Scriveners' Trappings
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Scriveners' Trappings
Aids and resources for creators and teachers of writing, interactive fiction, digital stories, and transmedia
Curated by Jim Lerman
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2nd Annual Student Editorial Contest: Write About an Issue That Matters to You ~ NY Times

2nd Annual Student Editorial Contest:  Write About an Issue That Matters to You ~ NY Times | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

Last February we added a new contest to our annual lineup, and were astonished when nearly 5,000 entries — the most we’ve ever received — poured in.

"This year teachers began asking in September if our Student Editorial Contest would be back, so we’re delighted to announce it today.

"Below, an overview, the rules, some resources that might help and a few ideas from teachers who taught with the contest last year."

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Free Professional Development for School Librarians ~ Joyce Valenza

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Sarah McElrath's curator insight, February 5, 2015 8:00 AM

Maybe the most helpful is the bottom where it reminds me that I am not alone...  Good resources. For those who use Follett -- the Follett resources are extremely helpful.

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Free Technology for Teachers: 100 Word Challenge - A Fantastic Blogging Activity for Students ~ by Richard Byrne

Free Technology for Teachers: 100 Word Challenge - A Fantastic Blogging Activity for Students ~ by Richard Byrne | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

This morning in the Rising Stars booth at BETT 2015 I saw Julia Skinner give a nice presentation on the 100 Word Challenge. The 100 Word Challenge is a blog that provides two good services to teachers and students. First, the 100 Word Challenge offers writing prompts that students respond to on their classroom blogs. Second, 100 Word Challenge provides publicity for students' blog posts.

"It is rather easy to get started on the 100 Word Challenge. To participate you simply visit the blog for the weekly writing prompt. Give the prompt to your students and have them write 100 word posts on your classroom blog (if you have never created a classroom blog, check out my guide to blogging). After your students have written their posts you should submit to 100 Word Challenge the URLs of your students' posts. Submitting the posts to 100 Word Challenge your students will be sharing with an audience that they might not have reached if they only posted on your classroom blog. For complete directions for teachers visit the How to Enter page on 100 Word Challenge.

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Dragon Dictation: A Must-Have App for Writers - Brilliant or Insane - @AngelaStockman

Dragon Dictation: A Must-Have App for Writers - Brilliant or Insane - @AngelaStockman | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
I began using Dragon Dictation a few years ago when my work with a group of struggling writers left me searching for a tool that could help them get the great ideas they were sharing aloud onto a page. I wanted something elegant: a tool that wouldn’t interrupt students as they were speaking but rather, quietly capture what they were saying and flip it into text.

Via John Evans, Jim Lerman
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Kerry Muste's curator insight, January 26, 2015 9:09 PM

A useful tool for differentiation perhaps?

Sarah McElrath's curator insight, February 1, 2015 12:52 PM

For those with Chrome, take a look at VoiceNote II for similar abilities.

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15 Great Resources for Teaching Controversy, Rhetoric, and Argument Writing - Brilliant or Insane

15 Great Resources for Teaching Controversy, Rhetoric, and Argument Writing - Brilliant or Insane | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
I’m a firm believer in the notion that opinionated kids are the most important resources for argument writing, so when it comes to coaching this form in classrooms, early conversations are often about inciting passion and letting kids talk about what matters…..to them.

Experience has taught me that most don’t care to write about school uniforms, cell phone use, or cyber bullying, and when they are asked to write about these things, what emerges is typically uninspired. They have a lot to say about a lot of other things though, and they’re eager to research and learn more about issues that really mean something to them. Ready to support these kinds of writers in your classroom?

Via John Evans, Dean J. Fusto
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Elaine J Roberts, Ph.D.'s curator insight, February 1, 2015 6:56 PM

While I would prefer there were only a few resources, the advantage of this many is in giving educators--and writers--choices for finding resources that work best for them. And it's extraordinarily important for writers to learn how to write an argument effectively.

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The Impact of Storytelling in a Digital World

The Impact of Storytelling in a Digital World | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
“The meaning behind the words…the feeling is more significant than the words themselves, so…listen.” Unknown  “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader…not in the fact that it is raining, the feeling of being rained upon.” E.L. Doctorow     Anyone can write. But good writing… the kind that captures a reader’s attention... Read More

Via José Carlos, Luciana Viter
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I just saw the first movie from Oculus, and it is the future ~ The Verge

I just saw the first movie from Oculus, and it is the future ~ The Verge | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

by Bryan Bishop


"You’ll have to excuse me. I’m going to sound a little excited now.

