What is ReadWriteThink.org?
I have always known about the amazing ReadWriteThink website (http://www.readwritethink.org/) and its wonderful templates but when I attended ISTE 2013 I suddenly saw what a great potential this programme has in the classroom. Lisa Storm Fink gave a wonderful session entitled 'A day with ReadWriteThink.org.' ReadWriteThink describes its mission like this: “to provide educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials.” In fact this is a site that most teachers really need to discover.
What does ReadWriteThink.org have to offer?
They have an amazing ‘finder’ on the left hand side of the page and one can search for whatever is needed. One can search by Keyword, Grade level, Lesson plan type, Learning objective or Theme.
I’ll just mention a few of the categories that particularly appeal to me
1. Classroom resources by Grade level
These go from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and comprise Lesson Plans, Student Interactives, Mobile Apps, Calendar Activities and Printouts. One could spend a lot of time browsing through this section:
Everything is so clearly categorised that it is easy to find one’s way about. The Classroom Resource home page looks like this:
2. Lists of the most popular resources
I love the way they show you which resources have been the most popular. In fact they break this down into three categories – most emailed, most shared and most viewed. It is always good to know how others have found the resources.
3. Lesson plans
They have hundreds of lesson plans written and reviewed by educators using current research and the best instructional practices.
4. Student Interactives
You can engage your students in online literacy learning with these interactive tools that help them accomplish a variety of goals—from organizing their thoughts to learning about language—all while having fun. I have used many of their Poetry Interactives in the classroom.
Examples of lesson plans
1. Digitally Telling the Story of Greek Figures
One of the lesson plans for Grades 5 – 8 is a digital story lesson plan.
Students become engaged learners through this unit that prepares students for studying ancient Greece and combines learning basic research skills with digital storytelling skills. While researching about Greek gods, heroes and creatures, students learn how to find main ideas in sentences and paragraphs in books and Internet articles, which they then learn to record in short phrases on index cards divided by topic. Working with a partner, students turn these short phrases into the script for their digital story that includes music and pictures.
The recommended programme to use is Microsoft Photostory and here is one of the samples shown by Linda Storm Fink at ISTE.
2. Vote for Me! Making Presidential Commercials Using Avatars
This lesson is for Grades 6 – 12 and features using Voki in the classroom.
In this lesson each student researches the political platform and the campaign slogan of a past president. Then the student creates a 45-60 second script for a commercial for the election of the president. Using this script the student creates the commercial using Voki, an online web tool in which a student can create an avatar to resemble the presidential candidate. The student can record his own voice or use text to speech option to add the script. The final product can be linked to or embedded in a website.
The recommended application to use is Voki and here is the example shown by Linda Storm Fink at ISTE:
3. Students as Creators: Exploring Copyright
This lesson for Grades 6-8 gives students the tools they need to consider the ethical issues surrounding use and ownership of copyrighted materials. Students discuss how to tell if a work is protected and how copyright affects their ability to use resources in their own work. One of the documents provided for students to work through is a "Can I Use It?" Checklist for Copyright Clearance:
ISTE 2013 Session Resource
The ISTE session resource that I obtained is really worth looking at for a more detailed guide to using Read, Write, Think. It was delivered by Lisa Storm Fink and called ‘A Day with Read, Write Think.org’