Tuesday, 22 January 2013

More Common Core Writing Practice at the New York Times

For your own best practices, here are two recent Common Core Practice Writing Tasks from The Learning Network at The New York Times.

An argumentative writing task about the late "technology wunderkind,Aaron Swartz: A Data Crusader, a Defendant and Now, a Cause.
A narrative writing task about Richard Blanco, the son of Cuban exiles who was the 2013 inaugural poet: Poet's Kinship with the President.
Craig Dilger for The New York Times
I highly recommend not only these tasks, but also that you check out the Common Core Practice that appears each Friday on The Learning Network's page! And, as always, I ask that you leave a comment if you use Sarah Gross and Jonathan Olsen's great ideas.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Lit2Go - FREE Audio Books

From Aesop's Fables to The Velveteen Rabbit, with Dracula, Jane Eyre, and Tom Sawyer in between, you'll be amazed at the number of FREE audio books you'll find at Lit2Go, an ongoing project of the Florida Center for Instructional Technology.

"Lit2Go is a free online collection of stories and poems in Mp3 (audiobook) format. An abstract, citation, playing time, and word count are given for each of the passages. Many of the passages also have a related reading strategy identified. Each reading passage can also be downloaded as a PDF and printed for use as a read-along or as supplemental reading material for your classroom."

Try playing these classics for your students during read-aloud time, and watch them start to appreciate books that haven't exactly been flying off your library shelves!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Storyline Online, from the Screen Actors Guild

How would you like to have 25 FREE read-alouds for your students to enjoy? What if all 25 of them were GREAT children's books? And if the readers were people like James Earl Jones or Jane Kaczmarek, or perhaps Ernest Borgnine or Annette Bening?

If this sounds amazing, then you are in luck! 

The Screen Actors Guild Foundation provides this great resource via YouTube or, for those whose systems block the site, via SchoolTube's Storyline Online channel

Here's Betty White reading Gene Zion's classic Harry the Dirty Dog:

As if the videos weren't enough, Storyline Online also provides a downloadable activity guide for each book that includes questions, suggested research extensions, internet activities, and biographical information about the author, illustrator, and reader, plus more book suggestions.

I know you'll enjoy all this site has to offer you and your kiddos!