Wednesday, November 19, 2014

News in Levels - News Articles to Match Your Students' Reading Abilities

News in Levels offers news stories that are on the lighter side of things. The stories are available in three versions so that you can choose the version that is appropriate for your students. The stories include a list of potentially difficult words along with definitions of those words. Each story is also accompanied by a video.

Applications for Education
There is certainly not a shortage of places to find news articles geared toward students. But if you want a source that offers the same story at three different reading levels, then take a look at News in Levels.

H/T to Larry Ferlazzo

A Nice Set of Videos for Comparative Government Lessons

C-SPAN Classroom offers handy sets of videos that they call Bell Ringers. Bell Ringers are short videos about contemporary issues in government, politics, and business. Each Bell Ringer video is accompanied by a list of key vocabulary terms and a list of discussion questions to use in your classroom. The comparative government Bell Ringers are a recently released batch of videos that are appropriate for high school classrooms. Links to each of the six videos are included below.

Australian Parliament Question Time

British Parliament Question Time

China and Democracy

German Bundestag

Powers of the British Prime Minister

United States vs Britain Campaign Finance Laws

Bell Ringer videos do not have to be used in their entirety. As a registered member of C-SPAN Classroom (membership is free) you can clip videos to display just the sections that you want your student to watch.

Sqworl - A Simple Visual Bookmarking Tool for Teachers

Four years ago I reviewed a neat bookmarking tool called Sqworl. This morning the developer of Sqworl emailed me to share some new features of the service. The new features are the option to open all links in a group at once and the option to view all links within Sqworl without having to leave the service. The video embedded below provides an overview of these features.

As it always has Sqworl saves a screen capture of each page you bookmark. To help you organize your bookmarks, you can create multiple groups of bookmarks in your Sqworl account. Should you choose to share your bookmarks you can share one or all of your bookmarks groups via the unique URLs that Sqworl assigns to each group. You can add bookmarks to your Sqworl account by manually inputting web addresses or by using a browser bookmarklet.

Applications for Education
Even if you're thinking, "I don't need another bookmarking tool," take a look at Sqworl to browse through the public bookmark groups that other teachers have shared.

Sqworl could be useful for sharing a collection of links that your students might need to complete a lesson. If students are using Sqworl, the visual aspect of Sqworl provides a helpful reminder of why a site was bookmarked and what that site is about.