Showing posts with label Shmoop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shmoop. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shmoop Now Offers History, Math, and Literature Videos

This evening I looked at Shmoop for the first time in quite a while and learned that they now offer videos. The videos are short summaries of topics in U.S. History, classic literature, and mathematics. The videos are a mix of animated and green screen productions. I watched nine of the videos this evening and give them mixed reviews. A couple of the U.S. History videos were a bit too glib or cheeky in their handling of some serious topics while other videos were just fine.

Applications for Education
The Shmoop videos are a bit too short and lack the depth that I hope to find in review materials. The literature videos are more like book trailers than analysis of the books.  In that regard you might find the Shmoop videos could be models for having your students create book trailers of their own.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Win a $3000 Scholarship from Shmoop and Zinch

Shmoop and Zinch have combined to offer a $3000 scholarship to US students. To enter the contest students simply need to complete this form by May 31st.

Zinch is a service that helps match students to scholarship opportunities. I don't have much experience with it, but it looks promising. Shmoop provides many fantastic online study guides for high school students. I've written about Shmoop since their launch and they've continued to improve their offerings ever since.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Shmoop Adds 33 New Titles

Online study guide provider Shmoop recently announced the addition of 33 more titles to their offerings. Shmoop added 15 new literature titles for students including study guides for The Jungle and The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. For teachers Shmoop has added 18 new teachers' guides in literature and US History. Teachers' guides are available in free and premium versions. The free versions offer assignments, activities, and links to related resources. The premium versions offer pre-made quizzes and discussion questions.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
11 Operas in 10 Minutes
Shmoop Adds History and Literature Slideshows

Monday, August 16, 2010

Shmoop Adds Pre-Algebra Study Guides

Shmoop, a provider of free study guides for topics in Social Studies and Language Arts, has recently branched-out to include mathematics study guides. Last week Shmoop added a collection of study guides for Pre-Algebra topics. The collection is broken into six categories; basic operations, fractions & decimals, ratios & percentages, basic geometry, basic statistics & probability, and basic Algebra. Additionally, Shmoop is offering a glossary of mathematics terms.

Applications for Education
Shmoop's Pre-Algebra guides are designed so that students can use them on their own as a supplement to their teachers' instructions. Each subsection of the Shmoop Pre-Algebra provides students with visual and text explanations of each topic. After each tutorial students are presented with some problems to try on their own. The practice problems have a "hint" button for students to use when they get stuck on a tough problem.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Math Class Needs a Makeover
Interactivate - Interactive Math Assessments
200+ Free Mathematics Books

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Shmoop - Making Learning Digestible

At ISTE 2010 I had the opportunity to meet with Ellen Siminoff, President and CEO of Shmoop. Shmoop, as I've mentioned before, is a provider of free and fee-based learning guides for Literature, Civics, US History, Music, Biographies, and recently added Economics learning guides.

Prior to my meeting with Siminoff I was already a fan of Shmoop as evident by the fact that I link to it from my classroom blog. After my meeting with Siminoff I was convinced that Shmoop has some good ideas about designing learning guides for students. Shmoop's primary goals, according to Siminoff is to make learning as digestible and as mobile as possible. To that end Shmoop designs all of their learning guides to be consumed in chunks rather than in one sitting. Shmoop has also made their learning guides available on Kindle, iPhone, Nook, and Sony Reader.

Of course any meeting with a company would not be complete if I didn't ask for a preview of what their future offerings will entail. Siminoff says that Shmoop users can expect to see learning guides for Mathematics and Science in the near future.

(Footnote, before the meeting I thought I was meeting with another Shmoop employee and I did not do my research on Siminoff. Turns out she's the former senior VP of Yahoo).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shmoop Adds History and Literature Slideshows

Online study guide provider Shmoop recently added a new slideshow feature to their free offerings. Shmoop now offers slideshows about many topics in their study guides for US History, Civics, Literature, and a new section dedicated to Shakespeare. The slideshows are designed as visual aid supplements to their existing guides. Some of the subjects of the slideshows include King Lear, the War of 1812, and US Political Parties.

Public domain images comprise most of the images in the slideshows. All of the slideshows can be embedded into your blog or website. View the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn slideshow below.


Applications for Education
I've often had students remark that they remembered something on a quiz because they remembered a picture or graphic that I showed them in class. With some of my reluctant readers and students looking at images has often been the gateway to conversation and or students' research into a topic. Shmoop's new slideshows now provide me with a good place to start my search for images to use in my classroom.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Shmoop Poetry Essay Contest - Win an iPad

Online study guide provider Shmoop just announced an essay contest for high school students. Shmoop's Poetry Essay Contest asks students to write a 500 word analysis of Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening. The winner of the contest, judged by Jim Burke, will receive an iPad. The entry deadline is May 28, 2010. You can find all of the entry requirements and contest details here.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New and Expanded Free Study Guides from Shmoop

Online study guide provider Shmoop recently released thirteen new study guides. The highlights of the new study guides include Kite Runner, Paradise Lost, and the poem Africa by Maya Angelou. Shmoop has also recently expanded their study guides for Othello, Romeo and Juliet, and King Lear.

