j0354499.gifCool Tools for Reading / Language

There are many tools available on the Internet that support the reading / language curriculum. Some of these tools are to help reduce your planning time, engage the students, and create products and projects quickly. Let's get surfing!

The first site we are going to visit is Read Write Think, http://www.readwritethink.org, hosted by the International Reading Association, National Council for Teachers of English, and Marco Polo. On the Read Write Think website, you can search for lesson plans, review the standards, find web resources, and student materials. All grades are represented at Read Write Think.


By selecting LESSONS, you can search by grade bands and literacy strands. You are not able to search by a specific topic in this area. I will show you how to do that in a few minutes. After making your choices, select DISPLAY. You will now see a list of lessons with title, abstract, grade strand, and the date it was posted.

3, 2, 1...Blast Off! Vocabulary Instruction Using a Virtual Trip to the Moon

Capture the qualities of field-trip learning in the classroom. Vocabulary visits help first- and second-grade students learn words through the use of read-alouds, writing activities, and an online graphic organizer. Working independently and in groups students learn about the moon; however, the activities can be applied to any content area topic.

A Bear of a Poem: Composing and Performing Found Poetry

Using familiar childhood stories, students will work together to create a poem that is “found” in the language presented in the picture books they read. Children will look in texts for writing that inspires them—looking for favorite words, phrases, and sentences. Working together, students will combine their words and phrases to create a class poem. When complete, the new piece will be shared as performance poetry.

What lesson did you find that you would use in your classroom? Select EDIT PAGE at the top to add the title of the lesson?

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View the 12 IRA / NCTE standards

Web Resources

This is a rich resource that allows you to locate other website that support the Reading / Language curriculum. Simialr to Lessons, You can search the web resources by Grade Band and the different types of web resources (Instructional Resources, Professional Development, Reference Library, and Student Resources). Take several minutes to explore some sites that the Web Resources direct you to.

Some 9-12 examples for Intructional Resources
100 Best Books for Kids
This list was selected by the National Education Association, is posted on the TeachersFirst.com website, and recommends best books for kids grouped by age level. There are also site links to Reading Resources, Storytelling Resources, and Reading Lessons.
Instructional Resources, Professional Development
From the homepage, choose a site version (English or French), then navigate through areas for professional development, curricular resources, teacher tools, project information, technology integration, and more. From the homepage, there are also links to student sites (by grade level) that help with homework and offer educational activities.
Instructional Resources, Professional Development, Student Resources
4Teachers.org is a free, multifaceted site that includes a variety of fast, easy-to-use tools for teachers and students. Among the website's offerings are the popular RubiStar and QuizStar, as well as links to professional development research and WebQuests. A separate registration is required for each Star tool.
Instructional Resources, Professional Development, Student Resources
A Scholarly Snow White
If your students are exploring the Snow White fairy tale, this site has everything you need. The site includes teaching tips, 37 versions of the fairy tale plus a series of illustrations, information about films, videos and recordings, excerpts on the context, excerpts of criticism of "Snow White," selected Links on Fairy Tales, Folklore and on "Snow White," and a selected bibliography.
Instructional Resources

What web resources would you suggest for other teachers in your school to take a closer look at?
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Student Materials

This is my favorite area to gather tools from. Most of these tools are interactive. Once you teach a student how easy it is to create an alphabet book using Alphabet Organizer the student begins to create alphabet books on their own for themselves. I can't wait for you to get started exploring this site. Some of the tools that I have used are:
**Acrostic Poems**
This online tool enables students to learn about and write acrostic poems. Elements of the writing process are also included.
**Alphabet Organizer**
Alphabet Organizer has numerous applications for classroom instruction. Students can use the tool to print an alphabet chart or pages for an alphabet book.

**Character Trading Cards**
The interactive Character Trading Cards tool is a fun and useful way for students to explore a character in a book that they are reading or as a prewriting exercise when creating characters for original stories.

**Circle Plot Diagram**
The Circle Plot Diagram can be used as a prewriting graphic organizer for students writing original stories with a circular plot structure as well as a postreading organizer used to explore the text structures in a book.

**Flip Book** - One of my favorites for giving directions and also for student use
The Flip Book is designed to allow users to type and illustrate tabbed flip books up to ten pages long. Students and teachers can use the flip book for taking notes while reading, making picture books, collecting facts, or creating question and answer booklets.

**Letter Generator**
The Letter Generator is a useful tool for students to learn the parts of a business or friendly letter and then compose and print letters containing all the essential elements needed for both styles of correspondence.

Now it is your turn to see what these tools do. If you are a Primary teacher you may be thinking that my students could not use these tools on their own. That may be the case, but you could use the tools to create class books or maps that you print out and post in your room. You would need to connect your laptop to an LCD projector so that all students could see the tool as you are collaborating.

What tools do you like the best?

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Earlier I told you that searching by a specific topic was not available, however, there is a button in the upper right hand corner labeled SEARCH. When you select this button, you can search in many way. This search not only searches the Read Write Think website, but all other Marco Polo websites. You may find a social studies lessons that uses narrative writing. Give it a try!

Search ReadWriteThink and MarcoPolo Find Quality Internet Content for Your Classroom! The MarcoPolo Search Engine provides access to all of the educational resources created by the MarcoPolo Partners plus Partner reviewed materials. See the FAQs for more information.
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This is just one tool that is one the Internet to help you. I will be adding other tools throughout the year.

Remember, my job this year is to help you integrate technology into your curriculum. I am available to you from the planning stage all the way through the reflection stage. E-mail me, //aprilchamberlain@trussvillecityschools.com//, with your ideas and I will get with you to find a convenient time to meet and plan. I look forward to working with you this year!