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Exploratree

What it is: Exploratree is a free web resource where teachers and students can download, use and create interactive thinking guides (graphic organizers). Thinking guides can be used to support independent or group research projects, students can think and plan easily. Thinking guides can be used collaboratively and shared for group projects. Exploratree has several ready-made thinking guides. Students and teachers can add to these guides or create their own from scratch to meet a specific classroom need. Ready made thinking guides include: tracking an enquiry, futures wheel, lotus blossom, from a different angle, thinking boxes, plus- minus- interesting, scamper, thinking actively in a social context, reverse planning, is/is not, complete reversal, compass rose, facts or opinions, making meanings, compare and contrast, knowing trees, digging up roots, traffic lights, examine existing and new ideas, using the essence, question things, a day in the life, and possible/probable/ preferable futures. How to integrate Exploratree into the classroom: Exploratree is a wonderful replacement for traditional paper/pencil graphic organizers. They are easy to use, navigate and include some amazing features that just aren’t possible with paper graphic organizers. As a teacher, you can set up the sequence that you want the thinking guide to be revealed, so that you can stage the thinking activity. Each portion of the organizer is revealed as students are working. Students can fill out the thinking guides online as they complete a project or teachers can create a thinking guide that fits a classroom activity and print them out for student use. Students can submit thinking guides so that they can be edited and reviewed by peers or a teacher with comments. Think about using Exploratree for ALL subjects. Students can use thinking guides to explore the scientific process, for KWL type charts, to predict what will happen in literature they are reading, to plan a story or report, to explore a historical figure, to organize thoughts before a writing assignment, in social studies as a current event organizer, to think about choices and possible outcomes, to show mathematical processes, to explore a topic using different senses or points of view, sort facts and opinions, and a day in the life of a notable figure just to name a few. Tips: Exploratree is in its Beta form so they are open to input and suggestions from educators. If you don’t see a feature you could use in your classroom…go ahead and suggest it!

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Rewordify: help kids understand what they read

Posted by admin | Posted in Evaluate, Inquiry, Interactive book, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Understand (describe, explain), web tools | Posted on 14-08-2013

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Rewordify-understand what you read iLearn Technology

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?

Comments (2)

[…] though, so i’m including a link to an excellent explanation from Kelly Tenkely’s blog. http://ilearntechnology.com/?p=5100 > > > Susan Stephenson > http://www.thebookchook.com > > […]

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