Monday, May 24, 2010

Instructional Strategies Online

Let's just be honest here. Sometimes our teaching gets boring! You know it! But why is that? Could it be that we're teaching the same topic again year after year after year and we're teaching it the same way we've always taught it? I'm almost bored to tears just typing that last sentence! (yawn, yawn) I'm going to suggest we take a look at some new and different instructional strategies. Yes, we probably have to teach the same content we've taught for years but there are no rules that say we have to teach it in the same manner! Take a look at Instructional Strategies Online. Do what you have to do here. Print out some of these strategies, write them in your lesson plan book (if you're still using one!), bookmark this site! Vow to use a different strategy everyday until these strategies become more commonplace in your classroom. Your students will start begging for strategies! We all love variety and novelty. Change things up a little. Get your students involved and engaged. This site just might be what you've been needing!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Clutter Free Web Pages - - Readability

Ever distracted by ads, photos, extra clutter while trying to read a news article?  Have you noticed when you've found a recipe online that there's a button that says Print Version?  That button gets rid of all the clutter and gives you a nice printable copy of the recipe only.  Well, that's what this site called Readability will do.  It will clean up your page.
First go to the site.   In step 1, you can make the settings what you want.  I like narrow margins with a small font.  This will save paper if I decide to print it.
In step 2 just drag the bar that says READABILITY up to your bookmarks toolbar menu.  That's ALL you have to do to set it up
Now go to a news site and click on an article.  Once the article is loaded, click once on Readability in your toolbar menu.  Voila!  You now have a nice clean page - free of distractions AND printable.  You'll see three options on the left side of the page.  One is to revert the page back to its original, next is to print the page (this is really going to save ink and paper!), and the third option is to email it to someone! 
Try it and let me know what you think!  I'm thinking some of our students could really benefit from a clutter-free Internet environment!
If you prefer to learn by video, you'll see an instructional video on the Readability website.  
Big thanks to Elaine Plybon (former Hutch girl) who shared this site in the Shining Stars DEN webinar.