Table of Contents

This assignment is now due Nov. 15!

Explore and review at least three online resources for the teaching of reading.
  • Write a 250-word review of each website including a summary of its content and your evaluation of its usefulness and applicability to your future teaching context.
  • Be sure to give adequate details and specific examples to help others determine when and how each website might be useful to them.
  • Please use contextual links with a title or descriptive phrase linked to the appropriate website.
  • See the example review of Traci's Lists of Ten below.
  • Please post here and be prepared to share highlights from the websites you reviewed in class.
  • If you need a starting place for finding websites to review, try Ms. Moorman's social bookmarking account on Diigo.

Traci's Lists of Ten

Summary

Traci's Lists of Ten is a website written by Traci Gardner, an educator and writer who has a strong background in instructional technology and now serves as an Educational Web Developer and Curriculum Designer for ReadWriteThink. Traci's Lists of Ten is, of course, a collection of lists, each consisting of 10 tips for teaching, lesson plans, writing prompts, or other instructional ideas around a central topic. The lists are organized into 10 overarching themes such as Grammar, Literature, Writing, and Media Literacy.

Evaluation of Usefulness

Much of the technology information on this website is now out-of-date. But the other lists are quite useful. The site is very easy to navigate, and the themes, topics, and lists of ideas are labeled clearly. Traci has included notes on how to customize her lesson plans, how to prepare for them, or changes she would make depending on who was in her classroom. Unlike other sites I visited, Traci’s did not seem to be trying to promote anything she had published or boast how talented she was—she created a text-based, no-nonsense site. This site doesn't appear to be updated since 2004, but I'm glad it's still available for reference.

Applicability to Future Teaching

These lists will be great for me when I am starting out as a teacher because Traci seems to have already found solutions to problems I haven't even anticipated. Her "Teaching Tips" are especially useful to me as advice from a mentor teacher to a new teacher. The lesson ideas are unique and seem like they would be engaging and motivating for my students. With such a wide variety of topics and yet a limited focus on just ten things under each category, this site gives me the sense that I can actually implement most of the recommendations I've found here.

The Reading Lady


Summary

The Reading Lady is a website written by Laura Kump, an educator and a literacy coach. The site provides support, ideas, and downloads for reading teachers. The website has many good ideas about incorporating poetry in the classroom and using lessons like author studies to spark student interest in novels, short stories, and writing. The site also includes many free downloads of materials to help support reading teachers.

Evaluation of Usefulness

This site is very useful because it is easy to navigate and offers plenty of free materials. Not only does the site offer free materials, but it also provides a starting point about learning to incorporate different things in teaching. I would have preferred a bit more commentary on some of the poetry or links because sometimes it gives the resource, but does not always explain its usefulness very well.

Applicability to Future Teaching

I think that this site will be a great starting place when I am teaching, especially for when I simply do not know how to introduce the next subject. I really like her idea of poetry journals, but I think I would modify it slightly because I will be teaching a different age group. I also like the fact that the home page links to articles in her blog, so that one can be kept current in the reading world, and that is something that will always be useful for teachers. I also believe I will find the comprehensive example of the author studies useful in a classroom because it not only looks are the author's life, but also his or her books and how they relate.

MiddleWeb


Summary


MiddleWeb is a comprehensive collection of middle school resources. Under “of particular interest,” you can find a plethora of articles about teaching strategies and general middle school information. In the tab called “diaries,” you can find different blogs from current middle school teachers as they tell about every day classroom life and teaching ideas. Under “chat,” you find that you can join a forum in which teachers can actively discuss problems and strategies with each other. “Resources” and “hot links” are tabs where you can find further websites and information about education.

Evaluation of Usefulness

All of the articles seem really relatable, and they deal with problems that I can imagine teachers facing on a daily basis. The teacher blogs are especially endearing, because teachers are writing informally about a real classroom and real students. I can see this being an encouragement to teachers as they struggle through the same things these teachers are, and they can gain insights from how the bloggers address the issues.

