Today's site was brought to my attention by Asst. Principal Ben Harris at BEMS. Rewordify is an absolutely free tool that is designed to help our students understand what they are reading better. They can paste in the text from "Warren Buffett loses $2 billion in two days" written by Gregory Wallace for CNN Money on October 21, 2014: 6:30 PM ET and Rewordify simplified the hardest words to make it easier to understand. For example, I used the first few paragraphs of this article from CNN and then plunked them into Rewordify and it spit out this to me (I adjusted my default settings to have the two pieces next to each other):
Replaced the first word is placed in parenthesis because Rewordify is smart enough to question if it translated it correctly. The other words replaced were "shunning" and "drubbing". Creating a free account on the site lets the user save, the harder terms to a word list to learn them better. If you are using an article in class, you can also create PDF files of the material using a lot of different settings under the "Print/Learning Activities" tab including:
- Original text (no rewordification)
- Rewordified text with highlighting (New: highlighting can print in color)
- Vocabulary list with definitions
- Vocabulary list without definitions
- Word bank quiz *
- Matching sheet (column of terms and column of definitions) *
- Standard quiz (answer choices randomly picked only from words on quiz) *
- Difficult quiz (answer choices randomly picked from over 46,000 words & phrases) *
- Cloze activity *
- Text with vocabulary (text on left with hard words underlined; definitions on right)
- CSV export for importing into a document or online studying program
And then there are already many pieces of classic literature, like "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes", or other public documents, like "The Gettysburg Address".
Overall, it looks like a really awesome tool to use for ELA classes, especially given the price tag (free). Check it out and let me know what you think!