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Fleck

What it is: Fleck is a free web application (it doesn’t even require a download!) that allows teachers or students to add notes and bullets to any web page. The annotated pages can then be posted on a blog or shared with students or colleagues. This is amazing! Fleck also provides you with a history of all the pages you have Flecked so that they can be updated and visited again and again. Fleck makes the Internet a collaborative learning experience. How to integrate Fleck into the classroom: Fleck can be easily integrated into any curriculum. Imagine finding a really great site on the Civil War that you want to share with your students. It is a very comprehensive page and has more information than they need. Fleck the site with your sticky notes about important information. Add bullet points to the information that you want them to be sure to read. Share your Fleck with your students and they will be able to complete an activity independently as though you were sitting their with them and guiding them through it! Students could use Fleck while they are completing research projects. They can bullet important information on sites as they are gathering information. When students are working on group projects that require the Internet, they can share their Flecks with each other as they research. This is a COOL tool. I know that you will come up with other incredible uses for Fleck. Be sure to share those ideas with us in a comment! Tips: Fleck will allow you to add notes to web pages without an account, I recommend a free account so that you can share your Flecks and save them. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Fleck in your classroom.

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BoomWriter: Collaborative story writing

Posted by admin | Posted in collaboration, Create, Evaluate, Interactive book, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Web2.0, Websites | Posted on 12-06-2012

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What it is:  I just learned about this fantastic site from fellow edublogger @dkapuler, thanks David!  Boom Writer is a fun site that gives you a new way to engage your students in creative writing, and will have them assessing themselves in a new way.  Using Boom Writer, you (the teacher) choose or produce your own story starter.  Each student follows this prompt letting their imagination take over.  One chapter at a time, student write, read and vote on the submissions they like the most.  The winning chapter gets added to the story and the process continues.  You can determine how many chapters will be completed.  When the collaborative story is finished, the book can be read online or published and turned into a published print copy.

How to integrate BoomWriter into the classroom: BoomWriter is a great tool for creating collaborative stories as a class. I like that BoomWriter has students not only creating, but critically evaluating each other’s work. Students work on their own creative writing while building each other up as writers.  Begin by creating a prompt.  Give it to your students to think about.  They can write their “what happens next” chapter of the book and submit it for approval.  This is your chance to edit or return to a student to continue development of the story or idea. After student writing has been approved, students can read each other’s addition to the story and vote on their favorite (they won’t see who the author was and they won’t be able to vote on their own).  The chapter with the highest votes gets added to the story and the process repeats.  You can choose as many chapters as you would like the finished story to have.

This would be a fun whole-class project, but if you have a large class, you might split your class into smaller groups so that each student has the opportunity to get “published” in the book.  Groups could start with the same prompt or each have a different prompt.  Rather than the group voting on their own story, they could vote on another groups story.

BoomWriter isn’t only for creative story writing, students could share what they know about a specific topic or unit of study.  Each student can add a chapter about what has been learned.  Students can essentially create their own collaborative textbook.

BoomWriter is a great tool to help students understand writing with purpose and audience in mind.  It is also a helpful way to get students to think critically about their own writing and evaluating other’s writing.

Tips: Books can be read online or purchased and added to your classroom library.

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

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