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ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November


ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom Integrating technology into your English Language Arts curriculum has never been easier with all the digital tools available for low or no cost. Go beyond substitution (just typing text or reading ebooks) with these highly interactive tools that will redefine learning in your ELA classroom this fall!

Primary Grades

Write About This 

 Write About This is a platform that generates visual writing prompts and allows students to create their own prompts or respond to generated prompts on the site or app. There are 375 prompts, and students can create even more to inspire creative writers in their class. Photographs are used as a way to inspire writing, and students will love to take their own pictures to create custom photo prompts for the class. Use as a full assignment or as a quick write bellringer to start the class or inspire discussion. The app is perfect for primary grades and beginning writers. Available on GooglePlay and the App Store for $2.99-$3.99, there is also a free version that works well and allows students to use most features.

 Try some Thanksgiving writing prompts for November to write about gratitude or acts of kindness. These are perfect to share with parents and the school community.

ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

Reading Rainbow Skybrary 

 Share the magic of Reading Rainbow with your students that we had as children. Video field trips with Levar Burton, hundreds of digital books to read (which students can hear read by fluent readers or read on their own), games, animations, lesson plans, and parent or teacher dashboards to track student reading make this app an A+ for students in grades K-3. Subscriptions are $4.99 a month or $39.99 per year, but Skybrary does offer a Title One program. Schools that qualify can receive a free classroom subscription. Check out a title like Thank You, Miss Doover where Jack’s teacher instructs the children on how to write thank you notes.

Incorporate into a Thanksgiving or gratitude lesson this month.
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

Storybird 

 Art inspires writing with this amazing digital platform. Students view gorgeous illustrations and can pull them into their own digital books as they write their own powerful stories filled with voice. Created books are also housed online to allow students to read and explore beautifully illustrated writing. Students are encouraged to share their own stories on this safe, unique platform. Storybird is also free, so you can view, create, and assign online. In addition, Storybird also uses its platform to allow users to create bound books, journals, and even phone cases of their creations (for a cost).

 November 4th is Book Lovers’ Day! Although this little known National holiday falls on a Saturday, your students can create and share their love of reading and books all month long.
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

Seesaw 

 Seesaw can be used in all content areas, but in this student-driven portfolio is particularly powerful in Language Arts. Students (and teachers) can upload student video to show reading fluency and even story creation. Parents gain access and can see what’s happening in class via videos and pictures. Teachers will love the conversations Seesaw will facilitate with parents. Knowing what their child is learning and watching their growth via video in an easy, safe format (parents must have codes to view their child’s class) is the next best thing to being there.

 Try this: Have your students write gratitude poems for their parents or loved ones and record videos of their presentations before Thanksgiving break.
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November


Intermediate Grades

Kahoot 

 Kahoot is an online quiz platform where students reply in real-time in a competitive environment. Responses are coded by hitting the correct answer (colored shape that corresponds to the answer on a large screen) on the device. Faster, correct responses earn more points. Create your own Kahoot quizzes or use some of the thousands already created and shared by other educators. It’s all free! Check out quizzes to review grammar, common core or state tests, figurative language, root words, and more. Perhaps you’ve used Kahoot to review with students in the classroom, but have you tried letting students create their own quizzes with Kahoot? Creation is such a powerful part of this platform. Allowing students to review by asking questions and presenting them in groups or to the entire class can help facilitate deeper learning.

 Read some articles about Veterans and patriotism during the month of November for Veteran’s Day. Have the students create their own Kahoots to review the concepts and vocabulary in their reading.
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

 EasyBib 

 Teaching our students to avoid plagiarism and cite all sources becomes even more imperative in intermediate grades. Gone are the days, however, of memorizing punctuation marks and spaces for various types of citations. EasyBib makes it simple to generate bibliography or works cited pages for any format. Traditionally, most intermediate grades use MLA citation. Type in a website, book, or database (among dozens of other options), and the citation is generated automatically. Make sure to let your students know how difficult this was 15 years ago!

 Celebrate November 15, National Philanthropy Day, by having students research charitable causes, and practice citing their resources using EasyBib for a short, mini research project.
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

 DebateGraph 

 Collaboration, speaking, and sharing viewpoints are standards in ELA. DebateGraph is an online tool that helps students contribute to and create maps on virtually any topic imaginable. Pose a question for your students from literature or have them dissect articles involving current events. Maps can be embedded into websites, and many organizations such as CNN, the White House, and the UK Prime Minister’s Office use and create DebateGraphs to collect resources and opinions. This unique tool can be used in English or Debate classes to formulate arguments.

