Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Enchanted Learning

Enchanted Learning is an educational website that offers teachers various resources depending on the topic in which the instructor is searching for.  In literacy for example the website offers various lesson ideas, resources and activities which children can learn from and can be implemented in lesson plans.

The site offers articles in which can be copied and pasted onto lesson-writer to create lesson plans with regards to the article.  For example, I just copy pasted an article on the life cycle of the butterfly   onto lesson-writer.  What I did was combine the literacy activities lesson-writer offers with the arts & crafts activities provided by enchanted learning.

For a social studies geography unit, I recently created paper-mache globes using enchanted learning.  My students also created a poster of the 7 continents, using poster-board, and displayed the route Christopher Columbus took when he set out to find spices.  This activity was also found on enchanted learning.

The website is free for some resources but must pay for "premier" resources.  Until now I have not had to pay, however I will become a member soon to have access to the "premier" resources.



I recently began using webquest.org to plan my units.  I found that the website is phenomenal.  As teacher leader for the 4th grade I am responsible for creating units and integrating task bundles that integrate literacy with content.  Between lessonwriter and webquest my units have been key in assigning students tasks that focus on the objective that is given.  For ELL's it has also been a great help  because webquest has visuals, and information that is easy to read.  The website is great when teaching into researching topics, thus are categorized by grade.  

The website itself is very user friendly and easy to navigate.  The visuals and print are pleasant to look at, which will encourage the students to continue researching.  That is how user friendly it is, students can go on themselves and research topics.  It is in English, and the tasks provided are aligned to the common core.

What I love the most aside from its interrelated literacy component, at the end of the task the site offers a rubric! Luv that!! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Achieve 3000

     Achieve 3000 is another useful tool for literacy (reading and writing).  I was just recently trained to use Achieve 3000 and have already started assessing my students reading level to assign them the appropriate reading level.
     Achieve 3000 gives the educator the ability search readings of various genres by level.  For example if a student in your class reads a level S book, the same article can be found but at an easier reading level such as level M.  The levels are determined by a lexile system,  the higher the level the higher the lexile count.
     Moreover, Achieve 3000 offers units of study that complement the New York City Department's scope and sequence for Science and Social Studies.  They also have lessons, rubrics and games that all tie in to the article selected.
     Check it out, I guarantee your are going to find the site quite effective.

Tumble Books

     Tumble books are a great tool to use in a classroom of English Language Learners.  To use tumble books one might subscribe to a paid membership online or simply visit kids.nypl.org/ where you can use tumble books free of charge. 
     Tumble books are electronic books that are available in various literary genres.  In kids.nypl.org, all it takes is having a library card membership number and you are given access to use the tumble books.
     I found that tumble books are very user -friendly, as the book is read aloud the words that are being read are highlighted.  Moreover, one is able to go back, go forward, and pause the story.  Readers can easily navigate the page and follow what is being read.  Students have found it to be very intriguing, and they follow along as the book is being read.
     I have found that tumble books are ideal for read alouds and shared reading.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Photo Story 3

Photo Story 3
     I have found that Photo Story 3 is a phenomenol tool to use in the Bilingual classroom setting.  It can be used for example with beginning ELLs who cannot read or write in the target language, use their language by speaking about the pictures that are implemented in photo story.  A student can also be asked to sequence pictures, and speak about each photo in sequential order.  Moreover, they can be asked to used sequential words (assuming the student has been exposed to that sort of vocabulary.)
     Another way that it can be used is to dictate a narrative story, or an autobiography.   I am currently experimenting with the site and trying to find a place for it in my unit of Native Americans.  The visuals are key for the demographic of my classroom.  There are students who fit the profile of various language and academic levels.  It becomes challenging to differentiate for all levels, however a tool such as Photo story 3 gives me endless possibilities as to how I would use it in the classroom.
     The best part is, the software is easy to download and navigate once the program has been downloaded.