Shmoop offers more than just summaries of information. If students create an account and log-in, they can use the integrated dictionary to find the meaning of any word in the content they're reading. Students can also create folders where they can store sticky notes of information they record while reading a Shmoop article.

Applications for Education
Shmoop can be a good reference to supplement the reading that students do for your courses. Shmoop's summaries are not nearly long enough to be a replacement for students to rely on instead of doing their assigned readings. As a frame of reference, Shmoop's summaries are shorter than those found in Cliffs Notes or Spark Notes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Study Guides for Black History Month

Shmoop, a study-guide provider that I've mentioned in a few other posts, recently published a list of 47 study guides for Black History Month. If you're still looking for resources for Black History Month, Shmoop's list is a good place to look. In addition to guides for English and history you will find resources for teaching with music.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

JD Salinger Resources

J.D. Salinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye, passed away today at the age of 91. The AP released a short video about his life. The BBC also has a good piece about his life and work. If you're looking for more detailed resources for teaching about Salinger, Shmoop has a student accessible biography.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Shmoop Adds 20 More Guides

I've mentioned Shmoop numerous times on this blog because I really like the content they produce. In fact, I like Shmoop so much that I have it linked to the blog for my US History and Civics courses. All of the Language Arts teachers to whom I've shown Shmoop have also approved of the Shmoop study guides. Shmoop recently added twenty new study guides.

The new study guides includes seven new books, three poems, three biographies, two US History guides, and five music titles. Among the new book titles you'll find Atlas Shrugged. The new US History guides are The American West and the 1960's.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Build Your Own Review Games
Cramberry - Studying Made Easier With Flashcards
Flashcard Flash - Search for Flashcard Sets

Saturday, November 21, 2009

New Moon on Shmoop

In case you haven't heard, Stephenie Meyer's New Moon has been released as a new movie. Meyer's books are widely popular with teenage girls (boys read it too, but in much smaller numbers). So if you work in a high school or middle school setting you probably have students who have raved about the book and or went out late Thursday night to see a midnight showing of the New Moon movie. However, if you haven't had time or desire to read the book, you probably don't know what all the fuss is about. Fortunately, Shmoop has made it easy for those of us who haven't read New Moon to quickly figure out what the book is all about.

Shmoop now offers a guide to New Moon. In this guide you will find an overview, chapter by chapter summaries, discussion of themes, and a list of the characters in the story.

Applications for Education
If you're a middle school or high school teacher who hasn't had the time or interest to read New Moon, but you want to know what makes the story so appealing to your students, check out the New Moon guide from Shmoop.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
10 Questions for Stephenie Meyer
Shmoop In Spanish and 19 New Learning Guides
Shmoop Adds Civics and Biographies
Shmoop Study Guides for History and Literature

Monday, November 9, 2009

60 Second Recap - Short Summaries of the Classics

60 Second Recap has been circulating around the edu-blog-o-sphere for about a week so I decided that I had to check it out. 60 Second Recap provides book summaries in sixty second video segments. There is a sixty second summary of each chapter of each book. Along with the chapter summaries there is a general overview of each book.

60 Second Recap
offers registered users the option to record a video response to each video summary. The service is new, but the concept has the potential to be a good way for users to extend the summaries found on 60 Second Recap. If you don't have access to a web cam, you can record a simple text response.

Applications for Education
60 Second Recap is a very new service still in its alpha phase of development with only a couple of dozen book titles in its library. That said, the concept of 60 Second Recap is a good one that could prove very useful for middle school and high school literature students.

The concept of 60 Second Recap could be the basis for a student project in which they create their own video recaps of the books they read. If you don't have access to video cameras, your students could use a service like Animoto or Stupeflix to create their video recaps of the books they've read.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Guys Read - Getting Boys to Read
AdLit - Strategies for Teaching Adolescent Literature
Shmoop - Study Guides for History and Literature

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

20 Ideas for Academic Halloween Costumes

Shmoop, a great publisher of online study guides, recently posted a list of twenty history and literature themed Halloween costumes. On the list you will find ideas like "pretend to hitchhike as Christopher Columbus with a sign that says India or bust." Shmoop also offers suggestions like "put on a collared shirt, a tie, a long coat, and a red hunting hat. Carry a record under your arm and collect candy as Holden Caulfield." See the full list here.