Application to Future Teaching

This website will be really useful to me as a teacher because I can subscribe to it and get weekly updates with current articles and evolving ideas for teaching reading to middle schoolers. The pages with other resources and links are great because they’re updated regularly so that they are applicable and current (for instance, one of the links is about Halloween themed activities).

Education World

www.educationworld.com

Summary

Education World is chock full of information and resources. It has everything from education news, to templates, lesson plans, and a book store. There are tons of different ways to use this site. The “Teacher Templates” are one of my favorite parts because there is a template for almost everything you could need as a teacher. The templates are also helpful for getting ideas for handouts. The “Lesson Planning” portion is also nice because there are relevant lesson plans and ideas for activities.

Evaluation of Usefulness

This site is overwhelmingly useful, but as a first time visitor, I found it difficult to navigate my way around it. There are so many tabs and resources that I wasn’t sure which one to click on. It was organized, but cluttered with pictures and colors. I think that frequent users are grateful for all the information and know how to properly access it, but I struggled a bit.

Application to Future Teaching

Education World is constantly updating their materials with each week, which is great because all of the resources can be current and relevant. I think as a teacher, I would be especially grateful for the templates. I know that I struggle with using technology to do things like that, so the pre-made templates are very welcomed. It’s good that there’s so much information on the site, because if I were looking for something specific, there’s a good chance that I would find it.

Scholastic

www2.scholastic.com

Summary

Scholastic is a unique resource because not only are they an online resource for teachers, but also a publisher! With this comes some really neat tabs and features of their site. There's a tab under Teaching Resources that is especially for new teachers and has a "survival guide" which includes lesson plans, gradebook adivce, and other basic class management information. There is also a section called "Books and Authors" which contains video interviews and information about the authors of popular books.

Evaluation of Usefulness

This site looks incredibly useful. I talked to a current Middle School Reading teacher and she said that the section about authors was immensely helpful. She said that she was able to help students connection the story with the literature and the literature with the author's intent. It helped them understand how writers get their ideas and what their processes are. This site is useful because it's constantly connecting ideas and lesson plans back to the texts that they can be associated with.

Application to Future Teaching

This site will definitely be useful as a new teacher, with the survival guide and the concrete lesson plans that are already attached to acclaimed texts. It will help me to choose appropriate books, and in turn to prepare fun and effective activities to go along with those books.

Reading Rockets

Summary

Reading Rockets is a website funded for the U.S. Department of Education. It is meant to be used as a tool to help teachers teach children how to read, especially struggling readers. It offers research-based strategies and a few best-practice strategies. The website has information for not only teachers, but parents, principals, librarians, and other professionals. A lot of the articles seem to focus on reading milestones and where children should be. However, there are some lesson plans and strategies to making children better readers, as well.

Evaluation of Usefulness

Reading Rockets seems like it would be a good place to begin research on a topic, but it does not include an in depth array of topics or literature on any given subject. The one aspect I really enjoyed though was that the website gives templates for worksheets and activities you can do with your students in order to improve comprehension. The focus of this website appears to be for teachers who are teaching younger grades though, which may not prove to be as helpful for high school teachers. The lesson plans could be adapted for middle school though. Each strategy on the website gives links to resources that lend credit to each link.

Application to Future Teaching

I think this website will be good when beginning to develop a lesson plan. It has links to several good resources and is up to date on its concepts. The website tries to tackle a large area of information and therefore cannot go as in depth with each topic.

All America Reads

Summary

All America Reads is a website produced by the Wish You Well Foundation that serves to encourage reading and discussions of novels with "broad appeals and accessible themes." It offers lesson plans for teachers to use in the classroom. The featured novel, Wish You Well, by David Baldacci is the book that several of the lesson plans and strategies comes from. All America Reads uses the strategies of Dr. Kylene Beers and other reading specialists to develop their lesson plans and strategies.

Evaluation of Usefulness

All America Reads lists lesson plans and classroom strategies for before, during, and after reading, along with vocabulary strategies. The lesson plans seems helpful, relevant and up-to-date, however, there is not an extensive list of lesson plans. The main resources of the website is the novel, Wish You Well, by David Baldacci. The website breaks down the useful information from the book and highlights resources for students, parents, educators, and other readers.

