Differentiation Through Texts

Since finding appropriately leveled informational texts for differentiation is critical to all content areas, I will share a few tech tools that contain leveled texts helpful for differentiation.  More will be shared next week.

NewsELA is a familiar tool to many of us that contains news and current event articles at a variety of reading levels.  Each article is rewritten in five reading levels, allowing the whole class to read the same article (at different levels) and participate in the same follow-up activities.

CommonLit is an online library of free texts for classroom use.  This site does not provide each passage in five different reading levels, but provides passages in a variety of reading levels organized by theme.  I had considered using CommonLit as one of the technology tools in the EdTech Chef Challenge, but replaced it with Actively Learn a few days before the event.

Books That Grow contains a library of books that are adapted in three to five reading levels (similar concept to NewsELA).  Teachers are able to setup classes and assign books to classes.  Teachers also have the ability to assign reading levels to whole classes or individual students, and configure the ability of students to override the teacher-selected level.  Teachers can also monitor student progress as they read through the assigned book.  The site is currently free, but they will be adding a PRO version this summer, which will likely take away some of the features that are currently free.

ReadWorks contains leveled fiction and nonfiction passages.  See their Support Center for additional information.

World Book Discover (The district subscribes to World Book Online) contains articles and resources for students reading below grade level.
World Book Student contains articles and resources tailored to middle school students.
World Book Kids contains articles and resources tailored for students reading at an elementary school level.

Edcamp OTMS
Thanks for submitting your conversation topics last week.  Mel and I will be working on the schedule and contacting facilitators this week.  The finished schedule will be linked in next week’s newsletter.

Technology Celebrations

Seventh grade science is studying the ingredients necessary to support life on a planet.  They are currently researching planets with these ingredients and will soon begin planning a colony (as well as how they will get there) on one of these planets.  They are using multiple internet resources and simulators as part of this project.

Thanks for your help with the Simulated Load Test on Friday.  There were some isolated device issues, but the network performed well.  The MAP app will remain on student devices and you are welcome to use the practice tests within the app at any time.  If a Chromebook will not login to the app, try restarting the Chromebook and then opening the app again.  We had several incidents during the simulated load test where the app would work after a restart or two.