Helping Students Identify Fake News from Authentic News

We all know that people do not know how to differentiate between fake news and authentic news sites.  Students (as well as their teachers) need help understanding how to identify information that is credible from information that is purely made up.  The News Literacy project is great site for teachers to learn about this important issues facing our society in this era of “fake news” and the deliberate distribution of misinformation.

Promoting Student Writing

I recently learned about an interesting website called www.writetheworld.com. This site is a community of writers for students from all over the world.  Here teachers will find writing prompt ideas, competitions, join writing groups and participate in other great activities where students can feather their writing and improve thorough feedback and support.  Teachers will find a range of tools and resources to help create a lively writing community in your classroom. As an author, I love this site and would have loved to have been part of a great community like this when I was in school.  Be sure to check it out and see if it might benefit your students and enhance their writing skills!

Enhancing Student’s Listening Skills

School is out but we all know that if your students don’t “use it” they will “lose it” – their reading skills – that is.  As parents, we also are familiar with those “I don’t know what to do with myself” summer blues.  Listening to audio books may just be the answer.  If you student is looking for a relaxing way to spend some time this summer, have him or her check out www.audiobooksync.com.  This website holds a multitude of books  for students and families to listen to in audio mode.  This is great for the student who needs to enhance their vocabulary, English skills or who just want to build their background knowledge of classic books to better prepare themselves for College.  During the summer months from May 5th to August 17th, SYNC will be giving away 2 audiobook downloads a week based on weekly themes.  There is also a section for teachers with additional resources on the site.  This is a great way to help students enjoy reading, learn new vocabulary and keep those reading and comprehension skills razor sharp.

Interested in Learning More About How to Teach Reading?

Several people have asked me about where they can learn more about effective reading practices.  I highly recommend enrolling in the courses provided by my friends at TKL – Teach ‘N Kids Learn. TKL has courses open for everyone in every state however, it also has partnerships with several state school districts in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, California, New York and Ohio to name just a few.  To name just a few, you can find courses here such as:  Building Academic Vocabulary and Deep Comprehension, Challenging Gifted Students in the Regular Classroom, and Helping the Struggling reader to name just a few of the ELA courses offered here for a very reasonable fee.  You can also find high quality courses that will help you improve your skills in writing, math instruction, and creating classrooms that meet the needs of 21st Century learners.  To learn more go to:  http://teachnkidslearn.com/

Getting High School Students Interested in Reading

While most high school students can tell you all about the latest movies they have seen, most of our students cannot tell you about great books that they have read recently.  Since kids like to spend time on social networking sites, capitalize on this love by introducing your students to some online reading social networking sites.  One of these is www.goodreads.com.  At this site, readers can find out what their friends are reading and read reviews of popular books for adolescent readers.  At www.shelfari.com by Amazon, students can create a shelf of books to show what they are reading and what you have finished reading. You can also recommend books for other readers.  At www.bookcrossing.com, readers can track books when they leave them for strangers to pick up in cafes, train stations and parks.  As people find your book, you will get comments from the readers who have “found” your book as it travels all around the world.  Another site to check out  is www.bookmooch.com.  This site is a type of lending library where you can lend your own books and receive books in the mail from others who participate in the site.  The only cost is the postage to send your books on to someone who requests your book.  Sharing books with others is a great way to get adolescents interested in reading and sharing books with not only their friends but the world.