Application to Future Teaching

I think this website would be good when developing a lesson plan concentrated on a text. It provides several before, during, and after reading strategies that could help improve comprehension.


My Read

Summary

My Read is a website geared towards supporting teachers with underachieving students in middle school. The website goes on to define who underachieving students are, how to help them, what to do, and why we, as teachers, should do it. It also has links to lesson plans, ideas for classroom organization, assessment strategies, and further reading/professional development. The website makes clear through cited sources why their strategies are effective.

Evaluation of Usefulness

My Read seems like it would be a good place to find information concerning struggling and underachieving students. I enjoyed the charts and diagrams in the "Monitoring and Assessment" tab because it portrayed a visual that could be used by teachers. The problems I found with the website is that the sources are mainly cited from the late 1980's to 2000 and it did not directly deal with strategies for English Language Learners. The last time the website was updated was in 2002. Although some of the strategies are still relevant, some need to be observed with a critical eye. I think the demographics of the struggling students has changed a lot in the last decade and therefore teachers need to acknowledge more up-to-date resources, especially those concerning technology. In reference to English Language Learners, these students tend to make up a large population of underachieving students, especially in Texas. The website would have been more effective, in my opinion, if it offered literature concerning strategies on how to teach and assess English Language Learners. With that said, I still think this is an important website to consider when researching underachieving students, but should probably not be used alone.

Application to Future Teaching

I think this website would be a good jump off point for researching underachieving students and when used in conjunct with other resources would prove to be valuable. The website has a wealth of information, including charts and diagrams that can be used when assessing students.


JUST READ NOW

Summary

Just Read Now is a website that discusses the importance of the teaching of reading across many content areas. There is an emphasis on every teacher being a reading teacher. There are many inspiring quotes and poems on the home page that highlight the need to teach reading no matter what subject or level one teaches at. One of the poems says, “words are small shapes in the gorgeous chaos of the world … they bring the world into focus.” This quote is powerful because it explains the importance of words in everything that a person does. The site also emphasizes that for students to fully understand what they are reading, they have to interact with the text in multiple ways, which can be utilized across content areas.

Evaluation of Usefulness

This website is useful for many teachers because it provides an understanding of why the teaching of reading is important in every subject and content area. This website offers effective metacognitive reading strategies, sample lesson plans that implement reading strategies, video demonstrations of teachers modeling strategies, tools for integrating reading strategies into multiple content areas, specific content area suggestions, and professional development courses.

Application to Future Teaching

Just Read Now applies to my future teaching career because I am thinking about teaching a history class. The quote on the home page, “The real value of reading lies in its use,” applies to teaching any subject level. I would incorporate some of the strategies on this site to my classroom.

Web English Teacher


http://www.webenglishteacher.com/

Summary: The Web English Teacher is a website written by a teacher named Carla Beard who says that she recognized the necessity of attempting to gather and collect educational ideas for the classroom online. It seems that this website is an attempt to gather this information and expedite the process of gathering and connecting teacher’s ideas. The website includes the Web English Teacher’s blog called “Chalkdust” and a variety of topics and linked cites including Book Reports, Children’s Literature, Grammar, Media and Technology Integration.

Evaluation of Usefulness: The website appears to be very useful because the website is organized well and thoughtfully into categories that are labeled and easily navigated. Each of the categories such as Drama, Journalism, Literature (Prose), Poetry, Reading/Literacy and Young Adult Literature is divided into applicable websites and links that are given short and detailed descriptions. The website seems very useful as it has a plethora of information that is relevant to teachers and connecting ideas between teachers.

Applicability to Teachers: The website will be immensely useful to teachers because it allows them to be connected to other teachers and their ideas through both the blog and the other websites linked on the site. The categories are all useful to teachers and applicable to teaching as resources.

What Should I Read Next?

http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/

Summary: This website is a search engine for books that allows someone to type in the title of a book or author that they enjoy and the search engine will gather related books as suggestions from a database of 75,000 readers favorite titles. The website allows readers to register to the site and create their own favorite book and author lists.

