It’s a well-known fact that 99.997% of users on YouTube are illiterate. If you don’t believe me, take a read through some of the comments there. In all seriousness, illiteracy is a large problem in our country today. You would be surprised at how large the actual percentage is of people who have difficulty reading and comprehending written words. There’s a website that can help – by giving you access to a huge library of books. There’s no cost – other than your computer and Internet connection.

Read Print is a site full of books – a virtual library for students, teachers and just plain reading enthusiasts. You’ll find thousands of books, poems, stories, play and even essays – all waiting for you to curl up in your computer chair to read. There are more than 8,000 books by 3500 authors, just waiting for you to click and read.

You’ll find printed materials (remember – for FREE!) by Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, Jane Austin, Shakespeare, and even Mark Twain. Sit back and enjoy old favorites like The Great Gatsby, 1984 and The Invisible Man. These are books you can enjoy over and over again. Why worry about your copy becoming dog-eared from too many turnings of a page? Just read the book online at your own pace, and don’t worry ever again about hurting your hard copies.

Reading is essential. It is a vital part of education and personal growth… and helps to open your mind, letting it soar to places it otherwise may never go. Take more time to read, will you?

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Do You Read to Your Kids – or Did Your Parents Read to You?


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If you’re a parent and you’re not reading to your child – start. Literacy is extremely important in the intellectual development of a child. What if you’re looking for a true interactive experience? Have no fear – there’s a website that provides everything you could ask for. Speakaboos is a site full of children’s stories where old favorite characters are given new life using celebrity performances, gorgeous illustrations and original music.

This is a very playful and colorful site. That’s what you can do here – play! You’re not playing games, you’re playing around with books and stories! The books are recorded by famous people. You can even record yourself reading a story, and upload it.

The site is free, you just need to register. You might remember some of the characters, but sadly Curious George isn’t there yet. You can find the Pied Piper and Tom Thumb even! Circling back to being able to record your own voice and upload it – how amazing is it that you can have your own voice uploaded to the site to make use of the graphics, music and more!?

If you’re an adult and have a child, do yourself a favor – read to them. It’s extremely important. A lot of my successes in my adult life can be attributed to my parents reading to me and encouraging me through the years.

Until about a year ago, I just ASSUMED that every parent did this. I have recently discovered that it is not so, and I don’t get it. My parents read to me, I read to my daughter, etc. It must be another one of those family traditions that some families have and others don’t. You would think that after all the research recently that points to how this affects a child’s love of books/reading/learning that most parent’s would FIND THE TIME to do this. It only takes maybe 15 mins-half an hour a night to do it, and it adds so much! It’s more than worth the investment… – Danielle Closs

The sad thing is that I don’t think my brother in law and sister in law do this with my nephew, and he would love it, I’m sure! – Danielle Closs

Yup. Every night for at least a half hour. She loves it. And my folks read to me too. My Dad read me books in a series like Swallows and Amazons so that I’d be excited about the next chapter and then the next book… – Abby Martin

both 🙂 – silpol

I download podcasts that I play for my daughter every evening. Sometimes I read to her, but she likes it more when I play puppet theatre for her. – Baard Overgaard Hansen

I’m with Danielle – I assumed that everyone does this, though I guess sadly there are plenty of kids who don’t get enough reading. My kids are 5 and 2, and have been read to all the time since they were old enough to focus their eyes on a board book. I read to my 5 year old from my Kindle – we’ve gone through several Beverly Cleary books, and we’re starting on the Chronicles of Narnia, now that they’re available on Kindle. She LOVES it, and it’s really fun, special time we get to share. READ TO YOUR KIDS! – Josh Bancroft

And for background, my mom read to me all the time. I remember "reading" books on my own when I was about 3, and by the time I was 8 or 9, I was reading her hand-me-down Stephen King novels and the like. 🙂 She turned me into a voracious reader, and that was a HUGE shaping influence in my life. I want to do the same for my kids, more than anything. – Josh Bancroft

