Common Core Connections: Halloween Writing
The Common Core Standards identify six instructional shifts necessary for effective implementation of the ELA/Literacy strand. These instructional shifts provide a framework to help us understand the big picture before diving into the specific individual standards.
CCSS Shift 5, Writing from Sources, calls for an emphasis on analyzing and synthesizing information from multiple sources to reach a conclusion or make an argument. This type of writing requires students to construct knowledge through research and present evidence that is accurate, precise and clear. Regularly engaging students in this type of writing will foster the development of essential skills to help them succeed in college and beyond.
Halloween – An Engaging Theme
Explore a sample launcher for a CCSS aligned Halloween writing project that has been embedded here.
Tools to Power the Learning Experience
Use an Essential Question to Fuel the Inquiry
An essential question can be a very effective tool for guiding research and tapping into students’ enthusiasm for inquiry and learning. These questions provide students with challenges that allow them to invest in the learning process as they make decisions about their own learning. Since essential questions do not have one correct answer, students can choose flexible learning paths to find success and demonstrate learning.
Use a Google Custom Search Engine for Safe Searching
A topic like this could send students on searches that lead them to questionable websites. A traditional work around might be to publish a list of acceptable websites for students, but perhaps a better solution is to create a Goggle Custom Search Engine for use with this type of project.
Searching involves critical thinking and it is an important skill that needs to be taught. The Goggle Custom Search Engine Tool allows teachers to easily build your own search engine that is customized with content you choose to be appropriate for your grade level or for a particular unit of study, This tool provides teachers with the ability to bring relevant and reliable sources into the classroom while also teaching students how to conduct a search and it can be embed into any blog, wiki, or site for easy access.
Use a Padlet Board for Collaboration
Use the Common Core App by Mastery Connect to Design a Rubric
Use Google Docs to Create and Publish
A Writing Project Toolkit
|Explore this Interactive Image, created with ThingLink
The SAMR Ladder on GettingSmart.com
The SAMR Ladder Through the Lens of 21st Century Skills
Next Webinar: Improve Writing Skills with Google Docs
Webinar on Tuesday
Please join me and Simple K12 for a webinar to explore the integrated writing and research tools available in Google Docs to help students improve writing skills.
Text Compactor: Simplify and Summarize Text
Text Compactor is a free online tool for summarizing and simplifying text. It is extremely user-friendly and requires no login so it’s a perfect tool for students to add to their own toolkits of resources.
Just copy and paste some digital text into the box, use the slider to determine the percentage of text you want to end up with, and view the simplified text.
Use it as a tool to help struggling readers of all ages. Try it at textcompactor.com.