I love using current events with students as a high interest informational text. There are tons of video and print news stories that can be accessed from terrific websites and iPad apps. Here are a few of my favorites, add your picks in the comments section below!
As 2014 draws to a close, it’s that time of year to pick out a gift for your favorite teacher. From simple and sweet to thoughtful and elaborate, there are plenty of techy choices to add to your list. We’ve compiled a list of our own that you can use to meet your budget while showing your appreciation. Whether your favorite teacher is an iPad guru or just starting to play around with technology in the classroom, here are some ideas for presents they are sure to love.
Personalized Gift Cards
Both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store have gift cards that you can purchase for your teacher. This is a great choice if you know that they’re always searching for new applications to try out in their classroom. Instead of handing over just the gift card, you can add some personalized recommendations for apps to try out…
News-O-Matic is an app I absolutely love! It is fantastic for placing current events in the hands of your students and makes reading the news an engaging and exciting experience for children. News-O-Matic provides daily news stories for students and now they offer each one of their five articles in both English and Spanish every day. This translation is done by a native Spanish-speaking translator and there is even the option to listen to each article read aloud in Spanish.
Students in a bilingual classroom and Spanish speaking children who are struggling to read English will absolutely love this new feature. It’s a powerful option for students learning English and students who are learning Spanish. As the very first bilingual news app for children it is a wonderful option for classrooms where students have a variety of needs. News-O-Matic is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore.
Enter to win a full free year of News-O-Matic promotion by tweeting: “Hey @ClassTechTips! I want to try out @News_O_Matic in my classroom because ___________”
*make sure to follow @ClassTechTips to enter – a winner will be announced on 12/15/14
If you’re a regular reader of ClassTechTips.com you know how much I love scannable technology! I’ve had the opportunity this past year to work with LitWorld as they’ve developed iPad literacy programing for children and families. One super fun set of posters we’re using this fall let’s students scan a poster to access a video of a read aloud.
At this read aloud station kids can scan the poster using Layar to access an augmented reality trigger or scan the QR code. They’re taken to one of my favorite online video collections of celebrity read alouds. Students can then sit and listen to a story.
This is a great option for stations in an elementary school classroom or bulletin board in a library!
There are lots of great apps for gathering information about current events and finding stories that are of high interest to your students. NPR has an easy to navigate website and high quality iPad app that makes it easy to find articles and interviews. In addition to accessing print content that you might find in other newspapers, NPR has audio recordings that students can listen to straight from their device. Not only is this a great option for students who may struggle to follow along with the vocabulary in a news story but it also helps students grow as listeners.
Check out my lesson plans for ELA and current events!
Classrooms looking to use their iPad as a document camera will absolutely love MONKEYmount 280 by GORILLAdigital. MONKEYmount turns your iPad (or any tablet) into a document camera that works in both portrait and landscape mode. It lets teachers make a 360° pivot and 360° rotation. The MONKEYmount also has a vertical adjustment arm and can be attached to a mic stand if you’re reading music straight from your iPad.
The MONKEYmount includes a 12” long solid metal arm with grooves in two places that act as rest stops for the tablet and make it easy to rotate around the arm. It’s durable and can be attached to a desk, shelf or cart and comes with a six year warranty. This is a great choice for classrooms who want to combine the features of annotation or screencasting apps with a document camera.
Learn more by visiting their website!
There are lots of options for finding news stories for your students. If you are looking to connect them to informational text try searching for your favorite newspaper in the App Store. USA Today is one example of a print newspaper that has a mobile application for iOS and Android devices. Students can access articles on a wide range of subjects and view multimedia content. Using current events as an informational text can help students learn about the world around them and capture their attention at the same time.