Finds of the Week: March 22-26

This week we look at two tools that will help your students to be more productive, be it in writing an essay or reviewing for tests and quizzes. Our third tool helps enhance critical thinking skills.

1. Essay Map - NCTE and their ReadWriteThink site offer this great interactive to help students organize their thoughts for an essay. A student would begin by writing their introductory ideas in the applet. The next step is to provide three main ideas, each of which branch off to the supporting details for the idea. This information then leads to the conclusion. Once the information is entered into the applet, a map of the ideas is presented and can be printed or saved as a PDF to submit electronically. Here is a sample map.

2. Create Debate - Create Debate is a social site that is set up to allow people from all walks of life to debate the issues of the day. In order to do provide your input to a debate, you will need a free username to sign in. If you only wish to read the debates, then there is no need for a sign in.

This site can be used in many different ways. If you are in a speech class, you might want to look at how users are (or are not) supporting their stances. In a social studies class, you might use a debate to gather feedback from people in other areas of the world. You might even set up a debate between your classroom and a classroom from another school to see how different viewpoints could lead to an overall better understanding. If you find that using Create Debate is a tool that works well in your classroom, you might consider exploring the teacher option. There is a 30 day free trial, and if you find it is something you desire to integrate into your classroom, there are varying levels of pay plans to provide extra tools for doing so.

3. Quizlet - Do your students have trouble studying? Do you create a study guide that students don't use? Why not use the same ideas from your study guide to help your students study through Quizlet?

In Quizlet, you can create your own flash cards for students to study and quiz themselves from, or students can create them for themselves and others. Sets that are created can be set as private or public. Anyone can search through the public ones to find things they may need to study, including both the core and non-core academic areas, standardized testing, and careers. Follow this link to see a sample set on debate terminology.

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