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13 Apps & Sites to Find Informational Text

30 Jul

Students need to have a balance of literature and informational text.  If you’re looking for sites that include nonfiction passages or high-interest articles here are a few worth exploring:13 Apps & Sites to Find Informational

  1. Experience America HD Magazine
  2. Scholastic News
  3. Life on Earth
  4. Wilson Center
  5. Readworks
  6. Newsela
  7. Explore the Galaxy
  8. Abraham Lincoln
  9. DK Readers
  10. Time for Kids
  11. Penguin Leveled Readers
  12. People HD
  13. News-O-Matic

Online Resource: DocsTeach from the National Archives

28 Jul

Screen Shot 2014-07-26 at 4.18.36 PMPrimary source documents are essential pieces of the history puzzle to include in your social studies instruction.  I’ve shared some great iPad apps for accessing primary sources but there are a few websites that contain quality content that can be easily shared with your students.

DocsTeach has a fantastic website (in addition to their iOS and Android apps) that give teachers tons of resources for finding and using primary source documents in their classroom.  If you’re not a social studies teacher you can still find compelling images to bring into your English Language Arts instruction or make connections during a math and science lesson.

 

Experience America HD Magazine

25 Jul

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 3.00.16 PMExperience America HD Magazine is a great free app for accessing high-interest informational text.  Created by USA Today, it includes dozens of articles on topics related to geography and notable landmarks.

If you’re looking for text that can be used for leveled reading groups, stations, or to share during a Social Studies unit, check out this easy to navigate app.  Full of beautiful pictures of the United States, it’s sure to pique your students’ interests.

Practice Storytelling with Toontastic

23 Jul

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 4.21.23 PMI’m a big fan of Toontastic and have had the opportunity to share this digital storytelling tool with teachers across the country.  Toontastic Jr. Pirates Puppet Theater is a great option for younger students exploring the basic concepts behind telling stories including characters, sequence and dialogue.  It’s a terrific app for getting students prepared to write their own tales or notice story elements as they read.

Screen Shot 2014-07-23 at 4.21.39 PMDownload this app for free to access a selection of content – you’ll have the option to upgrade for more scenes if you like!

Check out my lesson plans for teaching ELA with mobile devices!

Students Can Get Expert Advice from Academic Help

15 Jul

academichelp.net-logoEarlier this year I shared Academic Help, a website that gives students and teachers access to free writing guides.  The site has been completely redesigned making it simple to search for exactly what you need.  On the homepage you’ll easily be able to click on keywords like bibliography, admission essay, or job application letter.  Kids can scan the different choices at the top of the screen or dive into one of the main categories Guides, Samples, or Expert Help.

One new feature that Academic Help has launched is free paper editing by their experts.  Anyone can submit a piece of writing –  business proposal, scholarship essay – and receive feedback from experts in the field.  If you or your students don’t have a finished piece of writing to share users can also ask questions.  They can post a question and receive an answer, then check out the responses to other students questions.  academichelp.net-chapters

Academic Help is a great web tool that can be accessed on any device with an Internet browser.  It provides individualized help to teachers and students in addition to great resources and guides for writers of any age.

Visit their website to learn more – and start asking your own questions!

Shadow Puppet EDU for Digital Storytelling

14 Jul
blog-puppet-eduShadow Puppet is one of my favorite apps for digital storytelling and now they have a new version designed specifically for classroom use.  All of the original great features that allow students to bring still images to life by recording their voice over a slideshow have been enhanced for students.
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With Shadow Puppet EDU videos creations can now be up to 30 minutes long and include 100 slides of pictures.  Users have the ability to add images from NASA, Flickr Creative Commons, and the Library of Congress’ archive without leaving the app.  This high-quality app was  chosen by The American Association of School Librarian as a 2014 Best App for Teaching and Learning.
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Completely free for classroom use, Shadow Puppet EDU is a great choice for teachers looking to integrate multimedia into a variety of activities!  Learn more about Shadow Puppet EDU by visiting their website.

App Update: Add Video To Your TinyTap

8 Jul

TinyTap - HiResTinyTap is a terrific creation app that I shared late last year and they have a brand new feature you’ll absolutely love.  Now teachers and students can add videos to interactive learning activities they design!  You can make your own games that require students to tap a particular part of the screen to choose an answer.  Students can also become content creators as they design activities that demonstrate their understanding of a topic.

Video - how to (4)A brand new update to TinyTap now gives users the ability to add video to their activities.  Using content accessed through YouTube, teachers and students can input a video by searching with keywords or adding a link to a specific clip.  Once the video is added users can edit the run-time of the clip.  This new feature is great for presentations and interactive lessons.

Learn more about TinyTap by visiting their website or downloading their iPad app!

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