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River Oaks Elementary School

Ideas, Resources, & Tools

Monday, February 21, 2011

Here are a few ideas, resources, and tools that have recently captured my attention from Twitter networking, educators' blogs, and Diigo social bookmarks.

Diverse possibilities for learning with VoiceThread below come from Tom Barrett's 'Interesting Ways' series on EDTE.CH. View others on numerous additional topics including the iPod TouchInteractive White BoardsClassroom Blogs, and Wikis. These are crowdsourced, or collectively created by users, so consider emailing him and having your idea added too!

The Writing Teacher's Strategy Guide:  

a downloadable e-book containing all kinds of writing strategies, many of which relate well to the research process and product creation. The Transaction-Action-Details chart (p. 40) offers a way to help kids craft more fluent sentences and expand on their ideas. More instructional eBook downloads can be found at

ReadWriteThink Printing Press:
Students can create a brochure, newspaper, booklet, or flyer easily with these simple publishing templates. Guides for the process are built into each one, and picture spaces are available in each type. A digital image cannot be added however, so students can create add their own original ones after printing their work.

It is so important for kids to create their own drawings, diagrams, photos and visual representations of their ideas, and not to use ready-made graphics too frequently! 
Jamie Mackenzie's article Beyond Clipart: Encouraging Children's Own Drawings is worthwhile reading on this issue.
Education Place
has a concise collection of graphic organizers students and teachers might use to organize and analyze thinking -- the following 3 may be helpful for students as they work though identifying main idea and details and also for research topic development.


Idea Rake

Tree Chart

Planning Chart


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