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SNAP Learning Close Reading System

Recently, SNAP Learning invited me to review their Close Reading Portfolio. Wow! I’m so glad they did! The SNAP Close Reading Portfolio is really great. What it is: SNAP Learning Close Reading Portfolio is a complete online program comprised of a series of interactive exercises that guide students in the meaning of words and sentences, how sentences are sequenced and arranged, and how ideas are developed in a text. The books online are engaging and all of the tools are so well integrated that students learn about strategies that should be employed while reading and are not just left reading text that is online. As a teacher, you can create student groups and assign reading collections to groups based on their needs. Online books can be filtered by Lexile level, FP level, grade level, fiction/non/fiction, etc. Create a collection for students easily and assign it to them so that they can choose a book that interests them within the parameters of their reading needs.   How to integrate SNAP Learning Close Reading Portfolio into your classroom: This online program is a fantastic addition to your literacy program.  When I taught 2nd grade, I loved getting to meet with small reading groups throughout the week. My goal was to meet with every group of 4 students twice in a week so that I could guide reading and help students build skills on a more one-on-one basis. While I led these small reading groups, I created tub work that students could work on independently to help build literacy skills (basically literacy centers that came to the students). At the beginning of the week, I would introduce this tub work for students. Each day of the week the tubs rotated to a different group and students would complete the activities. (To read more about how I organized tub work, read this post.) This was a great way for me to keep my students learning even though I was unavailable for guided learning or direct instruction because I was working with a reading group. I would have LOVED adding SNAP Learning Close Reading Portfolio into my rotation on classroom computers. SNAP Learning Close Reading Portfolio leads students step by step through close reading; it helps them build skills to help them understand a text. Students can highlight words that are difficult (that automatically get added to flash cards that help them learn later), answer main and supporting detail questions, and reflect on what they learned through the reading. The greatest part is the way that the program does “guided” reading and reads aloud to students while highlighting words. Truly, this is a great way for students to learn the skills necessary for reading and comprehension. As an add-on to your reading program (and certainly as a rotation for students to do while you work with individual students) it is awesome! The other benefit is all of the data collected for you. You can assign students stories to read, and see which words they highlighted, and all of their written responses. You now have some great background information for when you meet with students one-on-one. SNAP Learning Close Reading portfolio makes it infinitely easier to collect information about how your students are reading when you aren’t able to sit right with them. This makes it a great companion to any reading program. I like the idea of using it as a center rotation (in classes with one or two computers) or independently in a 1-1 setting. While students are working through the close reading activities, you can work in smaller reading groups or one on one with students. The SNAP Reading portfolio keeps you and your students organized! Because SNAP Learning let’s students create word lists while they read, each of your students could have a customized spelling list each week. A step into individualizing your curriculum for your students. Tips: There is all kinds of customization within SNAP reading to fit the needs of your classroom and each child. For example: when you assign reading, you can also assign reading timers for first, second, third, and fourth close reading. You can request a demo of the close reading portfolio here- www.snaplearning.co/request_demo

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Critical Past

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Evaluate, Geography, Government, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Knowledge (remember), Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Social Studies, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 10-08-2010

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What it is: Critical Past is a website I learned about today from Tom Boito’s great blog EDge 21 in his Catch of the Day.  The resource is too good not to share again here!  Critical Past is a collection of more than 57,000 historical videos and more than 7 million historical photos.  All of the photos and videos are royalty free, archival stock footage.  Most of the footage comes from U.S. Government Agency sources.  All of the videos and photos can be viewed for free online and shared with others via url, Twitter, or Facebook.  The videos and photos are also available to purchase for download.

How to integrate Critical Past into your curriculum: Critical Past is an incredible collection of historical videos and pictures.  The site is easy to search either by decade and topic or keyword.  The clips and photos on Critical Past will bring historical events alive for your students.  Use photos or videos on Critical Past to help illustrate what students are learning in history.  Ask students to be “eyewitnesses” of history and watch a video before they have context for it.  Students can write or blog about what they think they are witnessing, afterward they can research the event more in-depth and write a follow-up reflection on what was actually happening in the clip.

** Check out this awesome lesson that @pharesr created based on this post. So cool!

Tips: Along the right side bar of Critical Past, you will find “related videos.”  Students can watch a clip and the related videos and reflect on how the clips are related.  Sometimes it is a similar time period, sometimes a related event, other times it is a related location.

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Critical Past in your classroom!

Comments (14)

I love this website! Thank you so much for sharing!

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, ktenkely, Maryna Badenhorst, njbrand, Rita Simons Santiago and others. Rita Simons Santiago said: RT @ShellTerrell Critical Past http://bit.ly/cDR8S4 by @ktenkely #edtech […]

Wow – what an amazing resource. I will use this to help my kids find primary sources for the projects they do for the National History Day contest. It will be especially useful for those making documentaries or websites as for a small fee they can get video footage and photos.

[…] Past Critical Past is a great site that I just learned about from iLearn Technology. This is a site that is dedicated to showing excellent historic photos and videos. It works very […]

This is a tremendous resource! I will definitely use it for our U.S. History Documentary film project. There are lots of newsreels here, and it’s the best source of Bob Hope/USO footage from WWII I’ve seen in one place. Thanks for posting!

Thanks for the mention!

Great Primary Source for showing what the world looked like at various years. Lots of background information for Social Studies and some chapter books.

I agree, this would be a great way to enrich text and chapter books!

You bet!

Great idea Meryl! I hope you will share the projects with the rest of us, I know I would love to see them!

This site is amazing! I’m passing this along ASAP to all of the teachers in my district. Thanks Kelly!

It would be a great service if only they weren’t ripping people off. The pricing is ridiculous considering they are selling footage paid for by US taxpayers. To charge $170 for a 50 second clip recorded in the 1940′s is a joke. This information should be available at a decent price…it’s OUR history.

Hi Matt, agreed! The service USED to be completely free of charge. Not such a great service when it is expensive beyond reason.

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