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Lyrics2Learn to Engage Readers

17 Feb
Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 12.30.16 PM Lyrics2Learn is a website that hosts hundreds of 15 minute, interactive reading lessons for students.  These teacher created lesson plans were designed to improve elementary reading skills while keeping kids engaged.  It’s a great choice for reading centers where students can work independently or share a screen.
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unnamed-1Students can practice choral reading and repeated reading to build their fluency.  Each fluency activity is followed by three levels of interactive questioning aligned to standards.  Students will receive immediate feedback and as students become familiar with the text, levels increase to push their comprehension. Lyrics2Learn works on any device on a web browser.  It blends science, history, character building, and grammar with reading.
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Check out their free downloadable lessons for upper elementary and primary students or visit their website!
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Interactive iBook for Families Using iPads

10 Feb

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 6.23.19 AMThis past year I’ve had the privilege of working with LitWorld, a nonprofit organization based in New York City.  We’ve developed an intergenerational iPad literacy program for families to come together and explore community building and storytelling on tablets.  To help support the families in this program, we’ve created an interactive iBook LitWorld’s Story21 Prep Course: Tech Tips for Parents.

It includes videos, narrated text, and graphics to help parents using iPads with their children.  The content is available in both English and Spanish and available for offline viewing.  We hope that you’ll download this iBook and share it with anyone interested in using this amazing device in their homes.

Learn more about LitWorld by visiting their website and download the book from the iBookstore!

Co-Create Multi-media Notebooks with bindrs

19 Jan

BindrInsideIf you are looking to create multi-media notebooks with your students you’ll definitely want to check out bindrs.  This completely free tool supports group projects and is as simple to use as a paper notebook.  It utilizes social media channels like Facebook and Twitter to help bring students together to create, update and share projects.  All of their work and chats are private and safely storied in one place.

BuddyChatTeachers can follow the whole group’s project and give feedback throughout the process.  It’s accessible on all devices including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, and smartphones.  Instead of sending lots of emails to one another students and teachers can work together all in one place.

Check out bindrs by visiting their website, or search for “bindrs” on Facebook.  You can even contact the bindrs team for support with a trial at your school!

Online Writing Course for High School Students

17 Jan

Complete-best-2A new writing course for students and educators is now available online. Writing Whatever has been called “the missing writing course” for high schools because it bridges that gap between narrative writing in the middle grades and the expository writing of the upper grades. Using a unique, copyrighted numbering system, Writing Whatever shows students exactly how famous writers like J. K. Rowling, E. B. White, Ursula Le Guin, and Bruce Catton achieve such detail, organization, and style.

This completely online course covers the sentence, the paragraph, and ultimately the essay, with 60 lessons and over five hours of focused videos—perfect for the blended classroom.

Visit writingwhatever.com to preview the course and to order your free Teacher’s Guide!

All-in-One App from ClassDojo: Connects Teachers, Parents, and Students

15 Jan

2015-01---Refreshed-ClassDojoClassDojo has been featured on my site a handful of times the past few years because I think it is a truly transformative tool for educators.  They’ve released a brand new update that takes all of its fantastic features to the next level. The new app is available on both iOS and Android devices and includes tailored views for teachers, students and parents – one app, three ways.  Teachers get a view of their students and parents and parents see their child’s progress and can message with teachers.  Students can keep up with their progress in real­time.

With enhanced messaging capabilities, ClassDojo Messaging lets teachers and parents communicate safely, securely and instantly.  Teachers can message all parents, or just one at a time. In addition to text messages, teachers and parents can stay in touch easily with Voice Notes so teachers can record and send a message home without the need for a phone call. Teachers can also send parents messages with fun ClassDojo­ branded stickers, too.  ClassDojo Photos lets teachers share photos of fun classroom moments, projects and documents in right away to parents, straight from the ClassDojo app.  This refreshed ClassDojo app is about building the relationships that matter the most: teachers with students, teachers with parents, and parents with students!

Visit ClassDojo’s website to learn more and download the app today to get started!

URL Shorteners for Quick Website Sharing

14 Jan

Screen Shot 2014-12-28 at 10.53.54 PMI spend a lot of time sharing the benefits of scannable technology with teachers.  QR codes and augmented reality triggers make it easy for students, teachers, and school visitors to find a web resource by using a scanning app on their device.  Another option for quick website sharing is a URL shortener like goo.gl or bit.ly.

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By shortening a long URL you can make it easy for students, parents, or other educators to locate material on the web.  All you have to do is copy and paste a website into the URL shortener.  It will automatically shrink the website and give you a short URL that takes you the same place.

Some people like using URL shorteners because they can track how many people have clicked on a specific link.  It can also be used to bookmark favorite websites that you share frequently with members of your school community.

Try adding a short URL on a class newsletter or message home to parents!

ProjectWriter for Collaborative Classroom Assignments

11 Jan

Screen Shot 2015-01-08 at 1.24.37 PMProjectWriter is a new web tool that lets teachers design projects step-by-step.  Users start off by naming their project and adding assignments for students to complete, such as answering a question by submitting a piece of writing.  As soon as they complete the task you can view their work and offer feedback.  Students can then review the work of their peers anonymously.

ProjectWriterIt’s a great tool for conducting group nonfiction writing projects for History/Social Studies, Science, Technical Subjects, or English Language Arts.  ProjectWriter gives teachers the opportunity to break down units of study into smaller sections.  This lets students demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and terms being taught.  ProjectWriter also offers built-in vocabulary tools and teacher-created student accounts.

ProjectWriter is free for teachers and easy to use, learn more by visiting their website!

 

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