World Read Aloud Day

World Read Aloud Day
World Read Aloud Day

Find resources: http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/calendar-activities/today-world-read-aloud-30879.html

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Online Resources for Argumentation and Logical Fallacies

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

This week on Literacy Beat, I gathered some resources for teaching students to create and critique effective arguments. This list will appear in Literacy in the Disciplines: A Field Guide by Thomas DeVere Wolsey and Diane Lapp to be published by Guilford Press in summer 2016.

In the first section, you will find several resources that are useful across disciplines.  The second section includes argumentation resources for specific disciplines, such as science, social studies, and mathematics. Have you found useful resources for working with argumentation in your classroom? Please share them in the comments section, below, or send me an email.

General Resources:

 

Discipline-specific Resources:

From the Literacy Beat archives: See how we used the Visual Thesaurus in the Vocabulary Self-Collection Strategy Plus technique then visit their site. Just click the image below.

Webwatch: Teach the Books You Love

Guest post by Literacy Beat friend Susan Lenski at Portland State University

Teach the Books You Love (http://ttbyl.net) is a free online database of books for grades 5 through 12 that are aligned to the CCSS. With many states and districts adopting the Common Core State Standards, it’s becoming harder to teach the books that you love, or books that are not a part of the public school canon. Many school districts only want teachers to teach with books recommended by the Common Core, and often they require in-depth analysis and alignment to teach anything else. Ttbyl.net is a collection of books that have all been aligned with the Common Core. All of the books have qualitative and quantitative text complexity measures listed, along with summaries, rationale for teaching, suggested CCSS, and even some teacher resources. Teachers can then match books to the needs of their students and come up with vibrant new ideas for their curriculum, and justify it to their administration.

TTBYL

Teach the Books You Love

Webwatch: iGameMom, Games for Learning

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Happy Mother’s Day to our readers and to my terrific Literacy Beat co-bloggers!

Rose

By TDWolsey

Have you spent time searching the App Store for just the right learning game only to download an app and find it was not quite what you imagined? One of my favorite new sites is iGameMom where the contributors review learning apps for mobile devices they believe are worthy for children of different ages. Finding the right learning game is easy on iGameMom. The site is well-organized with reviews grouped by age and subject area. Because this blog focuses on literacy, this post highlights that section of iGameMom. However, there are many cool apps in other subject areas to check out.

Within the literacy category, you can locate apps for developing letter recognition and related skills, spelling, reading, and language. Recently, iGameMom reviewed Expand Vocabulary with Word Art, a game that pairs humorous artwork (as you know, Literacy Beat often features topics related to visual literacy, so this app was a great find!) with vocabulary learning in a game environment.  Apps reviewed on iGameMom can also be located by the price including those that are free. If you download an app, you may want to use the link provided on the site because it helps to support the site without any cost to you for doing so.

iGameMom

iGameMom: Games for Learning

In addition, there are several resources from the web linked on iGameMom that you may find useful. A list of free apps for iPad that iGameMom recommends are grouped by topic or skill to be developed.  The literacy-related lists include vocabulary development, handwriting (yep, handwriting—still an art in our digital age!), storytelling, grammar and more.

Curating Videos on the Web for Children

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

Sometimes, searching for and selecting the best content online can take as much time as actually watching, reading, or engaging with the content itself. This is especially true for parents and teachers who often make the selections for children.  This is so for text and image-based digital content but also for video.  Youtube EDU provides some guidance for teachers and parents.  In this LiteracyBeat post, I will tell you a little bit about a new service that curates video content from a variety of sources and for specific audiences: Pluto TV

Where YouTube EDU uses an electronic discovery system to identify content, Pluto TV employs about 15 human beings who search for and curate videos. For parents, teachers, and children, the curation process is particularly important because each of the children’s channels (currently channels 901-906, click the “Channel Lineup” button on the top left) on Pluto are aimed at a different demographic, a very important feature that differs from television channels that may air content for preschool children in the morning and elementary-age children in the afternoon. Moreover, the curated content filters out shows on popular channels that don’t always deliver the educational or useful content parents expect. There is also a Kid’s Mode with a parent lock feature.  Shows can be saved for future viewing or a reminder sent that a show is about to air.

