It’s easy to fall into the same routines, sharing the same information in the same way. It’s also easy to see student interests begin to fade when they find themselves on a predictable educational journey. In order to keep students engaged and interests of all stakeholders piqued, it’s important to explore new offerings in teacher resources. By refreshing the resources we use to teach, we reawaken the energy level and excitement in an otherwise monotonous learning environment.
Books that Grow — When it’s a struggle to meet the needs of all students with a single text, Books that Grow offers the solution. This unique resource offers a digital library filled with books that can be assigned and read at up to 5 different levels. That’s right- rather than changing the title and content to meet a wide range of student reading levels and needs, Books that Grow allows the text complexity to be the only component that need be changed. This becomes a great tool for allowing students of differing reading levels to participate in small or large group discussions centered around a single text where all participants are able to prepare by individually reading the text at the proper level. With online monitoring and assessments, teachers are able to engage all students in an easily manageable reading program.
Google Expeditions — Just launched in 2015, this virtual reality program launched by Google is virtually amazing! As a teacher-guided virtual field trip gets underway, students experience the journey using Google’s cardboard viewers or the Mattell View-Master versions that are reminiscent of old-school click-and-see viewfinders that have undergone quite the technological transformation. Google has teamed up with partners around the globe to bring over 100 virtual trips to classrooms. By utilizing the virtual field trip model, students can literally explore otherwise unreachable locales and venues with their teachers as tour guides. Lessons and explorations are brought to life through the viewfinders and the extension activities are endless. Get your students and school involved by requesting a visit from the Expedition team to showcase this new innovation.
Online Conference Sessions — Enjoy free access to these 15 sessions presented by the Library of Congress. The session recordings from an online conference on October 27-28, 2015, share resources and strategies for using primary sources in the classroom. Once a session is viewed, there is a limited timeframe for receiving a certificate to print that validates one instructional hour of professional development. The sessions range in topic from Preserving Our Communities with Photography to Teaching Students to Ask Their Own Questions. After viewing any or all of these courses, be sure to check out the vast abundance of resources offered by the Library of Congress. With links to free ebooks and a wide array of primary resources and instructional strategies, this is one website that is a must for bookmarking.
Providing comprehensible high-interest reads, facilitating explorations, and introducing new strategies and resources are all made easier with these 3 newcomers for teachers. By staying up to date on innovations in the education field, teachers are able to heighten student interest levels in an engaging learning environment. Use these 3 resources to reawaken the learning spark that can be extinguished with predictable routines.
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