Check out current events this November and incorporate the tools into debate lessons. 
ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November


There are so many ELA digital tools to use in the classroom from writing to reading and collaboration. Many sites and applications also give a parental component to bridge the gap from the classroom to the home. Try some of these ELA digital tools to enhance your curriculum this month and challenge your students to redefine their learning.

ELA Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom with Ideas for November

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Brittany Washburn
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12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom



12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom

12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom

Are your students as obsessed with coding as mine? I absolutely love that they are all jumping on this trend. Coding can be used to teach virtually any topic. As a teacher you don't even have to be an expert on coding to be able to use it in the classroom! 

I highly recommend checking out these 12 books and adding them to your classroom library. 
*If you click on an image, it will bring you to the page on Amazon. If you purchase a book from clicking through this post I will receive compensation.

1. Coding Games in Scratch- "Written for children ages 8–12 with little to no coding experience, this straightforward visual guide uses fun graphics and easy-to-follow instructions to show young learners how to build their own computer projects using Scratch, a popular free programming language.
With Coding Games in Scratch, kids can build single and multiplayer platform games, create puzzles and memory games, race through mazes, add animation, and more."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
2. Coding for Kids for Dummies- "An easy-to-grasp introduction to coding concepts for kids
Coding For Kids For Dummies breaks coding into a series of small projects, each designed to teach elementary-to-middle-school-aged students a core concept to build a game, application, or other tool. In this his hands-on, friendly guide readers will get access to a leading coding tool that has been designed specifically for kids, showing them how to create the projects provided in the book as well as how to implement them into their own creative work."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
3. DK Workbooks: Coding with Scratch Workbook- "Perfect for beginner coders ages 6–9, this highly visual workbook builds basic programming skills using Scratch, a free computer coding programming language, and will take kids from browsing to building."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
4. Code Your Own Games! "Become a super-coder and create your very own computer games using Scratch—a free software developed by MIT.
Calling all creative young gamers! With its easy-to-follow, illustrated step-by-step instructions, this book will teach you key concepts—like drawing shapes—so you can code your own games. By the end, any kid will be able to make 20 popular games, from Snake to Brick Bouncer."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
5. My First Coding Book- "Teach kids as young as 5 years old the basic programming skills necessary to code, including sequencing and loops, without a computer.
It's never too early to learn computer coding. With interactive paper engineering, My First Coding Book is a playful, hands-on introduction to offline coding and programming that will give young children a head start. Filled with puzzles, mazes, and games to teach the basic concepts of sequences, algorithms, and debugging, this book will help children develop critical thinking, logic, and other skills to cement lifelong computer literacy, which is extremely valuable and sought-after in today's world."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
6. So, You want to Be a Coder?- "Love coding? Make your passion your profession with this comprehensive guide that reveals a whole host of careers working with code.
Behind the screen of your phone, tablet, computer, or game console lies a secret language that allows it all to work. Computer code has become as integral to our daily lives as reading and writing, even if you didn’t know it! Now it’s time to plug in and start creating the same technology you’re using every day."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
7. How to Code- "Become a master coder, with these step-by-step instructions and robot helpers too! How to Code teaches you all the basic concepts, including Loops, Variables, and Selection, and then develops your skills further until you can create your own website . . . and more! Learn how to use Logo, build games in Scratch, program projects in Python, experiment with HTML, and make interactive web pages with JavaScript."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
8. Python for Kids: "Python is a powerful, expressive programming language that’s easy to learn and fun to use! But books about learning to program in Python can be kind of dull, gray, and boring, and that’s no fun for anyone."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
9. Coding in Scratch: Games Workbook- "Perfect for children ages 6–9 who are new to coding, this highly visual workbook is a fun introduction to Scratch, a free computer coding programming language, that will take kids from playing games to creating them."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
10. Coding iPhone Apps for Kids- "Apple’s Swift is a powerful, beginner-friendly programming language that anyone can use to make cool apps for the iPhone or iPad. In Coding iPhone Apps for Kids, you’ll learn how to use Swift to write programs, even if you’ve never programmed before."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
11. Story of Coding- "Discover the history of computers and coding, from Ada Lovelace's initial idea of computer programming to today's coding languages like Scratch, Python, Javascript, and more, in this Level 2 nonfiction reader featuring photographs, diagrams, fun facts, and strong visual clues."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
12. Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World- "No matter your interest—sports, the arts, baking, student government, social justice—coding can help you do what you love and make your dreams come true. Whether you’re a girl who’s never coded before, a girl who codes, or a parent raising one, this entertaining book, printed in bold two-color and featuring art on every page, will have you itching to create your own apps, games, and robots to make the world a better place."
12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom

Phew! I think your students will really enjoy having these books available to read when they finish early. They all also make great mini lessons and/or read alouds to the class. Have you come across any other great computer science books for kids? Let me know in the comments. 

