Grades3 to 7
In the ClassroomEmphasize what you have presented or want to review in writing concept mini lessons. Reluctant writers as well as enthusiastic writers can gleam ideas to start writing, as well as several ideas for writing prompts. Share this site on your class website for students who need extra reinforcement with writing concepts at home or students who love to go beyond and dig deeper into writing. Part of the site includes an area to continue the started story. Be sure to monitor closely since not all posts appear to be part of the topic. Use this site as an example of ways to continue writing workshop ideas onto your own classroom blog. Share your class stories using a site such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
Grades4 to 12
In the ClassroomSign up for DearReader and receive daily emails with book excerpts. Share the excerpts with your class as a way to hook some into reading or to offer book suggestions. Use the emails as an example of a service that students may want to try; have students choose an interesting excerpt from a book they are reading and share with others via email or your classroom blog or website. Consider having students create "talking pictures" to represent their excerpt using Blabberize, reviewed here. Use excerpts as a discussion starter in literacy circles or writers workshops.
Grades3 to 8
tag(s): writing (316)
In the ClassroomTeachers should model the use of this tool on an interactive whiteboard or projector prior to student use. Essay Map can be placed on the desktop of a classroom computer for students to access during Writer's Workshop or throughout the school day.
Grades2 to 8
In the ClassroomEncourage your students to revise and edit their writing by turning their stories into stopmotion movies. Have students work in small groups to visually re-create events from their own writing. This will help develop stronger characters, dialogue, and draw attention to the elements of time and place. The planning sheets are a helpful tool to help students examine story structure and sequence. Alternatively, develop reading comprehension and fluency by asking students to re-create a fable or folktale. The new term for this is "Readers stopmotion." Teachers may want to be comfortable using a digital camera and movie making programs before embarking on this project."
Challenge students to share their videos on a site such as TeacherTube reviewed here or post them on your class website. Get parent permission before posting any student work on this sharing site and check with your school administrator to be sure that your school allows students to post videos on-line. Teachers may want to be comfortable using a digital camera/webcam and movie making programs before embarking on this project.
Grades6 to 12
In the ClassroomVisual thinkers sometimes experience difficulty expressing their thoughts in words and when asked to write a poem, they literally fall apart. Poetry has images inherent in its form; therefore, spark your students' creativity by enabling them to think of a line in a poem as a frame in a cartoon. By jumping from image to image, the poem takes on a comic-like element, where the words and images are dependent upon each other. Rather than getting jammed up on words that rhyme, this approach offers a clever and amazing way to "write a poem." This activity would work well for pairing visual learners or artistically inclined students with the stronger writers in the class, or by using individual computers and modifying technology use to combine the Poems = Word Comics concept with Write Comics, reviewed here, to create professional looking poetic comics.
Grades3 to 12
In the ClassroomUsers need to know how to select and upload a photograph from a computer. Be sure to take advantage of the helpful on-line tutorials. Enjoy spending some time experimenting with the site before introducing it to your class. The on-line gallery takes submissions and lets users view artwork. This is only accessible with a Facebook account. Many schools block Facebook entirely, so check first. Facebook accounts DO require a valid email address. One option is to register for a class Facebook account using a free class gmail account. It is essential that permissible use and consequences are set before introducing the site. Get parent permission before posting any student work on the sharing site. Downloading drawings allows "local control." Without a Facebook account it is possible to view the work of others but not, comment, rate and submit artwork. Preview artwork in the user's gallery before having your class accesses it. Students will also need to know how to cite the original source of a photograph. Psykopaint is a wonderful alternative to hand drawn pictures. Students can liven up reports, stories, websites, and podcasts with manipulated photographs. Model how to use this site on your projector or interactive whiteboard and then give students at least one full class session to experiment. Create your own set of pictures in advance and limit students to the class set so they do not search and find pictures inappropriate for the classroom. Have students take photographs of historic landmarks or important buildings in their town and then use Psykopaint to transform them into illustrations. Show your students how to embed media transforming these images into an online, interactive, town history infographic using Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here. Consider scanning or photographing student artwork and then use this site to edit their creation. Let students photograph themselves acting out scenes for a story they wrote then transform them into painterly illustrations. Extend learning and have students create a multimedia presentation using Thinglink, reviewed here. This site allows users to narrate a picture. The artwork students can create on this site will spice up any published projects.
Parent permission advised before posting student work created using this tool
Includes Interaction w general public/ public galleries with unmoderated content
Includes social features, such as "friends," comments, ratings by others
Requires registration/log-in (WITH email)
Products can be embedded
Products can be shared by URL
Grades2 to 12
tag(s): writing (316)
In the ClassroomUsing photos as prompts is good for the students who have writers block, are having problems visualizing what they want to convey in words, or for young writers just starting out. Giving students a photo helps them to form a story and makes their ideas more concrete. Use your projector or interactive whiteboard to project one of the photographs and have students envision the photo as a video that has been put on pause. Ask students to come up with ideas for what happened in the video before it was paused, and what will happen once the video is on "play" again. Have students annotate the picture with the ideas the class comes up with using FotoFlexor, reviewed here, and then let them get started writing their story to go with the photo. You could do several of these and make a class book of the students' writing. For this you might want to use Book Creator reviewed here, to publish student writing and to give your writers workshop publishing a professional flare.
Grades6 to 12
tag(s): writing (316)
In the ClassroomWhile this is mostly a teacher resource, it could be used for a class lesson on certain areas of writing, particularly for high school students. It will give you ideas to use on laptops or in a writing lab as well as offer an interactive quiz when you finish teaching certain writing skills. The comma splice/sentence combining activity would make a great starting point for student editing. Then have students create an animated multimedia illustration of an example to show how to correct a common "Issue in Sentence Management" (humor welcome).
Grades8 to 12
In the ClassroomTake advantage of the numerous tips and tools to spark a new idea or expand one that you already have going on. Save this site in your favorites and use it as a massive compilation of resources while planning your entire English language arts lessons, not just writing. Use your whiteboard to show a "how-to" video or display information to enhance your lessons. Provide a direct link on your class page to any one of the sites that you choose to feature; perhaps a literary genre, book, or author that you are focusing on, or daily writing tips, grammar help, and guides for students to develop practical writing skills for reports, e-mail, letters, resumes, and more. Share students' writing projects interactively by having students create online books using a tool such as Bookemon, reviewed here.
GradesK to 12
In the ClassroomInclude Word Talk as your classroom helper for FREE! Offer assisted learning for struggling readers or writers to provide success. Provide study guides or notes in an MP3 file to include on your website. Offer as a way to encourage independence and confidence in all learners. Incorporate into writer's workshop to help with editing and proofreading. Help your ESL/ELL and special needs students find more success. This helps you achieve the technology goal of assisted learning in IEP students. Offer all directions with the text to speech option.
Grades1 to 6
tag(s): writing (316)