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Mapness

What it is: Mapness is a site, still in beta, that students can use to make interactive, virtual travel journals.  First students add points of interest to a map, then they can add descriptions, photos, and videos right on top of the map.  As virtual travelers visit the map, they are led on a virtual tour depicted on the map.  This is really neat!   How to integrate Mapness into the classroom: Mapness is perfect for integrating into the geography classroom.  As students study different parts of the world, they can create their own virtual tour of that place by collecting photos and videos during their online research and embedding them into maps.  Split students into several groups, each group can be assigned a different place to create a tour for.  When the tours are finished, hold a vacation day where students can visit each other’s assigned places.  This would be an ideal day to reserve the computer lab!  Students can also create literary tours.  As they read a book or learn about an author or genre, they can pinpoint places on the map and add descriptions and pictures.  This would also be a wonderful opportunity to map out historical events.  Bring events to life for your students and weave in some map reading skills while you are at it!  Mapness sure beats the maps I completed as a kid, labeling places on a 8 1/2 x 11 photo copy that always looked sloppy after trying to fit in all of the requirements. Tips: After students create an account, they can add several map tours to their account making it a nice place to save up work throughout the year.  Mapness does require a working email address to activate the account.  If your students don’t have an email address they can create a temporary email address at a site like Mailinator.  (As a side note, if you regularly give out your email address on websites a Mailinator account would save you from a lifetime of spam.)   Check out my Mapness map of my recent vacation to California. Leave a comment and share how you are using Mapness in your classroom.

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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?

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[…] 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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