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Saturday, January 21, 2017

CommonLit Added a Guided Reading Mode for Students

CommonLit is a free service that offers a large collection of fiction and nonfiction texts paired to reading questions. You can create a classroom on CommonLit in which you can monitor your students' progress through the texts that you assign to them.

Recently, CommonLit added a new feature that they call Guided Reading Mode. When you enable Guided Reading Mode your students will see questions appear in the margin of the documents. Students have to answer those questions correctly in order for the next section of the document to appear. See the Guided Reading Mode in action in the video embedded below.


Applications for Education
CommonLit has been a favorite resource of mine for a couple of years because of the nature of the thematic questions they provide for thought and discussion. The only trouble was that if students didn't understand the assigned text they would have difficulty participating in conversation about the thematic questions. The new Guided Reading Mode should help more students understand assigned texts and participate in classroom discussions about the thematic questions accompanying assigned texts.

The Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine where the sun is trying to poke through the clouds. As I do every week, I have created a list of the most popular posts of the week. I think it is fitting that in the week in which the last man to walk on the moon, Eugene Cernan, passed away, the most popular post of the week was about an iPad app produced by NASA. That post and the other most popular posts of the week are linked below.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Students Can Build and Launch Virtual Rockets on Rocket Science 101 from NASA
2. Tips for Accessing Sites Blocked by Your School
3. Create Audio Recordings and Save Them In Google Drive
4. Please Practice Good Digital Citizenship
5. MoocNote Offers a Chrome Extension for Taking Notes on Videos
6. Would You Rather? - Quick Math Challenges
7. 18 Cartoon Videos About Cyber Safety for Students

This week I conducted a webinar called Search Strategies Students Need to Know. The webinar was sold out. Many people have asked about accessing the recording. The recording of that webinar and all of the others in my Wednesday Webinar series are now available on-demand.

Do you need a workshop or keynote speaker this spring or summer? 
My calendar is filling up, but I still have some dates available. Click here to learn more about workshops and presentations.

Please visit the official advertisers that help keep this blog going.
Practical Ed Tech is the brand through which I offer PD webinars.
Storyboard That is my go-to tool for creating storyboards.
QuickKey saves teachers tons of time when scoring formative assessments.
WriteReader is a fantastic multimedia writing tool for elementary school students.
Math Playground offers hundreds of math games and tutorial videos. 
Discovery Education & Wilkes University offer online courses for earning Master's degrees in Instructional Media.
PrepFactory offers a great place for students to prepare for SAT and ACT tests.
Boise State University offers a 100% online program in educational technology.
EdTechTeacher is hosts workshops in six cities in the U.S. in the summer.
My Simpleshow provides a great way to create explainer videos.

Take a Virtual Tour of Petra In Google Cardboard or In Street View

Last year Google added a virtual tour of Petra to its collection of landmarks that you can see in-depth in Google Maps Street View. This week that tour was updated for viewing in Google Cardboard VR headsets. Much of the imagery used in the tour was captured by a Street View Trekker camera. Take a quick tour of the imagery by watching the video below. Check out the Petra virtual tours here.