Evaluation of Usefulness: The website appears vastly useful because it allows both students and teachers to gather related books to the books and authors that they already enjoy. It is an engine of real reader’s suggestions, which is extremely useful because they are someone else’s personal experiences. Also, the site is useful because it builds a sense of community through reading and sharing what you have enjoyed as a reader.

Applicability to Teachers: This website will be very applicable to teachers because it allows the teacher to give students genuine reader suggestions for books based on their preferred books and authors. The website is also easy to use and to navigate. The website will allow teachers to add their own book suggestions. The website also has a teacher friendly reason for existing: to foster and encourage reading. The website is a testament to the hope that reading one book will lead every reader to want to seek another book to read. This website allows for this connection from one book to another book to becoming a lifelong reader.

Adolescent Literacy
http://www.Adlit.org/

Summary: Adolescent Literacy is a website directed toward broadening the reach of resources for helping adolescents (grades 4-12) with reading and allowing their teachers access to these same resources. The website also has a free newsletter that is available, which includes the publications, “Word Up!”, “Readign Rockets News”, “Rocket Blasts”, “Ed Extras”, “іColorin Colorado! T.ELL.E-GRAM” and “LD Online Report”. The website begins with the fourth grade because it seems that the website hinges on the fact that at the end of fourth grade, teachers begin to emphasize not “learning to read” but “reading to learn”.

Evaluation of Usefulness: With the mindset of “learning to read”, the website appears tremendously useful because it boasts research based articles and a host of useful topics such as “The Scope of Adolescent Literacy Crisis”, “Fluency”, “Reading Comprehension” and “Motivation”. The website is also constructed neatly and is easily navigated. Also, the website (apart from being a website itself) is involved in technology through having not only a section of “Books and Authors”, but also “Video/Multimedia” and “Webcasts”.

Applicability to Teachers: The portion of the website called Hot Topics in Adolescent Literacy appears to be very applicable to teachers because it categorizes the topics within the website and the topics are based on research and best practice. The topics include a wide range from “About Teaching Reading” to “English Language Learners” to “Writing”. Possibly the most influential part of the website is the portion dedicated to preparing students for college. This portion deals with “Academic Rigor” and “Early College Awareness” and “Dropout Prevention” and suggests that the authors of the website are convicted in the progression of all students to obtain a collegiate level of reading and writing.

TeacherTube


http://www.teachertube.com/

Summary:

TeacherTube is a YouTube-like site that is primarily used for teaching purposes. It offers lesson plans, readings, break-downs of material, and other ideas for the classroom through video. Some videos offer additional pdf files for related notes and worksheets for students.

Evaluation of Usefullness:

The video logs are updated daily and put into categories according to their subject matter. The site is easy to navigate through, especially if you are familiar with YouTube. There are information categories: Video, Documents, Audio,Photos, and Teaching Recources. These items can be narrowed by simply using the search mode. The site offers material in all these formats for all grades. The site is a sort of trial-and-error based site as you have to locate the appropriate video or audio that you are searching for.

Applicability to Future Teaching:

This site is a way in which to advertise what is working well in your classroom and to find what is working for others. This site can be particularly useful for teachers searching for new and creative ways to incoroporate information into the classroom. I can also see teachers recommending this site to the parents of their students. When a child goes back to school so does the parent and this can often lead to frustration. If the teacher utilizes this site and provides a breakdown of material and help for the homework then this could be a great source at home for both the student and parent.

The Book Seer


http://bookseer.com/

Summary:

The Book Seer site is fun and simple. The Seer greets you and asks what you have just finished reading and who the author is. Then you can click "What should I read next?" This takes you to a suggestion page where Amazon.com offers other authors and books by the same author that you might enjoy.

Evaluation of Usefullness:

This site is easy to navigate. The spelling of the book and author must be correct in order for the seer to guide you. The suggestions page allows you to click on the book to learn more about the it by taking you to Amazon.com. From this site you can investigate the storyline and read reviews from other readers.

Applicability to Future Teaching:

This site can be an excellent resource for teachers and students. If students are struggling to find another book that they may enjoy the teacher can refer them to the Book Seer. This site is also useful because it forces students to research their books by sampling the chapters available and reading reviews by other readers. This is an easy way for teachers to get their hands on a list of authors and books that are similar.

