Monday, March 2, 2015

Tech Tuesday: 2 Non-fiction Tools

Time for Tech Tuesday, Teachers! (I had a little too much fun with alliteration there.)

Here's How to Participate:

1- Write about your tech idea on your blog and grab the image above to include in your post. Make sure to link back to this post.
2- Add your link up below
3- Leave a comment on someone's post
4- Share the linky party on your choice of social media

We are having a blast in my second grade classroom with Non-fiction! I personally love non-fiction, so I am trying to help my students develop that love too. My heart goes pitter pat when students are reading non-fiction and unable to stop from sharing the facts and insights they are learning. The "eagerness" to share and learn more is what makes the classroom have that magical feeling that truly makes learning FUN! I thought I'd share two tech tools that I used in the past week with my students.  One is an app and one is a website, so hopefully with whatever devices you have access to, one of them will prove to be helpful to you!

Popplet (App): The app Popplet has a lite version and a paid version. The lite version meets my needs. We were studying chronological text structure. I gave my students a choice between 3 different biographies (article sized, not books) and have them use this app to create a time line with 5 main events from the person's life. While doing this, the students were able to practice using the chronological text structure to identify important information. However, there are so many more uses for this app. It creates a mind map for students and gives them space to add text. The box will adjust to their text size. At the touch of a finger, they can add a box, move a box, etc. Then, they just save their mind map to the camera roll and have it for whatever you would like to do with it next. They are able to create in a short amount of time. My students were talking about how fun it was to use, and they are asking to make another project on this tool!

Wonderopolis: I'm a "wonderer," but here's the catch with me, my adult brain has over taken so much that I don't feel like I wonder how I used to unless I make a conscience effort to allow myself to do so. But, kids do!!! And I want my students to wonder endlessly, forever. Therefore, it needs to be valued in what we do. When they wonder, they will be more self-directed. They will be inspired to seek, learn, solve, share! This site is an easy to navigate free tool where students can find out more about questions people commonly wonder about. The site offers a place that has a wonder of the day but also a spot to search for specific topics. They provide TEXT and VIDEOS on the topic. It is a great opportunity for your students to use two different types of sources for information (Common Core!). My students will be using it for a variety of non-fiction activities, but I know it will be heavily used in an upcoming inquiry project where students research choice topics. I also see value in using this site in a reading group, to learn how to summarize/collect main ideas, to learn how to take notes, and to purely build a love for learning and non-fiction when you have a spare 5 minutes in the day!

Today my students looked at How to Avoid Heartburn because they just finished learning about a healthy heart in PE and our school just had a Jump Rope for Heart Fundraiser! Does your heart burn?

Believe it or not, here in Chicago we have some snowy rain predicted for tomorrow. Shocking, right? Well, it's a great chance to look at the video/article about the difference between snow, sleet, and freezing rain. What's the Difference between Snow, Sleet, and Freezing Rain?

After students use the site, they might even be inspired to create their own video/article to make a Wonderopolis of their own to share with the class!

Thanks for visiting Tech Tuesday! Be sure to check out some Tech Tips from the Tech Savvy Teachers linked up below!


  1. Replies
    1. I'm so glad you came, Nicole! I loved reading your post, and I hope you will come back to link up again!

  2. Popplet is the best! I love apps that are kid friendly!

    1. Thanks, Erin! I am so glad you linked up! I hope you will link up again. I just found your facebook page and started following. You have so many great tech posts!!! I love Tellagami too, and your post opened my eyes for new ways of using it.