Smore Spotlight on Strategies

Smore is an extremely user-friendly website for both teachers and students to use in the classroom.  Essentially it creates an online flyer that you can manipulate by adding text, images, videos, and links (amongst other things.)  Users can choose from a variety of templates or create a page from scratch.  Adding images was as easy as dragging and dropping into the correct box.  To rearrange the page, users click on the area they’d like to move and drag it to its new location.  It is similar to create a webpage, without having to actually own a blog or page domain.

My Smore is based around the CCSS idea of “close reading.”  I created my page as a professional development tool for other teachers in my building, especially those teaching K-1, who lack resources and rich texts for close reading.  Aside from using pictures of my own strategies and linking to resources, I was able to embed a Vimeo video of another teacher’s close reading lesson.  Even if this video doesn’t directly show a method or teaching style that I use, it is a way to get the ideas flowing about what it does (and will in the future) look like in my room.

Students with basic technology skills would be able to use Smore very easily.  Using this form of digital media will not only increase engagement, but can be used as a summative assessment (with a rubric to score it – make one here) at the end of a unit to gauge students’ understandings.  Students can work independently or in groups to work on a project about a skill, science experiment, or social studies topic.  It is not a live, collaborative document, however, so students working in teams will need to use one computer.  These documents can be edited at any time.  Students can create one as the topic is introduced stating what they know (similar to the K on a K-W-L chart) and create boxes for what they want to learn.  Then, as the unit continues, students have an outline and a place to add their learning.  In the end, both students and teachers will have a creative document demonstrating the student’s knowledge.

You can check out my Smore on close reading here.

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