Guys Read


http://www.guysread.com/

Summary:

Guys Read is a site dedicated to promoting boys to become "self-motivated, lifelong readers." The site was created by Jon Scieszka. He is a firm believer that boys will read--if they are given text that interests them. The site is updated daily and there is a new featured book every month. A large part of the site is providing lists of titles that boys will find enjoyable.

Evaluation of Usefullness:

This site is very usefull. This is a site for guys!! There are reading lists, a book of the month, a blog for guys, ratings, and much more. It is easy to navigate and see which books look the most interesting. Once you have found a book then it takes to sites where you can purchase it.

Applicability to Future Teaching:

This site is great for teachers you have male students who struggle to find books that interest them. The teacher can even start a Guys Read chapter in his/her classroom. There is a provided charter on the site. This is a easy and fun way for teachers to get their male students interested in reading. This site is specifically designed with the male in mind providing titles and authors for that specific demographic. After students or teachers have a book they can click whether or not is was worth reading and if they would suggest to a friend. This encourages males to read and pass it on, which is what teachers are trying to do!!


You Are What You Read

http://youarewhatyouread.scholastic.com/adults/

Summary:

Ever heard of the phrase, "You are what you eat"? People check out the food you're eating and make a snap judgment call about who you are. You Are What You Read has a similar spin. Users can log on and create a bookprint, a map of the five books that have influenced their lives the most. That bookprint then connects them to other users, celebrities, neighbors down the street, all based on a book that has been read and shared by each individual.

Evaluation of Usefulness:

This site is packed full of titles, from the most popular to obscure, and it also spotlights on what other people are reading. Users can check out the books Daniel Radcliffe says have influenced him the most, or Bill Clinton or R.L. Stine. There's a category for Most Listed, What's Hot and even a section for passing on the greatest book you've ever read to someone who's never heard of it before. Navigation is simple and the website is engaging with visuals, familiar faces, maps and locations, and popular tags to easily access what it is you're looking for.

Applicability to Future Teaching:

This site, as well as the sister site specifically for children readers, is a useful tool for students because they are so impressionable. Students who idolize a rapper or would do anything to meet their action hero can see that reading has had a major impact on those people's lives. And maybe, if they are so entrenched in the lives of Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift, they might pick up a book those stars have enjoyed, and they might just like it.


FreeReading

http://www.freereading.net/index.php?title=Main_Page

Summary:

FreeReading is an online resource addressing literacy development and sponsored by Wireless Generation, University of Minnesota and Primary Concepts. Meant to act as an intervention and help students struggling with literacy, FreeReading has access to lesson plans, study materials, study images and research videos. Lesson plans are broken down into easy steps in a walk-through format.

Evaluation of Usefulness:

While the site is limited to strictly literacy development and not a wider range of reading topics such as characters, plot development, genre and so forth. The resources it does have concerning phonological awareness, phonics, comprehension, vocabulary, fluency and writing are extensive in building knowledge and accuracy in children.

Applicability to Future Teaching:

FreeReading provides several lesson activities, and educators can give their input or share their own lesson plans to help expand the resources of the site. Lessons provide introductions, activities, practices and ways to differentiate and scaffold student learning for all levels. Each topic also has a discussion page where educators can open a forum of what works for the lesson or ideas for improvement.


Online-Stopwatch

http://www.online-stopwatch.com/

Summary

Online-Stopwatch is a website that has all sorts of timers, calculators and clocks. Countdowns, stopwatches, and other types of timers are easily accessible and easy to manipulate with this site.

Evaluation of Usefulness

Online-Stopwatch is useful for any teacher and teaching activity. It is easy to navigate and hovering over a specific timer will give the user a drop down description of what that particular timer does. There is also a download option available for those users who would like to take the application with them on their PC.

Applicability to Future Teaching

There may be an instance where groups are moving through stations and are given a certain amount of time in which to do their work. There may be timed sections of a test. There is a metronome, fun flash animations, digital alarms, and so much more that can be used to not only keep students on task, but to keep them excited as well.

