I love when I find things that can be helpful to my colleagues. Sometimes I stumble across them, sometimes I find them because I am on Twitter at the right time, and other times they find me because I am a subscriber to a particular site or blog.
Today is one of those days.
While scrolling through Twitter, I came across this tweet from @KarlyMoura:
How can we move away from traditional homework especially in elementary?
Try ditching those homework packets with family choice boards! Brilliant post by @TechCoachSusan Includes ideas, examples, and a template to get started!
Who would not click on that?! So of course I did and found a fabulous idea and set of resources for Pk-1 teachers in both English and Spanish which I am sure that teachers in grades 2-5 could easily modify to create their own. The teacher who wrote the blog post shared that she and her colleagues wanted to move away from traditional homework packets and create activities that would bridge school and home. Thus the interactive home activity choice boards were designed. Each week a new board with nine different options is sent home. Parents, guardians, and students can access these activities and instructions via QR code scanner or web browser allowing them to interact with them on the go as well as at home. The teachers have thought of everything and send home the reusable tools students may need at the beginning of the school year and throughout in the homework folder. You can click to read more about it here and then view the choice boards and templates for PK-1.
You know I am a big fan of Epic and recently Rivet and that is not changing. This next website/app is also free for teachers and students and has thousands of leveled books for children Preschool through 6th grade. It’s called Reading IQ and in it you’ll find popular titles of Newbury and Caldecott winners and other books in English and Spanish grouped by pre-readers, early readers, growing readers, independent readers, and Spanish readers ages 2-12. Like Epic there is a read-to-me option and like Rivet you can find books by Lexile and Guided Reading level. Sign up is easy and free. Create your account, select the grade level along with the leveling system you use in your class (Grade level, Lexile, Guided Reading, Accelerated Reader), add your students, and go! You can choose to have them take an assessment the first time they log in or not. Teachers can assign books to the whole class and students will find them both in the class library with the books at the class level at the top of their page and then books by category below; they’ll also find them on their own shelf with books at the classroom level. Definitely a great find! For reluctant or challenged readers from late elementary through high school and beyond, check out StoryShares. You can read what I wrote when I first shared StoryShares in this post.
Hello Flipgrid, how can you get any better? Well, pretty easily and actually almost daily! If you have not checked out the DISCO library (short and fun for Discovery) you should stop what you are doing and go now. The DISCO library has numerous weekly hits and featured topics ready for you to use with your class and new ones are regularly being added from places like The Met and California State Parks to name just the most recent two. So even if you are not sure what to have your students do on Flipgrid, you can just pop in to the DISCO library, find a topic, add it to your grid, and get started!