Yes to both. Like my parents, I also read to my kids in English and Spanish. My husband reads to the kids everyday too. I don’t stick to kid book though. For example, I’m reading Foundation to my children right now. I also read to them whatever book I’m reading atm. – Anika Malone

Yes, my parents read to me. Then I read books on my own at an early age. – Morton Fox

Yep, my mom read to me constantly, for years after I could read on my own. We both enjoyed it. And I grew up to get graduate degrees in English lit. 🙂 I don’t have kids yet, but I definitely plan to read to them when I do. And @Abby, we LOVED the Swallows and Amazons series. – Jandy Stone

I’m very glad my parents read to me. – l0ckergn0me

Nope. My parents never read to me, but I loved it when my teachers did. I also called the library a lot for dial-a-story. I don’t read much at all these days. I’d have to say the main activities that jump started my reading/writing ability was computer magazines and BBS’s. I was very proactive in those areas. – Rodfather

 
 

MacSnapOn: Well, since @levarburton stopped doing Reading Rainbow, I&#39ve been reading to my wife.

about a day ago

Earthserpent89: my parents bought me virtually every dr. suess book in existence! and thats mostly how i learned to read.

about a day ago

problemchild88: i read to my parents!!!!!!!

about a day ago

stewartj: Thanks for the Speakaboo review. Signing up to use w/ elem students

about a day ago

jbsanno: My parents read to me, and I&#39ve been a constant reader my whole life. Yay to free ebooks from Google!

about a day ago

JasLucien: Yes, and I was reading by age 3.

about a day ago

Susan_SwanJames: thx for this. yes and yes! our daughter was in speech therapy. reading helped enormously. now she talks like a machine gun!

about a day ago

briantuttle: we read 3 stories every night to our girls – reading was very big in my house growing up.

about a day ago

BayouBengal56: Yeah my mom read to me several times a week as a kid and dad would read the Sunday comics to me. I&#39ll do the same one day.

about a day ago

SolSolutions: Thanks for sharing. A great resource, my 6 year old loves reading and doing things on the laptop.

about a day ago

unmuse: my dad read to me every night and I still read every night before going to sleep.

about a day ago

Tofur: My grandmother read to me and my wife reads to our kids. I am horrible at doing that thing. I&#39d rather teach them computers.

about a day ago

vertimyst: Did you make your avatar transparent, or change the background color?

about a day ago

Julie_1976: I was read to as a kid and I read to my now 10 yo daughter. Still do on occasion. Sad that she has outgrown that.

about a day ago

sloanb: Yes and yes.. I feel its very important to do so.

about a day ago

OKC_Casey: thats great, the video isn&#39t available yet. *taps fingers*

about a day ago

rbruner: I read to my kids as often as I can. My son&#39s kindergarten teacher says its EXTRA importanto for Fathers to read to sons

about a day ago

theresemiu: I read to my 2 yr old and we all read together as a family 🙂

about a day ago

PeteWalker74: Yes, and yes.

about a day ago

 
 

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Free eBook Novel

I think Jake’s talking about arranging an eBook sale at some point in the near future. Until then, this offer will have to tide you word lovers over:

I’ve been a follower of Lockergnome for several years now, going back to when it was the single newsletter. I’m amazed at how you guys can still crank out quality info every day. I love it! I work in IT at a relatively low-end job, but it puts clothes on the kids, food on the table, and a roof over our heads. Best of all, I work nights and get to spend the days with the kids (sleep is something thats missing though). Along with technology and the kids, my real passion is writing (and reading). I’ve written one novel and I’m working on a second. I went the self publishing route using LuLu.com. I’m really happy with them; the books look great. My only two wishes are for an editor and marketing guru. What i’d like to do, if you are so inclined, is to offer the first twenty Gnomies to email me (gnomie @ jasontjohnson.com) the PDF for free. If you want to check it out first, I have the prologue and first few chapters online.

Well, a free eBook is certainly better than no eBook at all. If only I wasn’t behind on my reading materials. Everybody, could you please not publish anything new this week? Thanks. I ‘preciate it.