Most Successful Programs for an ELA classroom

Updated: Aug 12

First of all, why should you use these program when you have 3 file cabinets full of (lets not be shy) the best graphic organizers and worksheets ever created! Well using digital programs is one easy way to make your lessons more meaningful and lets face it- relevant– to the 21st century learner.


Explore these new programs, figure out how they could work in your classroom; how could you use it with a purpose. Make sure it’s the best addition to your normal lesson or curriculum. This gives you an opportunity to still teach what you’ve always taught in a new, more fun, super interactive and tech-friendly way.


www.NearPod.com

Make your PowerPoints and Slideshows completely interactive. Use the free or paid version to create lessons where instead of taking notes, students apply recently learned skills. I highly recommend having an activity after every one to two slides so students can apply their skills.


www.ActivelyLearn.com

These articles, short stories, and poems are paired with questions as students read that are multiple choice and a written response. Usually about three questions total but there are a lot of pieces that spark great conversation in the classroom. I like that the questions are place within the text itself so that they answer as the read.


www.CommonLit.org

Commonlit offers texts with more questions per text than ActivelyLearn. They are a better resource for fiction pieces, and the questions are similar to what students might encounter on state tests. Additionally, CommonLit includes discussion questions for you to use however you see fit. Their pieces are easy to download and print for those days you don’t have computers or have a substitute.


www.FlipGrid.com

FlipGrid in my own classroom became a weekly event called “FlipGrid Friday”; students knew to expect these mini-video presentation activities on Fridays. The ways to use this platform is limitless. You can have them respond to questions independently or as a group; it can be used as a way to save time on presenting group projects; it can be used to have students recite a poem they create and explain its purpose; students can reenact a scene from a story, novel, or play you’re reading. There are so many things you can use FlipGrid for. Just be sure you are clear on the expectations you have for how your students will participate in their videos, how they are graded and why. Doing this keep the process going a lot smoother.


www.newsela.com

Newsela is a great resource for non-fiction articles. I loved having my students explore various countries around the world on this site. I used it for examples of argumentative articles as well. Lots of science and historical information in their articles, news is their jam. The have various types of activities that other sites do not that help students build vocabulary and build on other skills instead of just answering multiple choice questions and creating constructed responses.


www.quizizz.com

Create your own quiz game or explore already made quizzes, students will play against one another to test their knowledge on a fun and interactive trivia-like format. They complete the entire quiz at their own pace and you receive data back on how they did. You can have them redo the quizizz as many times as you like.


www.Kahoot.com

This works great with hand-held devices and computers. It’s another trivia game where students can either work in groups or independently to try and get the highest score in the class. I used this a lot for review at the end of the year. The students at my school asked the play this constantly. They enjoy the instant feedback the game provides after each question.


The main thing you need to know before you start planning a lesson on a new platform or program, is that it is NOT helpful to students if YOU don’t know how or why this new digital tool is meaningful or relevant for them. My advice, don’t just use something new to use something new. Make it Worth it!


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