"Earlier today Oculus announced Story Studio, its in-house production team dedicated to producing virtual reality movies. We’ve been seeing VR narrative experiences for years at this point, and while they’ve been getting more and more impressive, they’ve still been iterative steps forward. Despite how much we’ve all wanted to it to happen, nothing has stood up, raised its hands, and shouted "I’m the project that proves this crazy thing could actually work."

"I just watched Lost, the first short from Story Studio. That stand up and shout moment? It’s arrived."

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13 Stunning Places to Publish Student Art and Writing

13 Stunning Places to Publish Student Art and Writing | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

by Jennifer Gonzalez


"There’s something about having our work seen by strangers that makes us take it up a notch. And while displaying writing and art in the school halls or a teacher-made book can accomplish that feeling to some degree, publication in a more “official” vehicle carries more weight.

"These publications are the real deal — online and print periodicals that showcase work by student artists and writers, some as young as age five. Many are run by a staff that is partly or completely made up of students. Each one is beautifully designed and features high-quality work. Some even pay. If you know a student who aspires to become a serious writer or artist, encourage them to take the next step and start working toward publication."

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A.K.Andrew's curator insight, January 26, 2015 4:02 PM

Sounds like a great resource of where to get out your work.

Sarah McElrath's curator insight, January 27, 2015 12:27 PM

The ability to "publish" can have a great impact on the quality of work turned in by students.

Sarah McElrath's curator insight, January 27, 2015 12:28 PM

The ability to publish can have a significant impact on the quality of student work.

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8 Creative Ways to Help Kids Find the Evidence in Nonfiction Text: We Are Teachers

8 Creative Ways to Help Kids Find the Evidence in Nonfiction Text: We Are Teachers | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

Finding text evidence seems easy enough, right? If your kids are having trouble, here are eight tips to strengthen students' ability to find and use text evidence.


Via Cindy Riley Klages, Lynnette Van Dyke
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Writing Your Way to Happiness ~ NY Times

Writing Your Way to Happiness ~ NY Times | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
The scientific research on the benefits of so-called expressive writing is surprisingly vast. Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory.

Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness.
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Sandip Roy's curator insight, February 28, 2015 2:27 PM

Expressive writing has many benefits.

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Top 4 Free & Incredibly Useful Writing Apps - Writer's Circle

Top 4 Free & Incredibly Useful Writing Apps - Writer's Circle | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
Top 4 Free & Incredibly Useful Writing Apps

Via Sarah McElrath
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The Ultimate Guide to SMART Board Troubleshooting

The Ultimate Guide to SMART Board Troubleshooting | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

FREE DOWNLOAD from Teq


"The Ultimate SMART Board Troubleshooting Guide
Is stress over your SMART Board getting you down? Read on and find the answers to FREQUENTLY ASKED SMART BOARD TROUBLESHOOTING QUESTIONS from the Teq professional development and support staff.

The eBook includes

How do I setup my SMART Board once it’s been installed?
How do I download SMART Notebook software?
How do I register my SMART Board?
How do I get a SMART Notebook product key?
How do I get my SMART Board to mirror my computer screen?
Why won’t my SMART Board respond to touch?
How do you clean the projector filter?
How do I connect my computer to a SMART Board that is all the way across my classroom?
How do I control my SMART Board from my iPad?"

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301 Prompts for Argumentative Writing ~ NY Times ~ by Michael Gonchar

301 Prompts for Argumentative Writing ~ NY Times ~ by Michael Gonchar | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

If anything ever published on The Learning Network could be said to have “gone viral,” it is last February’s “200 Prompts for Argumentative Writing,” which we created to help teachers and students participate in our inaugural Student Editorial Contest.

"Well, this year we’re back with the Second Annual Student Editorial Contest (get yours in by March 9!), and, to go with it, we’ve updated last year’s list with new questions and what we hope is more useful categorization.

"So scroll through the 301 prompts below that touch on every aspect of contemporary life — from politics to sports, culture, education and technology — and see which ones most inspire you to take a stand. Each question comes from our daily Student Opinion feature, and each provides links to free Times resources for finding more information."

