Are you familiar with the Student Interactives on the ReadWriteThink website (http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/ )? This is one of the most useful sites for teachers in Divs II and III for providing scaffolding and allowing students to demonstrate understanding of concepts in creative ways. There are 59 digital tools (called “Student Interactives”) available and the ways they can be used is almost limitless. Also available on the site are dozens of lesson plans using the Interactives, searchable by grade level. Many of the Interactives are also applicable to Divs I and IV.
Some of my favorites for student use (with descriptions from www.readwritethink.org) are:
Flip Book http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/flipbook/ 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. Students can choose from nine different layouts for the pages of their books. A blank flip book is available for demonstration and planning.
Printing Press http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/persuasion_map/ The interactive Printing Press is designed to assist students in creating newspapers, brochures, and flyers. Teachers and students can choose from several templates to publish class newspapers, informational brochures, and flyers announcing class events. Text added to the templates can be modified using a simple WYSIWYG editor, which allows students to choose text features, such as font size and color.
Compare and Contrast Map http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/compcontrast/map.html This interactive graphic organizer helps students develop an outline for one of three types of comparison essays: whole-to-whole, similarities-to-differences, or point-to-point. A link in the introduction to the Comparison and Contrast Guide give students the chance to get definitions and look at examples before they begin working. The tool offers multiple ways to navigate information including a graphic on the right that allows students to move around the map without having to work in a linear fashion. The finished map can be saved, e-mailed, or printed.
Persuasion Map http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/persuasion_map/ The Persuasion Map is an interactive graphic organizer that enables students to map out their arguments for a persuasive essay or debate. Students begin by determining their goal or thesis. They then identify three reasons to support their argument, and three facts or examples to validate each reason. The map graphic in the upper right-hand corner allows students to move around the map, instead of having to work in a linear fashion. The finished map can be saved, e-mailed, or printed.
Cube Creator http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/student-interactives/cube-30057.html Summarizing information is an important postreading and prewriting activity that helps students synthesize what they have learned. The interactive Cube Creator offers four options:
Letter Generator http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/letter_generator/ The Letter Generator tool is designed to help students learn to identify all the essential parts of a business or friendly letter, and then generate letters by typing information into letter templates. A sample letter is included, and students can learn about the parts of a letter by reading descriptions of each part.
Once students have become familiar with letter formats, they are prompted to write their own letter. Students follow the steps and fill in specific fields in the template (for example, heading, salutation, closing, signature, and so on). They may even add a decorative border and postscript to the friendly letter. The finished letter can be saved, e-mailed, or printed.
This useful tool provides step-by-step instructions for familiarizing users with the necessary elements of written correspondence, and can serve as an excellent practice method for composing and proofreading both formal and informal letters.
Notetaker http://rwtinteractives.ncte.org/view_interactive.aspx?id=722 “This hierarchical outlining tool allows students to organize up to five levels of information for reading and writing activities. During or after reading, the Notetaker can be used to compile and organize reading notes, research, and related ideas. During the writing process, students can use the tool to organize their information and plan texts in the prewriting stage and to review and structure their ideas during writing and revision. Students can choose the format that the outline will use (e.g., bullets, Roman numerals, letters) as well as enter up to five levels of information.”
Trading Card Creator http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/trading_cards_2/ The Trading Card tool gives students an alternative way to demonstrate their literacy knowledge and skill when writing about popular culture texts or real world examples. This interactive allows students to create their own trading card about a real or fictional person, place, object, event, or abstract concept.
These cards are can be used with any type of book students are reading or subjects that they are studying, and make for an excellent prewriting exercise for students who are writing narrative stories and need to consider characters, setting, and plot. Specific prompts guide student through the various types of cards, expanding students' thinking from the basic information and description of the topic to making personal connections to the subject.
The save capability gives students a way to work on a draft of their card and come back to it to rework and revise as necessary, and to save their finished product to share with friends and family. Images can be uploaded into the card to give the finished product a complete and polished look.
Cards can be bundled into a single, small collection (8 card maximum) so that students have a way of sort and grouping similar topics in one file.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. Have fun exploring the many other available tools.
This blog and resources website has been developed through the work of various AISI coaches in PHRD. The lead collaborative teachers for the 2015/2016 school year, Cheryl Frose, Christine Quong and Tammy Tkachuk will continue to update this site. If you have resources you would like to share or would like to contribute to the blog, please contact us.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.