Celebrate Famous Latinx with Readworks and more
If you haven't tried Readworks' Article of the Day text sets, you are missing out. They have done so much to improve the search features on the site and have excellent ideas on incorporating reading throughout the day. Help celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15-Oct 15) with these articles on Famous Latinx figures.
I saw this shared on Twitter the other day by @joliboucher. I love the idea of the template and can easily see if being used for other age groups, for special projects, etc. It is an engaging way to find great books to read. These all come from the Massachusetts Children's Book Awards. The covers and the write ups are freely shared on the Everything MCBA site. Simply click on the title and it will open a page with tons of info about the book. What I really liked about Joli's BookFlix is that it consolidates all the material in one easy to use template. Thanks so much for sharing @joliboucher! Template: https://tinyurl.com/MCBABookflix
Google for Primary Grades
I've written about this before, here, and here, but I did want to circle back and point out Eric Curts' resources as well. Eric pulled together a whole series of ideas last year, all with complete directions and templates. He has magnetic poetry, seasonal ideas, graphing and more. Please check out Eric's work here.
Ideas to Share
A special educator friend from Connecticut, Sharon Plante, recently shared an article, Audiobooks or Reading? To Our Brains, It Doesn’t Matter, about the effects of "reading" audio books on the brain. No surprises for those of us who understand that reading audiobooks is reading too, but check out the article and see what you think. I know that when I have used uPAR to check student reading comp that audio enhances the comprehension of reading material in more than 80% of ALL students tested.
Global Project Wakelet Collections by Lucy Gray
Lucy Gray has been involved in global projects for as long as I can remember. She puts out an excellent collection of links almost every day. When I looked at her Wakelet collections I was amazed at both the organization and the sheer volume of links she has collected. These 2 collections are a small portion of what you can find if you explore her shared Wakelets.
Hmmm... Who calls listening to a book ear-reading ? At any rate, several articles have appeared in the last couple of weeks about the use of audio books. Is it cheating? How does it help students or does it help only some students? I never listened to books as I drove myself and my children and their friends back and forth to school every day (50 minutes each way). I trained myself not to listen to anything in the car- sanity while driving middle school age children was a priority. Now I listen to books pretty much constantly- on the way to and from work, while I'm working outside, weeding, mowing, shoveling snow... I consider it reading. I read about 300 books a year, more than half are audio books.
Is listening to a book cheating? Well, are you working on decoding or comprehension? If you want your students to understand the material, let them listen to it, look at it, watch videos, etc... The only caveat I have is that videos are generally not true to the book and you lose the language, the flow that the author intended.
In the past I have used the uPAR test with students and found that the vast majority of students- something like 87%, demonstrated significantly better comprehension- up more than a grade level- when they also got to listen to the text being read. UDL works.
Both Edutopia and The New York Times have really interesting articles about this- check them out.
If you hadn't noticed, I really like FlipGrid. Since the acquisition by Microsoft, many things have changed, aside from it becoming a free resource. It seems like hardly a week goes back without something new- and it's usually good. I was so happy to see that Holly Clark is giving a FREE course, beginning this Friday to help you #Master FlipGrid! You can sign up here.
TED talks have teamed up with Brightline Initiatives to offer 21 Days of Ideas. Check it out
Live from the North Pole
Google has been tracking Santa for 15 years now. Check out what's new up at the North Pole.
There are books about chrome extensions. I just want to talk about a couple of them. I have used One Tab and Speed Dial2 for years and really like them. Recently I noticed that a similar extension Toby, has also been included in many favorites lists. I downloaded and installed it, but really haven't put it to a test. Perhaps one of you can let me know what you think.
One Tab is incredibly useful to me, especially when I am listening to a webinar and popping 20 or 30 tabs open as I listen. Not only does this suck the life out of my computer and slow it down, but it has caused Chrome to crash and then I lose all my open tabs. One Tab to the rescue. I can have a ton of tabs open, press One Tab and it scoots them all into one tab, lets me label it, share it out as a web page, etc. It supposedly works across devices- but I end up with different lists on my different devices. Here's a quick screenshot of what this looks like.
I use Speed Dial 2 as my start page. I have 3 tabs- one for sites I use at home, one for sites I use for work and one for sites I used for course work. I use this extension constantly. I have it set to be the tab that opens when I click on a new tab. Here's an example of this one.
So what does Toby do? Supposedly a little bit of both. "Toby is better than bookmarks, it's a browser extension that helps you organize your tabs on every new page." It sets itself up as the new tab page automatically. (I had to undo that in settings, since I really like SpeedDial2). It puts all the tabs you open in a list on the right and then you make collections- pulling the tabs in - so kind of like One Tab, but it's supposed to be a great way to organize. Reading through the comments on the Chrome Web Store, it sounds like it meets the needs of some folks perfectly and others wish there was an import/export and other features. The jury is still out for me, but I will try it and see if I want to add Toby to my toolbox or replace a tool with this one.