4 Sites for Using Trade Books in the Classroom

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Do you use trade books in your classroom? Research has proven the many benefits of using trade books for instruction. This article from Scholastic features literary successes achieved by providing students with a variety of diverse reading material.

Everyone agrees that using a wide variety of reading materials is good practice. However, this provides some lesson-planning difficulties. How do we prepare activities for so many different reading choices? Having a toolbox full of resources that work with any grade level, subject, and ability makes planning much easier.

Here are some suggestions for both veteran and beginning teachers to assist you when planning lessons including trade books:

Whooo’s Reading (TeachersFirst review) – is a quiz-taking site different than some other quiz sites that assess reading comprehension. Instead of multiple choice comprehension questions, Whooo’s Reading offers short-response questions to use with any text. Another activity provides students with the opportunity to add journal responses during reading. Students receive feedback from responses prompting expanding vocabulary and clarifying answers. The free plan for individual educators allows you to add up to six classes. Other features include a virtual bookshelf and owl avatars students earn as motivation.

ClassTools (TeachersFirst review) – ClassTools features a wide variety of online tools that quickly adapt to any book topic. There are so many I could easily write a whole blog just about this site! Browse through to find a headline creator, Fakebook (TeachersFirst review), Twister (fake Tweet creator) (TeachersFirst review), and so much more. Some of my favorites include the different timeline creators – allow students to choose one of these tools to produce a timeline from novels or history books. Another great tool is Post-it (TeachersFirst review). Post-it is an image labeling tool; use this for students to share information about a story character, science concept, or upload the book cover and have students use different text boxes to summarize the book.

ReadWriteThink (TeachersFirst review) – This blog wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the many resources available on ReadWriteThink for teaching reading and writing. Choose from lesson plans and units sorted by grade level, or narrow down your search to specific objectives including fluency, text structure, and more. In addition, ReadWriteThink offers almost 60 interactives including graphic organizers and tools for word work. Be sure to browse through the Printouts portion of the site; these aren’t boring fill in the blank activities. Printouts include charts for reading records, writing tips, and card games.

TeachersFirst Reading Strategies Resources – Don’t waste your time searching the internet for reading resources, TeachersFirst has done it for you! This curated collection contains the best of the best FREE resources for teaching reading. If the included sites aren’t enough, take a look at all of TeachersFirst resources tagged for reading strategies. TeachThought (TeachersFirst review) is one of my favorites on this list. TeachThought is updated often and shares the newest articles and ideas for effective teaching. For example, several recent posts shared lists of verbs and strategies for teaching with Bloom’s Taxonomy. Use these ideas to solidify your lessons and activities for any reading material. Follow TeachThought on Twitter (@TeachThought) or Facebook to stay up to date with all of the latest articles.

Effective reading and literacy strategies work with any book or type of reading material. Finding the right resources to motivate and engage your students takes time. Have you used an excellent resource for teaching with trade books? We would love to hear how you use them in the classroom; share your ideas in the comments below.

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About the author: Sharon Hall

Sharon Hall was a recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math teaching. With over 15 years of classroom experience as a National Board Certified teacher, Sharon shares her content knowledge and reflections on ideas for basic classroom technology integration with us.


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