background preloader

ELA Tools

Facebook Twitter

DoodleBuzz: Typographic News Explorer. Writing Britain: Pin-a-tale - view map. Turning the Pages™, the British Library. ToonDoo - World's fastest way to create cartoons! Teachers and ARCs « The Reading Zone. *This is a revised and updated version of a post I published on the blog back in 2011.

Teachers and ARCs « The Reading Zone

I feel like I walk a fine line as a blogger sometimes. First and foremost, I am a bibliophile. But I am also a high school English teacher, a lover of technology, and a book reviewer. Because I review books that I receive from publishers and at conferences, I am fortunate to receive ARCs, or advance review copies, sometimes. This means I get to read and review some books before they are published. ARCs and review copies I picked up at NCTE this past November. I teach at a fabulous high school that shares a campus with the local community college. All over the country, education budgets are being slashed, teachers are having their pay cut, and school librarians are being RIFed.

According to research, school libraries should provide at least 13 books per student. Hunger Games Lessons: Class Reaping and Training: Let the Games Begin! My students had a lot of fun participating in a mock reaping for each district in class based on the popular novel by Suzanne Collins.

Hunger Games Lessons: Class Reaping and Training: Let the Games Begin!

(See the latest images in volume 2 HERE and additional visual aides of materials and the training sessions on my school web page here.) Because I wanted 100% of the students to participate and feel involved in the activity, after we reaped the tributes for each district the remaining students drew for jobs related to the Games and training. For example, each tribute (we only had 12 - one from each district) was assigned a Mentor, Escort, and Stylist. Each class period also had a team of Gamemakers. One of my larger classes also had Avoxes, who were assigned various duties (such as designing, printing, cutting, and distributing the Panem cash). The students designed everything themselves, including the cash they used to sponsor tributes. Additional materials used (to see more, click here): Hint: The equal sign can pose as an 11 if you run low on ones! Graphic Organizers. English Essay Writing: YouTube Series. I have been out of the classroom 3/5 days this term and I will continue to be out of the classroom 3/5 days next term.

English Essay Writing: YouTube Series

It’s been an interesting experience so far. My classes have happily continued with their projects (OK, except for Year 8 who just wanna have me there to clown around with them) and are communicating with me via edmodo frequently. One of the things I have found difficult is not being their for my ‘I am the expert’ lessons – you know, where I spend part of a lesson being a ‘teacher’ at the front of the room and doing some whole class interactive instruction. This stuff is important when you set extended writing tasks, like writing an English essay.

It’s taken me a few weeks but I’ve finally managed to get the time to create some videos to help my students to write English essays. 1. 2. 3. 4. Educational Hip-Hop. Playfic. Playing Games Cooper made an interactive tutorial for playing games on Playfic for newcomers to interactive fiction.


If you write a better tutorial, let us know! This cheatsheet by Andrew Plotkin and Lea Albaugh is a handy guide to playing interactive fiction. Writing Games Writing Playfic games may look like English, but it can be confusing. Tutorials Playfic is a learning community, and one of the best ways to learn is by clicking the "View source" link on any game to see how it was made. Fractured Fairy Tales.

Folktales: A treasure of folktales from around the world. The Write Prompts. Practical Inspiration. Writing Rules by Henry Miller, Elmore Leonard, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman & George Orwell. Image by Austin Kleon Here's one way to become a better writer.

Writing Rules by Henry Miller, Elmore Leonard, Margaret Atwood, Neil Gaiman & George Orwell

Listen to the advice of writers who earn their daily bread with their pens. During the past week, lists of writing commandments by Henry Miller, Elmore Leonard (above) and William Safire have buzzed around Twitter. (Find our Twitter stream here.) So we decided to collect them and add tips from a few other veterans -- namely, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, and Neil Gaiman. Henry Miller (from Henry Miller on Writing) 1. George Orwell (From Why I Write) 1. Margaret Atwood (originally appeared in The Guardian) 1. Neil Gaiman (read his free short stories here) 1. William Safire (the author of the New York Times Magazine column "On Language") 1. Related Content: Ray Bradbury Gives 12 Pieces of Writing Advice to Young Authors (2001) John Steinbeck’s Six Tips for the Aspiring Writer and His Nobel Prize Speech Elmore Leonard’s Ultimate Guide for Would-Be Writers. Literature circles. I use literature circles with every novel I teach.

Literature circles

They're a great way to get students actively engaged in whatever we're reading, and really put the onus on them to identify key themes, passages, plot developments, connections, and literary devices. Literature circles allow students to smartly articulate the exchange that occurs between a reader and a text. In an academic age where high stakes bubble tests and formulaic, calculated responses to mundane prompts seem to trump creativity and self-expression, lit circles allow for authenticity and ownership while also reinforcing the higher-order habits of mind found in successful test takers. Click here for the literature circle assignment I use with my students. Hawaiian high school educator Bruce Schauble's in-depth lit circle page can be accessed here.

Nancy Patterson's literature circle role sheets are available here. Free Printables, Interactives, Custom Documents, Clip Art, and Games. Story Bird.