Welcome to the third Roundup of New Resources for the year. The RoNR is published during the first week of each month and is a collection of linksto and ideas for tools that parents, kids, and teachers can use to help kids add more skills to their literacy toolbox.
Franki and Mary Lee at A Year of Reading are my go-to gals for everything 21st Century Literacy. I have been enjoying Franki’s series on using video tools with students. If you’re not sold on the value for literacy, then listen to this: “I think if you walk in and see what kids are doing, it looks like it is just a fun thing. But in reality, I think creating video can be a key to becoming critical readers and viewers. As I continue to reflect on documents that help us think about how literacy is changing and growing as the tools change and grow, I am trying to figure out ways to get this into our kids’ days.” Click here to read the full post and check out how some of those tools are working. You can also learn a lot from their recaps of the 2010 Dublin Literacy Conference, which has been going on … wait for it … yep! 21 years.
Creative Literacy for Kids
Thanks to Educationtipster Kathy Stempke for introducing us to Guardian Angel Kids, a new interactive eZine for kids. “Children will the love the mascot, an adorable angel gecko named GAK. Stories, games, puzzles, activities, videos and more to entertain and delight your youngsters. This is a site you and your children will want to return to again and again.”
The Book Chook does it again! I’d say that February was a Book Chook techno month, but that’s true all year long! First, Susan introduced us to StoryJumper, which she describes as “another exciting webspace where children can write stories for an authentic audience.” The emphasis is mine – I like the idea that the kids can share their creativity or collaborate with “co-writers.” In a post about Word Clouds, she introduced us to The other site is ABCYa, a free website with educational games for elementary-aged students. “ABCya! educational games are free and are modeled from primary grade lessons and enhanced to provide an interactive way for children to learn.” (emphasis creators) The games were created or approved by certified teachers.
Rather than repeat all of Kathy Stemke’s hard work … I’m going to send you to Educationtipster and her collection of interactive websites for kids. That is one awesome list.
Literacy and Reading Tools for Parents
Fruitphonics.com – I found this on at the Scad blog in a post about Mennell Media’s efforts to build interactive online educational tools. “The aim of the site is to provide all of the basic 44 phonemes and 20 or more more additional ‘blends’ together with the 100+ highest frequency words in the English language.” The videos can be used to help kids with letter sounds and pronunciation. This could be particularly valuable for complementing work with speech therapists and ELL educators.
The Kidlitosphere Yahoo! group doesn’t get many props, but man it is filled with some of the coolest people. One of the new members who just introduced herself is Elizabeth, who goes by the moniker TinyReader and has a blog of the same name. She created the blog to share the ways her roles as mom and teacher overlap. “A new mom brings what she knows about literacy research and teaching to the world of mommies and daddies.” Do check it out. You’ll love her theme posts, like this one with songs of love and peace.
Literacy and Reading Tools for Educators
In the course of clicking through a Google Alert about a literacy study, I found Mendeley Research Networks, which describes itself as “like iTunes(r) for research papers.” It is a FREE research management tool that you can use for organizing, collaborating, and sharing research. You can add additional work to your “library” from anywhere.
Kim Cofino teaches a technology class that helps sixth graders that emphasizes independent learning through project-based activities. She’s laid out the entire class in a post at Always Learning. In addiion to offering the basics of using computer programs, Kim also engages the kids in “digital citizenship” and understanding the ethics of 21st Century literacies. (via the 20 February 2010 edition of The Big Fresh, the Choice Literacy newsletter).