Unlike the rest of my posts on this blog, this entry has absolutely nothing to do with technology. But, everybody needs a break every now and then, right? Sometimes I feel techy; sometimes I feel artsy! If you want to see what happens when I'm feeling particularly inspired to create some English-teacher-art--including my Edgar Allan Poe cabinet and my Harry Potter sorting hat--visit my creative page (still on the Me and My Laptop website) HERE. And I'll keep adding to it... y' know, when I feel artsy.
I just recently discovered GoodReads after receiving a Kindle Fire for Christmas. This is a great website for the reader who wants to know what to read next. After signing up for a free account, the website prompts members to rate books that they have previously read, and then uses these ratings to create customized suggestions. You can also share what books you are currently reading, create a list of books that you want to read, and view what your friends are reading. Read reviews from other GoodReads members, get information on popular new releases, view events in your area, take a trivia quiz, or join a group. This is a great networking and research tool for the book-lover, the casual reader, or the reluctant reader who has trouble finding the right book.
By visiting Scholastic Scope online, viewers have access to tons of free resources, including PDF files of stories and readers' theater pieces, vocabulary and grammar worksheets, ACT-style quizzes, essay writing prompts, and much much more! I'm truly amazed that there is no log-in required to view these materials. There is even information regarding how the materials align with the Common Core State Standards. According to the website, these materials will be password-protected in the future, so visit their website and save these files while it's free! I plan on using many of the resources (my school has a subscription, so I will be able to access information even after it is password-protected); I'm particularly interested in the readers' theater pieces because they are a great way to expand students' background knowledge regarding literary masterpieces.
Jessica Pilgreen is a high school English teacher, a Piasa Bluffs Writing Project fellow, and a technology enthusiast. The main purpose of this blog is to help her keep track of all of the fabulous tools out there that she has encountered, but if she can help a few others along the way, that's good, too.