Saturday, May 11, 2013

Not Just for Summer: Learning Apps, Sites, and "Opps" (Part I)

Learning "opps" is what we're talking about here because "it" is starting (emails and requests for summer learning materials, help, sites, books). I "coined" the new word just a few moments ago in an attempt to describe summer learning opportunities in the 21st Century!

In times long ago, teachers put together lists of books, recommended levels, or shared worksheets stapled into packets that children eagerly took home and could not wait to complete! Parents said thank you so sincerely that we thought, sometimes, that they might actually use them during the summer.  Sometimes, some teacher SOMEWHERE might even have gotten a few of them returned in September (never me)! Some years, I even challenged students to read with offers like somersaults in the hallway (someone somewhere might still have a picture of that not to be repeated by me performance)! 
Times have changed and we are no longer in a paper world of literacy.  The Common Core standards demand learners learn to use technology as both consumers of information and sources of sharing learning and the demands are so great that we must all think of ourselves as life-long learners all year through!  We need lots of real life online resources, apps and "opps" - all of us. SO this year, inspired by my virtual internet friends and PD buddies, I am going to start posting APPS and SITES that are REAL 21st Century type summer learning OPPS!  Here is Part I of Not Just for Summer Learning "Opps"!  I hyperlinked all the names for you to make your learning opportunity just a click away!

GOOGLE LIT TRIPS is a fun site!  I know lots of kids who will love this!  It's not a substitute for reading but it makes real world connections with texts such as Abuela.

KHAN ON MAKING: Karl Wendt has a neat site her for kids and parents who are interested in creating virtual robots! There is LOTS of reading needed to do this! 

PROFESSOR GARFIELD COMICS LAB provides a site for making your own comic books! 

TEACH YOUR MONSTER TO READ is for beginners but is fun for everyone! 

WONDEROPOPLIS is a site I have already told you I use almost every day.  It is not only great reading but you can also write to the authors and they write back!  WOWSERS!

STORYBIRD is a complex site and I think it was easier before they added so much art work to choose from; however it is still a great way to encourage writing and creativity!

STORIA is the best of a Kindle like reader for kids by the powerhouse of kids' literature - Scholastic.  Every family should have it on their e-reader!

PBS PARENTS PLAY and LEARN is for little kids but the really neat part is that it is bilingual and explores common places like the zoo, the playground or the grocery store in a game format.

LITTLE CRITTER has been around for a long time; however the new format offers all the interactive features of modern technology with classic messages about living, learning and growing in families.

                 more soon!

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