Applications for Education
Shmoop's list of Halloween costume ideas provide some possibilities for turning Halloween into an educational experience in middle school or possibly high school classrooms.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
National Geographic Halloween Quizzes and Games
Larry Ferlazzo's list of Halloween resources
Shmoop Grows Again

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Shmoop Grows Again

Shmoop is a service that I've written about numerous times since its launch because I think it's a great service. More importantly, my students think it's a great service. Shmoop provides free online study guides for history, civics, and a variety of literature genres. For the student who is studying on the go, they can access the guides on their laptops, their iPhones, or their Kindles.

This week Shmoop added thirty-four more study guides. These new additions include 21 novels, 11 biographies, and two topics in US History study guides. As a teacher of US History I'm particularly enthused about the new US History study guides which are about the 1950's and Native American History.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Shmoop in Spanish and 19 New Learning Guides

Shmoop, a website that produces excellent study guides, has just released some great new content. Shmoop now offers fifteen of their book summaries and study guides in Spanish for ESL/ EFL students. Some of the titles included in the Spanish translations are Huckleberry Finn, The Odyssey, and Romeo and Juliet. Check out all of the translated study guides here.

Shmoop has also added ninteen new learning guides in English. The new guides include works by Tolstoy, Chaucer, and Carroll. Check out all of the Literature Titles here.

Applications for Education
I have used the Shmoop study guides for US History and Civics with my classes this year. The guides provide a nice framework and background for in-depth classroom instruction. I have also linked Shmoop to my classroom blog and have already had a couple of students tell me that Shmoop has been helpful as a review tool for them.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Shmoop Adds Civics and Biographies
Shmoop Study Guides for History and Literature

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Shmoop Adds Civics and Biographies

Shmoop is a great provider of online study guides, content summaries, and vocabulary lists. I was impressed with Shmoop when it launched and it has continued to impress by adding more quality content. The latest rounds of updates include a section for civics and a section of biographies.

Shmoop's biography section offers brief biographies and study guides of famous authors and former US Presidents. The new Shmoop Civics section offers charts, explanations, and key-point lists about the branches of US Government. The civics section also includes discussion guides and background sheets about civil rights topics.

Shmoop offers more than just summaries of information. If students create an account and log-in, they can use the integrated dictionary to find the meaning of any word in the content they're reading. Students can also create folders where they can store sticky notes of information they record while reading a Shmoop article.

Applications for Education
In literature courses Shmoop is a good reference to supplement the reading that students do for your courses. Shmoop's summaries are not nearly long enough to be a replacement for students to soly rely on instead of doing the assigned reading. As a frame of reference, Shmoop's summaries are far shorter than those found in Cliffs Notes or Spark Notes.

Shmoop's history and civics sections are good places to locate fact sheets and charts to use in class or for students to study on their own.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Build Your Own Review Games
Cramberry - Studying Made Easier With Flashcards
Flashcard Flash - Search for Flashcard Sets

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Shmoop Adds More Quality Content

Shmoop, a great provider of online Literature and History study guides has just announced the addition of twenty more great study guides. The new study guides cover topics in US History and Literature. The additions to the literature section includes guides for works by Melville, Hemingway, Wilde, Salinger, Eliot, and Shakespeare. The new additions to the history section include study guides for the Gilded Age and the development of labor unions.

To learn more about Shmoop please visit my original review of the service.

Applications for Education
I am really impressed by the quality of the content on Shmoop. Shmoop's literature guides provide good depth of information without providing so much depth that students would be tempted to just use the review guides instead of actually doing their assigned readings.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
Build Your Own Review Games
Cramberry - Studying Made Easier With Flashcards
Flashcard Flash - Search for Flashcard Sets

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shmoop Study Guides for History and Literature

Shmoop is a neat website that has a lot of potential as a study resource for students of literature and US History. On the literature front, Shmoop provides condensed summaries of novels, short stories, and poetry. Included in the novel summaries that I read were artists' renderings of the main characters and in some cases maps of the story's setting.

The US History part of Shmoop is divided into themes and major events in US History. Everything appears chronologically in Shmoop's US History study guide. If a student is not sure which theme or event to look in for a particular term, they can use the Shmoop search box to find it.

Shmoop offers more than just summaries of information. If students create an account and log-in, they can use the integrated dictionary to find the meaning of any word in the content they're reading. Students can also create folders where they can store sticky notes of information they record while reading a Shmoop article. There is also a discussion feature although it was not working when I tried it earlier today.



Applications for Education
Shmoop could be a good reference to supplement the reading that students do for your courses. Shmoop's summaries are not nearly long enough to be a replacement for students to soly rely on instead of doing the assigned reading. As a frame of reference, Shmoop's summaries are far shorter than those found in Cliffs Notes or Spark Notes.