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Free Technology for Teachers: A Guide to Blogging and Examples of Classroom Blogs ~ by Richard Byrne

Free Technology for Teachers: A Guide to Blogging and Examples of Classroom Blogs ~ by Richard Byrne | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

"[Above] you should see my 90 page guide to using Blogger. The guide covers everything from starting your first blog to privacy settings to editing your blog's layout. The guide also includes a glossary of terms frequently used in blogging. Click here to download the guide."

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Being a Better Online Reader - The New Yorker

Being a Better Online Reader - The New Yorker | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
Certainly, as we turn to online reading, the physiology of the reading process itself shifts; we don’t read the same way online as we do on paper. Anne Mangen, a professor at the National Centre for Reading Education and Research at the University of Stavanger, in Norway, points out that reading is always an interaction between a person and a technology, be it a computer or an e-reader or even a bound book.

Via Nik Peachey, Jim Lerman
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malek's curator insight, February 1, 2015 6:07 PM

Not a magic bullet, but it will help

AugusII's curator insight, February 1, 2015 9:27 PM

BETTER READING LESS BEING DECEIVED PROBABILITY

Erica Bilder's curator insight, February 6, 2015 4:05 AM

How the medium matters in deep digital reading and how we can improve on it.

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7 edtech tools to develop your students writing skills - Instructional Tech Talk

7 edtech tools to develop your students writing skills - Instructional Tech Talk | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

"Websites, apps, interactive whiteboards, systems and devices… teaching students the art of writing in the 21st century is vastly different today than just a few years ago. It requires not only an understanding of the parts of speech and composition, but also insights into which technology will also be most effective  ..."

©


Via Elizabeth E Charles, Leona Ungerer, Dean J. Fusto
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Julia Hoffman's curator insight, January 25, 2015 10:47 PM

These 7 sights may not be new to you but this is a great place for them to sit as a reminder. The only one that would not be applicable within our district would be the Microsoft site (since we are Google only).

Stephania Savva, Ph.D's curator insight, January 26, 2015 2:33 PM

If you are puzzled on how to help your student with writing, here are some great online tools you can use.

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Black Lives Matter: Building Empathy Through Reading (Part I) ~ The Hub ~ by Alegria Barclay

Black Lives Matter: Building Empathy Through Reading (Part I) ~ The Hub ~ by Alegria Barclay | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

Part of the problem is a lack of context; the way in which U.S. history is taught to teenagers doesn’t fully illuminate or explore the Black experience nor does it aim to create compassion, clarity, or solidarity. The average teenager has simply never been exposed to the myriad of stories–from heartening to heroic to harrowing–that comprise the history of Black people in America. And without this exposure, most cannot understand or envision the depth of suffering, injustice, and daily struggle that has defined Black life in America for centuries.


"In the wake of the Ferguson verdict and in solidarity with the growing #BlackLivesMatter movement, it is empathy that we need more than ever. Indeed, as I reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, I am reminded of this quote by him: “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” Ideally, this communication would happen face-to-face, two individuals in dialogue discovering what it means to be the other. However, in certain cases whether due to lack of representation, access, or will, this is simply not possible. What then?


"As YA librarians and as educators, I feel strongly that it is an essential part of our calling to do more than simply recommend books to our teenage patrons; we must promote, persuade, and provoke our young readers to pick up those books that broaden and challenge our understanding of what it means to be another and to be ourselves. To echo the #WeNeedDiverseBooks  campaign, we need diverse books because reading can change the world one perspective at a time. And change must come. And it will come because reading is an act of communication that can and does open minds and hearts, transcending our often irrational and unfounded fears to create newfound empathy and compassion."

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Choice of Robots (Choice of Games)

Choice of Robots (Choice of Games) | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

by Emily Short


"Choice of Robots is a recent large-scale Choice of Games piece: you take the role of a gifted young graduate student in robotics, about to make significant breakthroughs in your field, generating a line of robots that might become surgeons, soldiers, companions, factory workers. Your choices include design decisions for the robots and business decisions about how to manufacture and sell them, but also personal decisions about how to relate to your robot creations, and what you think it all means. The scope of your activities is such that you may find yourself flying to Shanghai to take meetings, or spending months in a military jail, or preventing the invasion of Taiwan — and along the way it’s pretty likely that you’ll also make a considerable personal fortune, which you can choose to spend on luxuries, philanthropy, or a mix of things."