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12 Coding Books to Try in the Classroom
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Brittany Washburn
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Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom


Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom

Using technology in the math classroom can be incredibly powerful, especially if we’re using digital tools to redefine how we’re teaching and presenting concepts. These math digital tools to use in the classroom do just that. Here are a few applications and websites you can start using right away in your classroom.


Primary Grades 


BrainPOP Jr. With subscription options available for classroom, school, and district use, BrainPOP Jr. gives students the opportunity to explore a variety of math topics with learning games, videos, and other activities. BrainPOP Jr. is appropriate for grades K-3. (BrainPOP is available for upper elementary grades.) Each topic includes several activities for students to demonstrate their learning.


  • Games Kids can play a game to show what they know about number sense, addition and subtraction, measurement, geometry, time, money, data, fractions, multiplication and division, and math strategies. All of these topics are also covered in the other activities. 
  • Quizzes Choose hard or easy quizzes to differentiate instruction and assessment for your students.
  • Make a Map Students create mind maps on the program to show what they learned about the math concept studied. 
  • Word Play Reviewing vocabulary is so much fun with Brain Pop Jr. when students draw, write, or create skits about the words. 
  • Activity Each topic contains an online activity for students to work through. 
  • Write About It/Talk About It When the emphasis on not just getting the correct answers but sharing your process, these two features allow students to write and talk about the concepts that they learned. 
  • Other Features Math movies, jokes, lesson ideas, and quiz creation are all great parts of BrainPOP Jr. Check out the freebie about tally charts and bar graphs before you subscribe. 


Math Playground The best learning happens when kids are engaged and having fun. They won’t even realize they’re working on their math skills with these invigorating video game style games. With more than 425 games for Grades 1-6, Math Playground is a web based favorite for teacher and students in elementary classrooms. Here are a few of our tried and tested favorites!

  • Addition Snake Reminiscent of the old Atari centipede game, users guide the snake by clicking on the screen to move him to chomp the solutions to given addition equations. Kids love learning to add while playing this fun, nostalgic game! 
  • Puzzle Pics Your students will enjoy dragging missing numbers from different equations (different operations are available) to reveal a mystery picture. 
  • Swimming Otters For third graders who are learning their times tables, swimming otters gives them a chance to get those multiplication facts down! Click the missing number in the multiplication equation to race to the finish line. 

Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom

Intermediate Grades 

Khan Academy Although Khan Academy has learning videos for grades starting at Kindergarten, it is a favorite for intermediate grade students and teachers because of the self-paced instruction.
In upper elementary and middle school when some students are starting to zoom ahead in Math skills, Khan Academy gives students the opportunity to study advanced concepts on their own with a classroom teacher still available as a guide. Teachers also love to use Khan as a way to reteach and provide remediation for tricky concepts.
Thought about trying a Flipped Classroom but don’t have the time to dive into video creation yet? Use some Khan videos to have students explore and learn about the concepts before practicing in class the next day. Khan offers teaching and learning tools from arithmetic to advanced calculus. There’s something for every learner at every level.

PhET Interactive Simulations A free online resource from the University of Colorado at Boulder, PhET Interactive Simulations contains research-based math and science simulations to help students in your classroom understand certain concepts. Use them as a teaching tool in your own lessons or let students explore and learn on their own! Here are a few that intermediate grades will love to explore!

  •  Estimation Estimate length, area, and volume in a 3D simulation with varying levels. 
  •  Fractions Intro This beginning Fractions simulation allows students to explore what happens when they manipulate denominators and numerators. Compare different numbers and learn about equivalent fractions. 
  •  Arithmetic This simulation provides a nice review of multiplication, division, and factoring. It can also be used for remediation for intermediate or upper elementary students. 


These incredible math digital tools to use in the classroom are perfect as support for lessons, flipped classrooms, remediation, or to provide enrichment opportunities for early finishers. Try some of these tools in your math classroom.
Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom
Math Digital Tools to Use in the Classroom


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