At Arizona State University (ASU), we have a community of about 40 staff members who have the words "Instructional Design" or "Instructional Designer" in their titles. Every few months we get together as a group and talk about the latest trends at ASU and throughout higher education.
Over the last few weeks I received a couple of emails asking for web games to help kids learn touch typing. I went through my archive and did some extra researching and came up with the list below. Touch typing is typing without using the sense of sight to find the keys. A person possessing touch typing skills will know their location on the keyboard through muscle memory. It can improve any individual's typing speed and accuracy dramatically.
Picture books, say English language arts experts, provide excellent opportunities to teach higher-level skills while still providing an engaging experience for older students who might think they don’t like to read.
The (Writing Process) OWL resources will help you with the writing process: pre-writing (invention), developing research questions and outlines, composing thesis statements, and proofreading. While the writing process may be different for each person and for each particular assignment, the resources contained in this section follow the general work flow of pre-writing, organizing, and revising. For resources and examples on specific types of writing assignments, please go to our Common Writing Assignments area...The (Mechanics) OWL resources will help you with sentence level organization and style. This area includes resources on writing issues, such as active and passive voice, parallel sentence structure, parts of speech, and transitions.
Cheryl Frose's insight:
There are also sections on Grammar, Punctuation, Visual Rhetoric...
While most of us may be guilty of showing students an entire movie version after we've finished a book, let’s consider a more powerful option for using this multi-modal text. Instead, provide students the same opportunity to make text-to-text comparisons by revealing movie clips while reading the original text.
Rather than waiting until you’ve read the entire printed text, look to integrate book-to-movie comparisons throughout the literature unit. Occasionally, plan to pause in the reading and watch a movie clip of the same excerpt. Perhaps the movie version contradicts the information revealed in the chapter. Or, maybe you want to analyze how the movie director captured the author’s descriptive language in that passage. Or maybe you want to point out what’s been omitted from the scene in the movie and whether that’s vital or inconsequential.
Last week at the Riding the Wave conference in Gimli, Manitoba someone asked me for suggestions on sites that her students could access to find story prompts. StoryToolz.com was the first thing that came to my mind then. I also suggested Make Beliefs Comix. Those are two of the ten options that are included in my slideshow of suggestions embedded below.
OK, it’s time to stop testing the water with a toe and jump with both feet into project based learning.
Grade 10 have today made the leap with me. A leap of faith? I hope not. Let’s hope it’s more of a giant leap forward.
But enough with the metaphors. Just as I require Grade 10 to document the process, I will do the same. I have been exploring project based learning for a while and have put it into practise in a small way. Now is the time to see how it really works, whilst addressing required learning outcomes and assessing the students effectively in order to write their reports at the end of the semester.
In my classroom I use the 2 Sisters CAFE board to teach the various reading strategies to my students during minilessons for the whole group. The C stands for Comprehension, A for Accuracy, F for Fluency and E for Expanding Vocabulary. These are the main areas that good readers need to be strong in. Each student has a reading goal and strategy that they are working on when I confer with them. An example might be, the student's goal is Comprehension with the Strategy of "back up and reread". After a minilesson, I'll select a student to make a card to put on the CAFE board. So, the workshop structure still holds true: minilesson, conferencing/small group instruction while students work independently, and meet together for another minilesson or to share.
One of the most important times in my classroom is our read aloud time. It is known to my students as a non-negotiable time. It’s a time to summon your alter ego and get lost in the story. It’s a time for students to find a comfortable spot in our classroom. It’s a time to celebrate the written word by demonstrating passion, admiration, and respect for it. Reading aloud is a lost art in many schools, and it’s time to resurrect this sacred time.
"When Kip Glazer taught English at Kern High School last year, she wanted to reimagine the traditional way of teaching “Fahrenheit 451” by turning the experience of developing English literacy skills into a game. She broke up elements within the book into game components: imagine a game board depicting various scenes (Guy Montag’s house, the fire station, the old woman’s house), characters within that book (Montag, Clarisse McClellan, Mildred Montag, Faber, etc.) and the things with which they interact (books, television screens, fire, medication). Then Glazer introduces new situations and characters, charging students to use the gamified book elements to create new narratives.
When the story’s elements are liberated from a linear text, students are able to apply their creativity and critical thinking skills to manipulate the story based on a deep understanding of the book. And, as with any game modification, students must understand the existing story thoroughly before they can start playing its elements."
Notetaker is an excellent tool from ReadWriteThink that students can use in their writing and reading activities. This is basically a hierarchical outlining tool that enables learners to create detailed outlines made up of five levels. Using the integrated editing features, students can easily add main and sub sections to their outlines, move text boxes up and down, zoom in and out and many more. Additionally, Notetakerprovides three outline styles to choose from : bullet, Roman Numeral, and Letter. Students can choose the style they want to use and start working on their outlines.
Cheryl Frose's insight:
LOVE the ReadWriteThink tools. Also good for content areas.
It is a feature in Word which is called Text-to-Table and it allows students, after typing their draft copy of a writing piece, to look at their document (for revision purposes) in a different way - by changing their paragraphs into single rows of text in a table.
I created The Digital Textbook as an alternative to traditional printed textbooks. The Digital Textbook serves another important role: it provides a context for weekly reading and writing instruction, giving teachers the means to develop students’ “textual intelligence” by showing them how to read or write about images, websites, infographics, mixed media texts, or more traditional forms which are also included here. Enjoy!
Once your students understand what voice is, help them tap into it within their own writing. Read aloud picture books that would demonstrate different types of voice and then try these follow-up lessons or writing experiments to hone skills.
Cheryl Frose's insight:
LOVE the "Awwww..." contest for older students. Great idea!
Traditionally we teach students about text features such as the importance of titles, characters’ names, setting, and the opening lines. In the book Notice & Note: Strategies for Close Reading, Kylene Beers and Robert E Probst identify additional text features,signposts, that help students read literary texts with deeper understanding. These signposts represent what students are to do as they read, notice something in the text and then stop to note what it might mean. As students learn to notice these signposts there is an increase in their use of comprehension processes: visualizing, predicting, summarizing, clarifying, questioning, inferring, and making connections.
To begin your workshop time, I start off with a minilesson. This is a short lesson that focuses on a reading, writing or mathematics strategy. We show students how we use the strategy in our writing, reading or math problem solving. We should keep in mind the age of our students, and keep the lessons short and sweet. In a fifth grade classroom, I keep my lessons to around 10 minutes. During my minilessons, I have the students do a turn and talk with a partner. Also, I have the students meet in a particular place in the classroom rather than having them sit at their desks. For reading workshop I'll usually teach 2 minilessons, whereas in writing I'll teach one minilesson.
Cheryl Frose's insight:
"Workshop" "Cafe" "Daily 5" These are all similar. This blog post describes well the process for older students.
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