We’ve always asked our kids to read. Informational text. Primary sources. Non-fiction. Fiction. Poetry. We’ve always asked our kids to write. Summaries. Research. Reviews. Reaction papers.
At least, that’s been the theory. Good social studies and history instruction has always included these things but I think that sometimes we can forget how critical reading and writing skills are to what we do. The Common Core, for better or worse, has been a good reminder for us. We need to have our kids read, write, and communicate much more.
The problem for many of us?
Uh . . . what does that look like again?
A couple of weeks ago, while catching up on a massive backlog of RSS feeds, I ran across a handy tool that seems perfect for helping you integrate Common Core ELA stuff into your instruction.
Created by Russell Tarr and shared out on the incredible Free Technology for Teachers blog (do you think Richard Byrne ever sleeps?), the Classtools SMS Generator does a great job of recreating the look and feel of an ongoing text message conversation. Kids can immediately relate to the idea that two people would use this sort of medium to share information back and forth.
Okay. I’ll be honest. I just found out about inklewriter but haven’t learned much about it yet. This week will be another busy conference week and I probably won’t have much time to play around with it.
So. You have homework. Go to inklewriter. Explore a bit. And report back here what you find out.
Some background. inklewriter is an online tool that lets you and your kids create interactive stories. You remember these, right? A story starts and after a few paragraphs, you are provided with two choices. You select a choice and the story branches off in that direction. A few paragraphs later, the story offers two new choices. The story continues to branch based on your choices.
Yes. I admit it. I watch the Food Channel. So sue me.
It’s not like I’m addicted or anything. I like eating food. I like making food. And so . . . I will watch Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives or the occasional Throwdown with Booby Flay.
But I don’t watch as much since Alton Brown’s Good Eats was moved to a weekday morning time slot. You remember Alton Brown. Nerdy guy. Science facts. Easy stuff to make. Yeah, that guy. He said a lot of things but one thing he repeated quite often:
The only one-task item you need in your kitchen is the fire extinguisher.
His argument? You shouldn’t own any kitchen gadget that doesn’t have more than one use.
Yeah. So? Read more