Curriculum 21

Summary

Curriculum21, an outgrowth of Curriculum Designers, is dedicated to mapping the global classroom of the future. The site provides professional development services, links to relevant news about education, a Clearinghouse of tools sorted by teachers and students according to their usefulness, and a Learning Commons for interactive learning. Curriculum Mapping began in 1997 by Dr. Heidi Hayes Jacob, but the company has evolved. The current challenge of Curriculum Mapping is to “significantly update dated curriculum and instruction with contemporary and forward looking learning experiences.”

Evaluation of Usefulness

On the individual level of usefulness, Curriculum21 falls short as an overarching approach to curriculum. It would require the support of administration to institute something as large as curriculum mapping in one’s district or school. However, Curriculum21, the website as a resource is phenomenal. The news page is particularly enlightening. It filters education news to show only what is relevant to 21st century skills and media literacy. No need to weed through irrelevant articles, the content is selected. The Clearinghouse is a wonderful tool, with presentations and sources of information from vocational education to physical education to media arts to chess. The resources abound.

Applicability to Future Teaching

I think this website would be phenomenal to use at the beginning of a school year to allow students to explore issues they are interested in. They can begin searching for 21st century relevant material while also revealing what is relevant to their own lives and interests.

Reading Online

Summary

Reading Online is an electronic journal of the International Reading Association. There are hundreds of articles available on a wide range of topics.

Evaluation of Usefulness

As professional educators without lifetime access to peer-reviewed journals through our University, this resource is invaluable. It allows teachers who are no longer students to gain access to valuable research and evolving ideas of education in the 21st century. The articles are of a high quality and cover vast spectrum of topics.

Applicability to Future Teaching

I think this website would be phenomenal to use at the beginning of a school year to allow students to explore issues they are interested in. They can begin searching for 21st century relevant material all the while also revealing what is relevant to their own lives and interests.

After Ed TV

Summary

After Ed TV is for exploring, discussing and sharing videos about education and emerging ideas in the education sector. After Ed TV is unique in that is archives a project which has already been completed. The site has no new content, but it holds a collection of videos produced by EdLab between 2007 - 2009. After Ed TV started as a collaborative project between the Gottesman Libraries and EdLab.

Evaluation of Usefulness

The EdLab videos on After Ed TV are beneficial for both educator seeking to be educated through forms of new media and as an educator searching for ways to educate through forms of media. Some of the projects featured in videos on After Ed can start as jumping points to inspire our own projects.

Applicability to Future Teaching

As mentioned before, the videos can serve as inspiration to our own ideas but they also serve as educational tools to build upon our existing knowledge or expose us to new and exciting forward thinking. One feature of After Ed is the multiple videos on each topic. It allows us to watch videos as projects progress, to examine different viewpoints and to see the entire picture, one video at a time.

The English Teacher (teacher2b.com)

Summary

The English Teacher wbesite was created by Lief Danielson because he had notebooks and disks and did not want those materials to just sit after he retired. THe website is divided into sections: Teaching Strategies, Classroom Discipline, Teaching Creative Writing, Teaching Media, Teaching Composition, and Teaching Literature.

Evaluation of Usefulness

The site is easy to navigate, and clearly organized. The teaching strategies and discipline methods he offers seem well thought out and obviously come from his experiences in the classroom. The four sections of lesson plans, though, (media, composition, literature, and creative writing) seem a little less useful. It is sometimes hard to figure out what he is trying to do, and have little explanation beyond the activity he did to teach whatever the subject is--no notes, no overview, no help for modifying.

Application to Future Teaching

I think his 'lesson plans' might be useful as activities in the center of my lesson plans, but I don't know that I will often want the effort of modifying them into useable forms. I do think his notes on class management and teaching strategies bear remembering for the days before school begins.


TeachIt

Summary

TeachIt.co.uk describes itself as the digital version of a box in a copy room labeled "English Department." The idea, they explain, is that whenever someone in the deparment comes up with something cool, he or she sticks a copy in the box for everyone else to use. Teachers can upload lesson plans and ideas to TeachIt (with some editing from their team) and have it podted to the web for other teachers to use. More interestingly to me, teachers can search and download lesson plans from other teachers. Sometimes it's a little hard to navigate because it's a British site--anyone know what a Key Stage is?--but trial and error got me through in little time.

