Teaching w/Powerful Online Tools

28 Feb


As I work closely with teachers in supporting them to create learning environments so that all their students succeed, my most requested assistance with professional learning, resources, online tools and strategies come down to three main supports. Support for Inferencing, Summarizing and Metacognition.

I’ve shared these tools and resources throughout my blog, during PD opportunities and workshops like the one I just did today at the ERLC Ed Tech Summit. The importance to these items below is that teachers and students can use them RIGHT NOW and they WILL make a difference.


    • Explaining the Image – images allow students to gather so much information without even having to take a look at text. It is important to show them HOW to “read” an image. Using 5Ws template and modeling this for students is key, also having them in small groups to work on Row A, Row B….is important. Using a collaborative document like a Google Doc will also allow students to see what others are typing in their own column. Great learning.
    • It Says, I Say, And So – easy to set up on a collaborative document, poster paper or own sheet. Teachers are to input the “It Says” piece from the specific text, transcript, etc.
    • GDoc – keyboarding, Tools > Voice Typing, Add-ons Speech Recognition
    • GDoc > RW4GC (Read&Write for Google Chrome extension)
    • GDoc > Tools > Research
    • GSlide > Tools > Research
    • GDoc – Add-ons > SpellRight, Mindmeister
    • Fotobabble – website and iOS app – have students take a photo or a collage of photos and speak to what they learned.



    • Readability a chrome extension that declutters websites
    • SpeakIt! – chrome extension that uses text to speech. Great to use if you don’t have access to RW4GC.
    • Announcify – chrome extension which is paragraph text to speech reader as it blurs out the extraneous text leaving only one clear paragraph at a time
    • RWGold/Google – chrome extension
      • free for teachers (to register –
      • Reading Tools – – I gathered all the reading tools together and then show how you can use them. I go into classrooms and use about 60 minutes to go through these tools and students try them out at the same time.
      • Writing Tools – – another sheet that I put together.
    • Google Dictionary – chrome extension
    • GDoc – Add-on > tag cloud generator
    • Connected Mind – chrome app, mind map tool
    • Instagrok – chrome app, research/info mind map tool that is one of my favorites for research. It builds an interactive map as you pin things. Can use the slider in the top left corner to change the reading level from grade 2 – 7 instantly. Also keep the link by clicking on the Share button.
    • Newsela  – chrome app, differentiated news articles in a variety of topic areas. Also one of my favorite resources that allows all students to engage in a particular topic AT THEIR own reading level.
    • Flocabulary – subject area topics learned via rap songs
    • 60 second recap – of various literature that is video represented by a Librarian.
    • SparkNotes – online literature summaries (watch for mature ads)
    • Litcharts – online literature summaries
    • Text Compactor – text summarizer
    • Rewordify  – text simplifier
    • Graphic Outline – tiered and shared via a template through GDrive/GClassroom



    • Exit Slips –
    • Plickers – instant feedback using one iOS device
    • Kahoot – game-like
    • Polleverywhere – polls, surveys
    • Socrative – feedback
    • Formative Assessment Tools from A to Z –
    • Gallery Read/Talk w/comments (text or audio) within a Google document
      • GDoc – Add-on > Kaizena Mini



    • LearnAlberta – Online Reference Centre is chalked full of amazing resources for research and reading.
      • > Inclusive Ed Library > Language Arts > Writing Rubrics and Sample Writing Tips
    • 2Learn for curricular and image resources. 
    • Discovery Education Canada
    • Google search – choose the appropriate reading level by inputting the search topic > search tools > all results > reading level.
    • ReadWorks – skills, strategies, comprehension, novel study, passages
    • ReadWriteThink – lessons, activities, PD
    • TC2 – The Critical Thinking Consortium for critical challenges, etc.
    • Tween Tribune – like Newsela, articles at different reading levels
    • Unite for Literacy – K-2 ebooks



  • What are you going to do now?


Take time to write down some tools/resources that you will use and/or share.


2 responses to “Teaching w/Powerful Online Tools

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