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Popplet: Graphic Organizer for iPads and Web Browsers

12 Oct

Screen Shot 2014-10-12 at 6.58.32 PMscreen480x480Graphic organizers are fantastic for helping students brainstorm ideas for a personal narrative or collect information for a research report.  Kids can create mind maps, sequence events, make connections, and more.  Popplet is a terrific app for iOS devices that is also available on web browsers.  Students can create their own graphic organizers combining text and multimedia.  They even have the option to customize colors and layout.

Try out Popplet Lite for free on iPads or visit their website to learn more about what you and your students can do using Popplet in the classroom!

 

15 Apps and Websites for Primary Source Documents

10 Oct

15It’s so important to include primary sources in your English Language Arts and content area instruction.  Whether you’re doing a close reading of a text or drawing conclusions from a photograph
there are lots of ways that students can interact with artifacts.  Here are a few great online resources and apps for primary source documents:

  1. Getty Images (photo library)
  2. Changing America (documents)
  3. DocsTeach (website from National Archives)
  4. Flickr (photo library)
  5. Shadow Puppet EDU (searchable photo library)
  6. LIFE Photo Archive (photo library
  7. Today’s Document (app from National Archives)
  8. Quotable Americans (famous quotes)
  9. Underground Railroad (documents)
  10. Met Museum (artifacts)
  11. Abraham Lincoln (documents)
  12. Congressional Moments (videos)
  13. America History Interactive Timeline (app with artifacts)
  14. DocsTeach (app from National Archives)
  15. American History Clips (videos)

SNAP Close Reading Portfolio for Common Core ELA Support

8 Oct

image001If you’re trying to align your English Language Arts instruction to the Common Core State Standards you’ll want to check out the new Close Reading Portfolio from SNAP.  It’s a reading product for students in grades 2-8 that helps kids with close reading.  There are interactive exercises that push students to think about the meaning of words and sentences and how ideas are developed over a text.  Students will focus on sequence and arrangement of sentences as they dive into grade level passages.

slide2SNAP Learning also offers a Guided Reading program that includes books and lesson plans to help teachers who are providing instruction on comprehension and oral fluency skills.  This program includes over 130 books for students in kindergarten through first grade which can be accessed on tablets.  Giving students access to digital text is an important as they’ll be expected to read from this medium more and more in the future.  I like how SNAP Learning offers tools that promotes 21st century skills and makes it easy for teachers to distribute to students.

Visit their site to request a demo of SNAP’s Close Reading Portfolio or get a quote for your school!

Storyline Online for Read Aloud Videos

2 Oct

Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 6.33.06 PMRead alouds are such an important part of an elementary classroom’s literacy block.  If you’re looking for a new way to share stories with your students, or simply want a resource to share with parents, you have to check out Storyline Online.  Presented by the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, this site has videos of well-known actors reading your favorite picture books aloud.

Visit their site to watch Jane Kaczmarek read Patricia Polacco’s Thank you, Mr. Falker or to listen to Sean Astin’s reading of David Shannon’s A Bad Case of the Stripes.

Common Core in Action: Using Digital Storytelling Tools in the ELA Classroom

19 Sep

Common Core in Action

Here’s a preview of my new post for Edutopia – click on the link below to read more!

When students come to school each morning, they have tons of stories — stories to share with their friends as they unpack or move through the hallways, stories to share with the class during morning meetings, or stories to share with a teacher about something that made them happy or sad. In the classroom, writing can happen in many different ways, whether it’s free writing in a notebook to gather ideas or publishing stories to share with the whole school.

The Common Core State Standards expect that children across the grades can write for three specific purposes:

  1. Opinion pieces that persuade a reader and make an argument
  2. Informative writing that explains an idea and relays information
  3. Narrative stories of real or imagined events.

As students move from one grade level to another, the complexity of these tasks will change greatly. The persuasive writing that takes place in a second grade classroom will look very different than the work that a seventh grader produces. From kindergarten through 12th grade, students are expected to share their writing through technology.

…Click HERE to read more!

SoundSwaps for Spelling & Reading Practice

15 Sep
5_box all openSoundSwaps is an iPad app designed for students with dyslexia and other auditory based spelling and reading disorders.  With a bright and colorful, kid-friendly interface Soundswaps works with students on a few different skills.  This includes levels on word families, and initial and final sounds in words.  There are also activities that help students practice vowels, and random changes in words.
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19_sng i in trash partial keybdWith SoundSwaps students can work on their auditory conceptualization skills and eliminate extra visual and auditory distractions while they focus on figuring out where within a word a sound has changed.  Students who are struggling with foundational literacy skills will benefit from the extra practice this app provides.
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You can visit Language Learning Apps’ website to learn more!
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iAnnotate for PDFs (with a Special Offer!)

10 Sep

Make Paper Jealous iPadI’m a big fan of iAnnotate – it’s an app that I use personally and professionally and if you work with PDFs you’ll definitely want to check it out!  Teachers and students are seeing the benefit of going paperless, especially when deciding whether or not to print huge PDF documents just so they can highlight and add notes.

iAnnotate is fantastic PDF viewer that gives users the power to write all over the page, adding notes, highlighting and marking up text as they see fit. Teachers can use iAnnotate for digital grading, including leaving audio feedback.  Students can use it to highlight and search long course readings without having to waste paper.

iA3-Icon-1024Branchfire is giving away 2,000 free copies of iAnnotate (usually $9.99) during the back to school season.  If you’d like to win a free copy send out the following tweet: 

Hey @ClassTechTips I want to #makepaperjealous with iAnnotate! 

Just make sure you’re one of my Twitter followers so I can direct message you the promo code! You must also have an Apple ID for the US App Store. Offer good until codes run out!

Learn more about iAnnotate at makepaperjealous.com

 

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