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Improving Writing with Google Docs ~ Eric Curts

Improving Writing with Google Docs ~ Eric Curts | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
Improving Writing with Docs by Eric Curts www.ericcurts.com Last updated 4/25/2014 Eric Curts Authorized Google Education Trainer (GET) Google Certified Teacher (GCT) www.ericcurts.com ericcurts@gmail.com Twitter @ericcurts Google+ gplus.to/ericcurts www.AppsUserGroup.org www.WebAppReviews...


A 15-page ebook with excellent guidance. -JL

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Why Your Character's Goal Needs to Be 1 of These 5 Things - Helping Writers Become Authors

Why Your Character's Goal Needs to Be 1 of These 5 Things - Helping Writers Become Authors | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
In order to resonate deeply with your very human audience, your character's goal needs to be one of five specific things.

Via Sharon Bakar
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Voice Dream Writer App - It's a Wow!

Voice Dream Writer App - It's a Wow! | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
Make Fewer Mistakes

"Professional proofreaders recommend reading out loud as the best way to catch mistakes. Like a personal proofreader, Voice Dream Writer reads out loud using text-to-speech, so that awkward sentences, grammatical errors and typos can be easily spotted. Also, it can read words and sentences as they’re typed or voice dictated so that errors can be corrected right away."

Via Kathleen McClaskey, Suvi Salo, Jim Lerman
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Kathleen McClaskey's curator insight, January 24, 2015 3:35 PM

Voice Dream Writer app is truly an app that can level the playing field for a broad range of learners that struggle with writing. Check out the video on this site to discover why it is such a WOW! Here are the features of this new app:


Voice Dream Writer reads out loud using text-to-speech, so that awkward sentences, grammatical errors and typos can be easily spotted.


Writer helps finding the right words through phonetic search and meaning search.


Writer automatically keeps an outline of headings, paragraphs and sentences. The Outline helps writers better structure their writing with an always-on overview.

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Making Connections Using Text

Making Connections Using Text | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it

by Eveyn Wassell


"I found this site (http://bit.ly/101tagxedo)from Hardy Leung, creator of Tagxedo, about 101 ways to use Tagxedo, and thought about the myriad of ways it can be used in the classroom.  The images created by Tagxedo and their derivatives are free for personal, non-commercial use, subject to the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike License.  And what teacher doesn't love the word free???

"One of my favorite ways to use Tagxedo is to compare two groups of text to look for connections.  Yes, they are pretty to look at but the real use of word clouds comes from analysis of the cloud itself.  Imagine a lesson where students are asked to compare and contrast two speeches from historical figures.  Students are given the two speeches and asked to give the comparison on their own.  What might happen if they were asked to list two items the speeches have in common?  Many students may have a problem completing this assignment depending on the complexity or length of the text."

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10 Common Fiction Problems and How to Fix Them

10 Common Fiction Problems and How to Fix Them | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
When you write and revise your fiction, you deal with a host of problems. With some novels, it’s hard to decide on the right point of view. With others, it’s a struggle to work out the plot. Sometimes it’s a matter of getting the language down just right. Of course it’s one thing to spot a problem, another to fix it. Consider the following ten rather typical problems most fiction writers face—and some possible fixes.

Via mooderino
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The Secret to Teaching Great Writing: Use the News! | Edudemic

The Secret to Teaching Great Writing: Use the News! | Edudemic | Scriveners' Trappings | Scoop.it
As a professional writer and a writing specialist, I know that not everyone is as hepped up about words as I am. (What, you mean you don’t want to spend the next five hours chatting about the relationship between a character’s syntax and their familial history? Say it ain’t so!). I know that if I have any hope of maintaining student (and teacher) attention spans, I have to keep it relevant to the here and now.

My secret: use the news! With all of its of-the-moment relevancy and juicy tidbits, the news is the perfect lens through which to teach the ins and outs of craft – or, probably more accurately, the perfect mask to distract students as I sneak in the real lessons. Let’s take a look at some of the most creative and effective techniques out there today.
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Sarah McElrath's curator insight, January 20, 2015 11:00 AM

Great ideas to teach thesis, structure and more.