Evaluation of Usefulness

The fun things (electronic gadgets; they call them 'Whizzy things', I'd call it a widget) are only accessible by paid subscription, as are the lesson plans in editable word documents, but the lesson plans are downloadable in pdf form for free. As the database is based on the British educational system, some of the resources are far away from anything I expect to be teaching any time soon, and some of the things at the heart of my curriculum (John Steinbeck?) are nonexistant, and I can't speak for the quality of the lesson plans, because I'd have to join to view them.

Application to Future Teaching

I can see myself joining--the free version--and coming back here for ideas. I don't know how I'd feel about using any of the plans as they are, since I don't know what quality they are, but I like the idea of the site, and some of what they have looks fascinating. I can see it as a time-saver for when I'm too swamped to come up with my own ideas.


PBS Teachers


Summary

PBS Teachers is a website designed around educational resources correleated to national standards and tied to the Public Broadcasting Service's on-air and online programming. It is easily navigable, fully searchable, and helpfully divided by grade and subject. The resources include Articles, Audios, Glossaries, Online Activities, Projects/Offline Activities, Lesson Plans, Resource Sets, Slideshows, and Videos.

Evaluation of Usefulness

Since all the resources are tied to a particular one of PBS' programs, it's hard to say when or if there is anything there that will be useful. However, I think incorporating educational programming into the classroom is a great idea and if that is done, having ready-made resources for the program is a wonderful and useful thing.

Application to Future Teaching

While I may not immediately find this useful, it is certainly a desire of mine to incorporate more media into my classroom. The "Offline projects" and "Interactive online activities" look promising, particularly if there is programming that could tie into something I was teaching. I'm a fan of PBS and even if it isn't directly applicable to my teaching, I'll definitely be recommending this to other content area teachers who might find it more useful.


103 Things To Do Before/During/After Reading

Summary: 103 Things To Do Before/During/After Reading is a website that contains 103 before reading, during reading, and after reading strategies for classroom use. A few of the strategies include a pantomime, dramatic monologue, collage, roundtable discussion, silent roundtable, fishbowl, improvisation, poetry, character analysis, read aloud, and jigsaw discussion. These strategies are all useful for improving comprehension and understanding. Each of these activities could be structured for several age ranges.
Evaluation of Usefulness: This website is useful to teachers because it lists and explains several strategies for teaching reading comprehension in multiple content areas. All of the reading activities were originally found in The English Teacher’s Companion, which is another important resource that teacher can consult while planning lessons. This list gives just enough detail to help a teacher choose which activity to pursue. The teacher then will need to research the activity a little bit more in order to get the full spectrum of use.
Application to Future Teaching: This website will be useful to future teachers because it offers so many options for teaching reading in any type of classroom. Out of the 103 strategies, a new teacher is bound to find one that fits the style and needs of their classroom.

Reading Strategies That Assist Content Area Reading

Summary: Reading Strategies that Assist Content Area Reading is a website that contains many helpful strategies for teaching reading. One quote that was very important is that “reading comprehension and making meaning of text is critical to the understanding of text in any subject area whether it be social studies, mathematics, science, or the arts.” The website emphasizes that readers who can comprehend texts of any content know the goal of reading, can activate their prior knowledge, can use their knowledge of text structure, concentrate on their ideas, ask themselves questions while they are reading, test their inferences, and evaluate the meaning of the text. This website defines what is important in comprehending texts.

Evaluation of Usefulness: This website is useful for many teachers because it provides an understanding of why the teaching of reading is important for every content area. This website discusses different types of text that students can gain mastery over.

Application to Future Teaching: This website applies to my future teaching career because it discusses teaching texts from different content areas. It also contains many lesson plan options and teacher videos to watch and learn from. I would incorporate some of these strategies on this website into my classroom and teaching style.


