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News | December 17, 2009
Better Than Ever: The New ReadWriteThink.org
The Internet's leading resource for literacy professionals has a whole new look-and much more
Since 2002 ReadWriteThink.org has provided literacy educators with access to an ever-growing collection of free educational materials. Now, after months of user surveys, collaboration with literacy professionals, and close examination of the site from every angle, the site has been completely redesigned and updated for the first time.
With a fresh look and many exciting new features, the redesigned ReadWriteThink.org offers a wider audience more opportunities to find just the literacy resources they need and to share their thoughts and experiences with other community members.
Easier to use and read
ReadWriteThink.org has hundreds of lesson plans, calendar resources, printouts, and interactive tools and is easily one of the most information-rich literacy resources on the Internet. But finding just the right piece of information can be challenging for busy professionals. The improved organization of the site allows for easier browsing of materials, including the ability to see featured resources that are new and timely.
Content on the site is sorted into user-friendly categories, such as by type, grade, learning objective, and theme. Lesson plans have also been grouped by type so now it's easier to see whether they take five minutes or five weeks of classroom time.
Filter and search tools, including a prominent keyword search, also make finding appropriate content much easier.
And all resources are presented in a new design that highlights key pieces of information, interactive tools, and current research. Users of the site can choose to scan summaries or read in-depth information, depending on their needs.
Content just for your classroom
Teachers looking for a one-stop resource need look no further than the new grade-level index pages. These pages offer collections of lesson plans, printouts, and booklists based on grade level; links to appropriate out-of-school and professional development resources are included as well.
In addition, every lesson plan on ReadWriteThink.org has been aligned to individual state standards. A tab in each lesson plan allows teachers to quickly assess whether a lesson plan meets the standards they are required to teach.
New ways to participate and share
ReadWriteThink.org wouldn't exist if it weren't for a dedicated community of literacy professionals who write and review lesson plans and other materials. The new site offers more information about authors and reviewers. And the brand-new Community Stories section offers behind-the-scenes stories that are designed to inspire, educate, and offer examples of how ReadWriteThink.org is making a difference.
The new site also provides many places for users to add comments and invites them to share their experiences and ideas. Share buttons enable users to e-mail and bookmark resources on the site.
And new opportunities to subscribe to RSS feeds help users make sure they never miss a new lesson plan or interactive tool. ReadWriteThink.org also has its own Facebook fan page, where community members can share their experiences and get the latest information about the site.
More out-of-school learning
All of ReadWriteThink.org's out-of-school resources for parents and afterschool providers have been consolidated into one easily accessible section of the site. These resources include activities, printouts, interactive games and tools, and tips; each is reviewed by a minimum of two educational experts who work collaboratively with authors and editors to help make sure the materials not only reflect best practice but will work in out-of school settings.
Like the classroom materials, these resources have also been grouped by grade level; wherever possible, connections to this content are highlighted in the classroom resources area of the site so that educators can easily find ideas to send home.
And it's not just students who benefit from out-of-school resources on the new ReadWriteThink.org. An entire section devoted to professional development is intended to help educators recharge their teaching, learn new techniques and strategies, and connect with other literacy professionals through both on- and offline opportunities.
The most trusted site for literacy resources
What hasn't changed on the ReadWriteThink.org site? A commitment to giving educators, parents, and afterschool providers access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials. You will still find all of the lesson plans and student interactive tools you have used and valued in the past, presented in ways that make them easier to find and use.
"ReadWriteThink.org has always been a deep resource," says International Reading Association President Kathy Au. "The improvements to the site make it even more meaningful by bringing users directly to the content they need and by creating a community of educators and learners. Improving literacy learning has always been our goal; the new site achieves that by helping-and connecting-everyone in the circle, from educators to parents to students."
ReadWriteThink.org is a partnership between the National Council of Teachers of English, the International Reading Association, and Verizon Thinkfinity.
Verizon Thinkfinity: Learning for all
Sponsored by the Verizon Foundation, the Verizon Thinkfinity program seeks to improve student achievement in traditional classroom settings and beyond by providing thousands of free educational resources across seven disciplines.
It is through grants from the Verizon Foundation that Verizon Thinkfinity content partners, like ReadWriteThink.org, can develop their content. In addition to ReadWriteThink.org, the other Verizon Thinkfinity partner websites are
- ARTSEDGE from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
- EconEdLink from the Council for Economic Education
- EDSITEment from the National Endowment for the Humanities
- Illuminations from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
- Wonderopolis National Center for Family Literacy
- National Geographic Education from National Geographic Society
- Science NetLinks from American Association for the Advancement of Science
- Smithsonian's History Explorer from Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
Read the full press release about the redesigned ReadWriteThink website here.