Welcome to the second post in a series designed to support the use of technology for differentiated learning… in and beyond the PBL classroom. Before reading, please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans. I promise you will find some great information coming your way in the posts that follow…So Sign up now and please pass this on with a retweet. – Mike Gorman (https://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/)
Part 2: Tech Resources and Tools for Differentiated Learning … More Reading
It was wonderful to see all the people who visited the first post in this series. I have a link here in case you missed it. You will find five wonderful resources to help bring DI to your students’ reading. I thought before going on to some differentiated writing ideas, you may like to see five more reading sites. While there are instructional and management techniques a teacher should use when providing reading at different levels in the classroom, that is not the emphasis of this post. What I am attempting to do is provide the tools and resources for these readings. Once these are found, it is important to follow best practices put forth by the district or school literacy coordinator regarding implementation. Here are five more of my very favorite DI reading sites. I hope you enjoy them also!
- For The Teacher: Reading – This website was started in 2012 and comes from some amazing teachers in the state of Idaho. It contains outstanding reading lessons that use content area concepts. One particular concept is provided at different reading levels. This is perfect for bringing every child to the learning activity regardless of their reading skill. The focus begins with a teacher choosing a reading skill they wish to facilitate. The next step is to choose a reading article, which comes in three reading levels. The article is used to teach and reinforce the skill. It is a wonderful site that focuses on important reading skills while providing student an engaging article at their reading level.
- Front Row – At this website a teacher will find a collection of DI activities in both math and language arts. The website states, “By addressing student weaknesses and building off strengths, Front Row is designed to increase confidence and promote growth in ALL students, regardless of their ability level”. Front Row’s independent math practice program is completely free for teachers. There are also a number of free inquiry based lessons at various grade levels for teachers. Teachers also have access to 5 free ELA articles per month to assign to their students. There is also a paid section of the site you may wish to explore.
- Books that Grow – Discover this wonderful reading tool that provides leveled reading books for students. The whole class can engage in discussions and activities regardless of their reading level. While it was free at one time, it is now a paid application that is worth a look. It is included here because the cost is quite reasonable for a classroom or school for the year. The “Books That Grow” library contains a mixture of classic fiction, primary source documents, myths and folktales, biographies, original science and history books. The books are even accompanied by Teacher Guides, which give teachers important background and teaching tips for each piece.
- Readworks – Make sure you take your time when you visit this amazing collection of resources. I am sure you will walk away with countless possibilities for classroom learning. This site provides “Paired Text” possibilities; which is the reading of two or more texts on a related topic, theme, or story element. It is a practice that can help improve a student’s reading comprehension. As you might know, stamina is also critical to becoming a strong reader. The idea of stamina can be built by practicing reading and listening to texts of increasing length. Readworks has created a collection of longer passages at a range of levels to help build your students’ stamina. There are also multi genre novel study units to engage students. Make sure you take note of the leveled reading passages in multiple content areas that even include question sets.
- Simple English Wikipedia – You may know about Wikipedia but are you aware of Simple English Wikipedia? This is a wonderful site that includes articles for children and adults who are learning English, or just want the regular Wikipedia article broken down in a more basic structure and vocabulary. At the present time there are 116,769 articles on the Simple English Wikipedia site. All of the pages are free to use. They have all been published under both the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License 3.0 and the GNU Free Documentation License. It may provide your students a new avenue to understand some of those more difficult concepts found in a Wikipedia article.
Explore these articles that I found through extensive research while reflecting on differentiated instruction in the classroom. You will find ideas from some amazing authors and organizations. Please take a moment to enjoy these articles filled with even more possibilities!
- Make literacy a Focus of PBL …. Suzie Boss (Edutopia)
- News Literacy: Critical Thinking Skills for the 21 Century … Peter Adams (Edutopia)
cross-posted at 21centuryedtech.wordpress.com
Michael Gorman oversees one-to-one laptop programs and digital professional development for Southwest Allen County Schools near Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE, My Big Campus, and November Learning and is on the National Faculty for The Buck Institute for Education. His awards include district Teacher of the Year, Indiana STEM Educator of the Year and Microsoft’s 365 Global Education Hero. Read more at 21centuryedtech.wordpress.com.