When I talk with elementary school teachers about introducing the concept of supporting ideas with reasons and references to the text, I often get puzzled looks. This is understandable. Common Core, however, asks students to do this as young as third grade. This pedagogical shift away from just selecting a multiple choice response is daunting, but can be so rewarding for students. Teachers are thinking about how to answer the question: How do you know? Teachers need to probe students not to select the desired answer, but to add proof, support opinions, and interrogate text for how authors do the same. The Teaching Channel has a great 2 minute model that shows how to use sentence frames with elementary students.
Randy Rebman's insight:
Sentence frames are designed to get students to go beyond simply answering the question to asking them how they came up with the answer.
"ReadingEnglish.Com is a resource site for ESL teachers and researchers involved in vocabulary acquisition, CALL, and corpus linguistics. It also hosts an online vocabulary-learning project which is described in the FAQ and is open to all ESL/EFL students."
This blog post features a number of ideas for integrating the graphic organizer tool Lucidchart into the classroom. With the ease of integration of this web tool with wikis and blogs, it could be used to have student engage in concept mapping or discourse structure analysis based on course readings.
Heidi Hyte's blog post expands on a poster presented at TESOL 2012 on teaching sight words in order to improve reading fluency. Activities and the rationale for this approach are discussed in this post.
Preceden makes it easy to build simple, powerful timelines.
What I like about this website is how easy it is to use and that the timelines can be converted to PDFs. This could work well with having learners create timelines and then print them out or email them to their teacher. Having learners create timelines would be an appropriate follow-up task for reading a more sequential and historical text.
Timetoast allows for the creation of timelines online. This could be used in an L2 reading course where students are reading more historical/narrative peices of writing that involve the sequencing of dates.
Students could possibly embedd these timelines into a blog/wiki as part of a class project for an alternative use.
The practice of partner assisted reading is described here for use in L1 classrooms, which is also used in L2 reading classrooms. It is necessary that this cooperative learning strategy is used during a re-reading of text that learners have worked with previously through in-class activities. The overall objective/purpose of this activity in an ESL classroom is to encourage reading fluency.
Xiangying Jiang's site provides a number of materials that can be used for teaching reading comprehension with graphic organizers. There are a number of example graphic organizers here and complementary texts. These example graphic organizers (GOs) can be important for creating a collection of sample GOs that you can adapt for different texts in the classroom.
Much of the information on GOs is tied to research conducted with William Grabe:
Youblisher allows you to take PDFs and turn them into more easily accessible documents that can be read as book by turning pages. I think that this site has a lot of potential for both teacher-created materials and for learner generated texts. This could be useful in having learners create the type of group projects that are typical in content-based instruction.
Text 2 Mind Map is one of the most popular mind mapping tools on the web.
Text 2 Mind Map could be used for creating a concept map as a pre-reading activity in an L2 reading course. A concept map helps give learners the background knowledge they need in order to better process a text.
The site allows you to input outlines of a text to show organization of concepts in your maps. You can also dowload the image and the pdf of your map.
The lexile measure, similar in some ways to the Flesch-Kencaid and Coh-Metrix readability measures, has been used to assess the overall difficulty of specific texts. What differentiates it from other readability measures is how self-assessment is built in so that students will be recommended to books that are at their level of lexile measure. We have used this in our IEP to determine how difficult the texts we select for large-scale assessments and/or achievement tests are.
Glosses have been widely used in L2 reading instruction to help ELLs better comprehend a text without continually consulting learner or electronic dictionaries. This online gloss maker allows a text to be entered and the glosses created for specific vocabulary words.
to identify which words are AWL words and perhaps at a higher level of difficulty. Both of these websites allow for texts to be copy and pasted for analysis of the lexical frequencies of words in texts.
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