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Rewordify: help kids understand what they read

What it is: Rewordify is a neat online app that helps struggling readers, ESL/ELL students, etc. improve their reading comprehension and vocabulary development.  Students can copy and paste a difficult passage into Rewordify and it instantly transforms the text by highlighting words it has substituted with more common/easily understood, language.  Students can click on the highlighted word to view the original word that was replaced. Teachers can use Rewordify to create vocabulary activities from any high-interest reading passage, make over 350 classics more accessible, and show students how to surf the web the way a strong reader does. Settings within Rewordify let students adjust how they interact with difficult passages based on their own preferences and learning needs. How to integrate Rewordify into your classroom:  Rewordify is a fantastic web app for struggling readers (or any reader!).  Often, non-fiction can be difficult for students to read and understand.  Even strong readers can struggle with the new vocabulary and terms used.  Rewordify simplifies the text so that students can read through it successfully for comprehension.  It doesn’t stop there!  Since all of the words that were reworded are highlighted, students can see new vocabulary in context.  Rewordify can help students build up the ability to recognize context clues and how to use them to increase comprehension. Anastasis is inquiry based.  We do a LOT of research, even with our youngest students.  The Internet is packed with fantastic resources for learning, but these resources are typically not created with student readers in mind.  As a result, students may struggle through a text and lose out on some of the rich learning in the process.  Rewordify is a great solution for us because students can quickly copy and paste text into Rewordify (works on iPads too!) and instantly read a more student friendly version of the text. Classic literature is classic for a reason.  This literature holds timeless truths, superior storytelling and enchanting characters.  Students rarely choose to read the classics on their own because the language can add a difficult layer to the reading, causing the story to be lost in the frustration.  Rewordify has more than 350 classics built-in to be read directly on the site.  Students can choose a book to read, modify their settings of how they would like to view the words, and jump right in.  Students can choose to have the words default to the easier, modified word; can ask Rewordify to highlight words that it would have changed so that they can click on the word if they need an alternative; or see both versions of the word in context side by side. ESL/ELL students will enjoy this site for the way that it allows them autonomy in their reading and vocabulary development. Rewordify is also a great way for students to learn and practice vocabulary and discovering new synonyms for words.  Any text can be added to Rewordify, high school students could plug-in their own writing to determine if they have used interesting language.  If nothing is highlighted, there could be some work to do on word choice. If you only have one or two computers available to students in your classroom, why not set up a bookmark to Rewordify that students can visit as needed during research, reading, etc.?  Students will be empowered to read anything they encounter with increased confidence. Tips: In addition to the classics, you will also see a variety of news websites and articles that work well with Rewordify.  Whole pages of the site are automatically reworded for ease of understanding. What do you think of Rewordify?  How do you plan to use it in your classroom?

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Corkboard: Classroom Collaboration

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Subject, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), web tools, Web2.0 | Posted on 30-12-2010

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What it is: Corkboard is a neat little collaboration tool that I learned about on Twitter yesterday thanks to @Grade1. Corkboard reminds me a lot of Wallwisher (which has been a little unreliable lately). Best of all, it is literally a one step set up process.  Just type in the web address: http://corboard.me and it automatically creates a unique url for your corkboard.  Click to add a sticky note on the corkboard. Give students or other teachers the unique url so that they can add a sticky note. Easy!  Sticky notes can be as big or small as you like.  Click and hold down on a sticky note to move it around the corkboard.

How to integrate Corkboard into the classroom: Corkboard provides an easy to use platform for students to brainstorm, collaborate, and share ideas. Students can use Corkboard to brainstorm ideas for writing, research, and collaborating on group projects. Ask students to add their thoughts to any conversation on history, literature, science, phonics, or vocabulary corkboard.  Students could practice spelling by typing out their spelling words along with a sentence or synonyms on sticky notes. Students can share a board to discuss a book they are reading together, predictions for a class science experiment, and to share what they are learning in any subject or lecture. You could create a new corkboard each week where you post homework, resources, to-do items, etc. for your students. Students can add sticky notes to the board about what they are learning throughout the week. These Corkboards can be added to a Weblist.me so that there is a record of the whole year.

Tips: Looking for other alternatives to Wallwisher? Check out: Edistorm or Stixy. Each has a little different features!

Please leave a comment and share how you are using Corkboard in your classroom.

Comments (19)

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by ktenkely and others. ktenkely said: Corkboard is a great alternative to Wallwisher for classroom collaboration http://bit.ly/eRpjxI So easy to use! Thanks to @Grade1 [...]

Lino-it and Popplet are two other tools worth exploring. Lino-it has that “sticky note” look but like Wallwisher allows you to embed video and images. It also comes with some project management & collaboration features. Popplet has a different look and feel, allowing you to embed images, videos & even link to books on Amazon. You can also link different “popples” (the sticky note equivalent) together so you can use it as a mindmapping tool.

[...] to LifeHacker and iLearn Technology for the heads up on this webapp. Bookmark on Delicious Recommend on Facebook Share with Stumblers [...]

[...] highly recommend checking out Corkboard Me by clicking here.Thanks to the award winning iLearn Technology for the tip!! Sphere: Related Content Posted by dkapuler at 12/31/2010 Labels: [...]

Linoit.com is another great one. The cool thing about that too is that you can install a bookmarklet and do a Lino that you can quickly open up and use and put it away when you’re done. Great stuff!

I like to use sites like this as an alternative to the KWL. My students brainstorm questions they have about a topic. As we progress through the unit and discover answers, we add them to the original sticky note.

[...] Corkboard: Classroom Collaboration [...]

Thanks Kelly for sharing Corkboard! WallWisher is so frustrating at times. It is nice to know about lots of alternatives! Happy New Year!

I agree, alternatives are always a good thing! Thanks Melissa!

Great idea for using Corkboard as a KWL brainstorming tool Aimee, thanks for sharing!

That is a great option thanks Rob!

I absolutely love learning new and innovative ideas and this has been one of my favorites. I use a lot of graphic organizers in my classroom and the KWL is one that I use often. The idea of corkboard would be more meaningful and a great motivator for students. I plan to incorporate this into my curriculum because it would be a great learning tool.

Hi, I just came across your blog and I must say I absolutely love it. So many great ideas I look forward to implementing in my own classroom. I especially enjoyed this Corkboard site. I’m currently teaching 6+1 traits in writing, and we’re working on the “Ideas” aspect, so this would be a great avenue for students to brainstorm ideas for a topic and share them with others. I look forward to using this! Thanks!

I’m really glad that I came across your blog. I think that I will definitely be using this technology in my classroom at some point. Corkboard seems like it could or would be the step before using Google Docs when students are working on a group project. Students within a group could be looking up different information that is contributing to the same project simultaneously and thus work much more efficiently. I could also have students jigsaw using Corkboard. I’m excited about trying out this new program.

Stacey, great ideas for using Corkboard in your class! Thank you so much for sharing your ideas with us!

The 6+1 traits of writing brings back memories! I was in school when they had just introduced the 6 :) I think you are right, Corkboard is a great place for students to brainstorm and share ideas. Thanks for the comment Nicole!

Good idea for a KWL exercise Kim! Thanks for sharing your ideas!

How do I get more than one sticky on the board?

Lisa,
You should be able to just double click somewhere else on the board to create another sticky note.

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