We are fortunate in the Bay Area to have a resource for nonfiction
reading material for our classrooms, and it revolves around the local
newspaper.Newsschool is a literacy
program that provides not only the physical newspapers to the classroom, but a
fairly complete collection of lessons and resources for teachers to use, at no
cost to the school.Newsschool is also
available in an e-edition.
The program’s lessons integrate reading into math, science,
and thinking skills for all grade levels.Students learn how to read to gain information, determine what’s vital
to the task at hand, and use what they read to support their claims.They learn to think critically and support
their own opinions with facts.Students
can use current events to make connections to what they learning in textbooks
and other sources.These skills are all
essential aspects of meeting the Common Core.
The Kid Scoop Teacher page specifically addresses the Common
Core and how to use newspapers to meet the standards.Teachers and parents will find warm-up
activities, guides, videos and writing prompts.
Creative teachers can devise their own units using the
newspapers with ed tech tools students are already using.
Use Fotobabble to put together a food pyramid using grocery
Extend Poetry Play but creating a visual component in Prezi.
Use a slideshow program like Animoto to narrate the Good
Turn writing piece.
Have students write their Monsters Wanted ad in Doodlecast.
This program is not unique.A quick Google search found similar programs across the nation.Or contact your local newspaper to see if
they have a Newspaper In Education program.
Take ten minutes to read it - very informative, and full of interesting thoughts and perspective. For one, interesting pivots that seem to be starting for both Coursera and Udacity - more focused on corporate training? In 2012, MOOCs looked upon as a possible 'salvation' for education, now, not so much. Hmmm... should be an interesting year...
Achieve the Core has identified three overarching shifts in
the move to the Common Core standards for English/Language Arts.Having spent the better of three years
unpacking the new standards, these shifts indeed spotlight where a teacher
should focus instruction. Go to the Achieve the Core site to read more on "Making the Shift".
All three remind us of the need to offer more robust content to
students so they can build vocabulary, skills (such as inference), and habits
(supporting arguments) necessary to
develop college and career readiness.
What are these shifts and how can student use of technology
address them?Here are a few ideas:
1. Regular practice with complex text and its academic
Use Little Bird Tales, Storybird, Voicethread, or Haiku Deck
to 1) identify rich vocabulary in close reading and write a new story using it;
2) create a book of poetry on the weather, and 3) write your own textbook on
animals, weather, geology, outreach activities.
2. Reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence from
text, both literary and informational
Instead of writing an essay, have students create a digital
story based on a script.Use Popplet to
brainstorm/storyboard; Google Apps to write the script; and Comic Creator,
Powtoon, GoAnimate! or video to create the final product.
3. Building knowledge through content-rich nonfiction