Folger Shakespeare Library


Summary

Folger Shakespeare Library is a website that promotes the learning and understanding of the work of William Shakespeare. The website offers specific pages designed for students, teachers, visitors, and scholars. The teacher's link leads to some very helpful pages with lesson plans, study guimdes, programs, and more. The page even has a link to primary sources from Shakespeare's time, which can be very useful. It also offers a "Teacher's Lounge" forum to bounce off ideas and plans. Although, some of the lesson plans include materials that a teacher would need to buy from the site, for the most part, the site offers really interesting and well thought out lesson plans for Shakespeare.

Evaluation of Usefulness

This site is useful. However it is, of course, only useful for Shakespeare, but it does offer some great resources for helping students to engage with Shakespeare. It even offers a page for English Language Learners, which is important because Shakespeare's plays can be difficult for the most advanced English student. The lesson plans look excellent, but one should look at the list of materials at the bottom of the plan before getting too excited about anyone.

Application to Future Teaching

This website will be useful if I decide to teach high school because it can be difficult to make students excited about or even understand Shakespeare. The site even has a page called "Especially for Elementary Students", but it does not have one more directed towards middle school, and I wonder how useful it would be for middle schoolers.

Voice of Literacy


Summary

Voice of Literacy is a bi-weekly podcast show that allows scholars, teachers, policy makers, and parents to share their thoughts on literacy instruction. The website deals with diverse topics such as: "Vocabulary Intervention for the Linguistically Diverse" and "Reading, Down Syndrome, and Predictors of differential growth". There are lots of different topics and voices from diverse people. The website is solely podcasts, though one can search for a specific topic.

Evaluation of Usefulness

As I listened to a couple of the podcasts, it became clear that those who were invited for interviews on the podcasts really do know what they are talking about and are sincerely interested in helping teachers teach more effectively and helping students learn. They also address how policy makers can make a difference in education, which is encouraging. Therefore, the website can be useful for parents, teachers, and policy makers.

Application to Future Teaching

One think I wondered as I listened to a podcast or two was, how often I would use a website that was solely podcasts because I am more of a visual learner. It is hard for me to focus on some of the information. Although, the podcasts have good information on topics of reading, but they do not provide lesson plans or other handouts. The website focuses on the podcasts and intellectual discourse, which is very important, but I think the website would be more applicable if it offered more concrete examples.


ASIA SOCIETY

Summary

The ASIA Society website provides resources to help teachers and students become global citizens. Attempting to prepare the United States and Asia for the unique challenges of the twentieth-first century, the ASIA Society works to build foundations which will promote mutual understandings among people, leaders, and institutions. The website resources are broken into seven main categories for teachers/educators/parents: Policy & Politics, Arts & Culture, Business & Economics, Education & Learning, Countries & History, Style & Living, Events Calendar. The website is also divided by information for other audiences at the top right of the page: Museum, For Kids, For the Media.

Evaluation of Usefulness

This website is very useful for teachers interested in promoting global citizenship (an interest which all teachers should make a priority). The website is very easy to navigate and provides a wealth of current information about global issues and themes. For example, under the category, "Policy & Politics," the subcategories include: Environment, Governance, Social Issues, Strategic Challenges, Task Forces, and Asia 21. Under the first label, "Environment," the website provides many current pictures, clips, slideshows, and articles concerning three global issues of "Climate Change and Energy," "Water and Food Security," and "Sustainable Cities." As in the Environment category, this website hands information to teachers and students on global issues--topics which can often be overwhelming and hard to access. I highly recommend this website for teachers who want to integrate global knowledge into their English classroom.

Applicability to Future Teachers

Although not directly linked with teaching reading, this website helps teachers prepare their students to be twenty-first century global citizens. In particular, this website will help English teachers meet the first NCTE/NRA standard:

Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves,
and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond
to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these
texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.

This website aids teachers in expanding students’ global knowledge and building prior knowledge for multicultural texts—which can often be a very challenging task. The engaging resources will then encourage meaningful interactions with multicultural texts. Ultimately, teachers will be able to deepen their students’ understanding of other cultures so that they can respond to the global "needs and demands of society and the workplace" and actively invest themselves in global issues.