Here are a few tools to help in finding content suited to the different levels in your classroom.
Twurdy – http://twurdy.com – Need to find content to help in differentiation in the classroom? Twurdy searched the internet and labels results with a readability score. The darker orange the background of the result is the higher readability level it has. This would be great when searching for materials for struggling readers and for the gifted students who need more of a challenge. The have their own scale system so be sure to check out the feature to turn the age level to understand their system.
Google Reading Level – Google also has a search filter that will sort results based on Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Reading Levels. Type in your search term(s) and then click on the reading level you want to focus on to see the websites that fall in that category.
Text Compactor – http://textcompactor.com/ – Create a summary of your text by pasting in the passage, drag the slider to show how much of the text you want to keep in the summary and then view the results. You can also cut and paste the results into a text to speech program or into a language translator to help process the information even more. This could be used for those ELL students or for struggling readers to comprehend the text. Or use it in the writing process as students pasting in their own writing and determining if the created summary really reflects what was intended by the student.
Sweet Search – http://www.sweetsearch.com/ – A search engine designed to give results based on analyzing the credibility of the website so students will have access to information that is more accurate than random sites. This website also contains widgets that you can place on your website so that students can use it as a launching point for searches in class and at home.
This is easy with Web 2.0 technology tools. Students do not need to all create the same product, but choices can be given to allow them to choose a method that is more in alignment with their intelligences. All these tools help students create. According to the Digital Bloom’s taxonomy – creating is on the high end of the spectrum of critical thinking tools. You don’t have to be an expert in all of these tools. Tutorials already exist in youtube or by talking to other teachers who have the how-to papers ready to go. Students are ready to learn the program to accomplish the product so let them try!
- Videos : Animoto, MovieMaker, PhotoStory,
- Webpages: Google Sites, Wix, Weebly, Wikispaces
- Interactive Timelines: Dipity
- Interactive Posters: Glogster
- Interactive Presentations: Voicethread, Prezi, Thinglink
- Audio presentations: Podcasts with Audacity
This list is not comprehensive, but this should get you started.
Management of Differentiated Products:
Worried about grading all these different products? With the design of a good rubric grading can be easy as the content should always be what you are looking for no matter what the packaging is. Rubistar is a great place to start in designing a rubric.
Tammy Worcester had a great idea of how to gather all the links/products into one place with a digital dropbox. Using a google form, create a place for students to turn in their links for easy access to all products posted online.