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Tiffany Clark's Story
ReadWriteThink: A Framework for Success
Many teachers feel like there’s just not enough time in the day to craft profound lessons, answer all the questions, squeeze in all the state standards, and differentiate the curriculum for every student’s needs. To be able to do it all, every lesson needs to serve multiple purposes and accomplish several goals; it becomes all about efficiency. Perhaps this is why educators have developed a communal culture of borrowing and sharing in places like ReadWriteThink.org.
On ReadWriteThink, I love that I can use one text, activity or lesson in multiple ways. I will often find a framework for going more indepth or exploring another facet. Even if the lesson author is not using the same content piece that I am, I find that I can apply many RWT lessons as I see fit. It is part of what makes teaching fun: taking the wonderful ideas from ReadWriteThink and finding a way to make it fit with my goals and personality!
One example of how I use the RWT site is when I teach local history to my fourth graders. One of the key points of entry to this unit is to make it relevant to each child by exploring their families’ interaction with the community. Renee Goularte’s “Creating Family Timelines: Graphing Family Memories and Significant Events” bridges family and oral history with the archival research and physical exploration of the town establishing personal significance. During this unit we also use the Student Interactives to enhance their research process. “Hints about Print” supports my students in resource selection, leading them to critically analyze a source before deciding to use it. Fact Fragment Frenzy teaches the steps of digging out the important information, writing it in your own words and then organizing that information. I cannot say enough about these resources!
ReadWriteThink allows me to provide lessons with the depth and breadth my students deserve. It continues to be a tool that fuels my passion for teaching!
I loved the local history extention in "All About Our Town: Using Brochures to teach Informational Text". What a great application for the research we have done on at the County Archives!
My students use newspapers from the year their homes were built to begin to get a feel for our community at different times in history. "Creating a Classroom Newspaper" is a wonderful extentsion.