Pluto Screencap

Pluto TV screenshot – Kid’s Channel Lineup

The interface is a familiar one that looks like the channel line-up on your television service provider.  Each show plays at a specific time and it is possible to save a show or set up a reminder to watch it later. Of course, Pluto is well-designed to work on multiple devices and there is an app to improve the experience, as well.  Learn more about Pluto here.

Read more in the Los Angeles Times.

WebWatch: Newtown Kindness

by Thomas DeVere Wolsey

This month, I feature some music you may have heard and a website you might like. The two go together, but you will need to make this a multimedia moment.  First, start the YouTube video, below, so you can hear the music from The Alternate Routes.

 

If you would like to read the lyrics, point your browser to The Alternate Routes website.
 

Next, click this link http://www.newtownkindness.org/ and visit Newtown Kindness.  The link will open in a new window so you can listen to the music as you explore the site.  Newtown Kindness is an organization dedicated to teaching students to be kind and recognizing those who are kind in any of many ways. The site honors Charlotte Bacon, who died at Sandy Hook Elementary School, by turning tragedy into hope. Maybe you and your students will want to become involved by supporting therapy and comfort dogs, taking a kindness pledge, or engaging in a lesson about responding with kindness. Watch the video below to learn about some of the recipients of the Charlotte Bacon Acts of Kindness Awards.
 

 

Heroes don’t look like they used to, they look like you do. -The Alternate Routes

Web-Watch: The Balanced Literacy Diet

By Thomas DeVere Wolsey

This week, I share a website I recently discovered while visiting with a colleague from the University of Toronto. The Balanced Literacy Diet website takes an innovative approach to supporting teachers, parents, administrators, and teacher-educators in preventing literacy failure. The Balanced Literacy Diet approach uses a familiar metaphor to address the complex nature of teaching literacy: the food pyramid. On this site, the food pyramid is transformed into a reading pyramid and a writing pyramid. Fifteen essential “food” groups form the foundation of the literacy diet.

Reading Pyramid

Literacy Diet Reading Pyramid

The food groups include topics such as motivation to read, writing processes, and text structures, for example. View a full list by clicking here. Teachers can then use the recipe finder to locate activities and explanations built on the food groups. For example, one recipe for fourth grade addresses the food group, “Real Writing: Text Structures” through a math lesson (see figure 2, below). The recipe includes an activity objective, four images of student work products, a video with a teacher explaining the recipe, and a transcript of the video. Links to other recipes by the featured teacher are included. Each video is concise and just long enough to keep the viewer engaged. The math literacy lesson video is just one minute, twenty-three seconds in length.

math & literacy

Math and Literacy Recipe

Another innovative feature of the site is the virtual classroom tour option. The virtual classroom tours are interactive; that is, the viewer controls what to look at in the classroom and can point to features which then pop-up a description and additional video describing what is on the screen. I recommend using Chrome or Firefox rather than Internet Explorer at this time; Internet Explorer 10 appears to limit what you can do on the website.

The Literacy Diet website is a project of the Melissa Institute for Violence Prevention and Treatment. A key tool in the Institute’s arsenal rests on the idea that improved literacy for students translates to a more peaceful and less violent society overall. Please take a moment to read about the Institute. The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto hosts the site. You may want to grab a soda and snack before you visit the Literacy Diet site—once you start reading, viewing, and touring the recipes for literacy success, you may spend more time than you planned getting to know the innovative teachers on this interactive and useful site. Teacher educators will find all kinds of useful examples for the teachers-to-be-with whom they work. Excellent ideas gathered by grade/age, stage of literacy development, and food group will inspire new ideas for teachers, parents, and administrators.

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