Grade 5 TechSpot

Tricks & Tools for Immediate Classroom Implementation

Volume I | Issue I 09.15.2014


The purpose of this infographic flyer is to quickly push out some tricks and tips with a focus on technology integration. You can expect to see this delivered to your inbox once or twice each month. We will also keep an archive of current/past flyers on our class website should you ever want to revisit one.

Schoolwide / Post-Its

These links will take you to the discussion notes for each lesson for the Launching Unit that can be printed onto Post-It notes and placed into your Mentor Texts. You get the first unit for free! Also, see below for a quick video in how to print directly onto Post-Its.
Printing with Post Its

Want to create/design/print your own Post-Its? See below...

Post-It Templates (Microsoft Word)

Social Studies

European Exploration: The Age of Discovery

Explore the new world as a European power in the 15th Century by funding and sending expeditions out into the unknown. Hire captains, build ships and outfit voyages to learn of the wonders of the new world. Expeditions can be dangerous however, so be careful or else Europe may never hear of your discoveries! European Exploration: The Age of Discovery could be a great way to get students interested in the expeditions of early European explorers. To extend the game you could have your students research why some explorers in the game have higher navigation, cartography, and shipkeeping rankings than others.

Newsela & Google Drive

Adapted from Beth Holland:

A common challenge exists: finding non-fiction content at reading level. This is an especially pressing concern for teachers incorporating the CCSS Standards into their curricula. Given that varied reading levels may exist within a single class, it can seem virtually impossible to have all students access the same content in a way that allows them to comprehend the material. Creating differentiated reading groups may seem equally unrealistic since it is impossible for a teacher to work with multiple students or groups all at the same time.

NEWSELA solves the first dilemma by providing teachers with a database of non-fiction articles. Additionally, each article can be adjusted by Lexile for up to five different reading levels, and some articles include comprehension quizzes.

Though it is possible to create classes and push out content from within NEWSELA, by incorporating Google Docs, we can address the second challenge of allowing teachers to virtually be in multiple reading groups, and with multiple students, all at the same time. By disseminating the content to your students as a Google Doc set to Comment Only, you create collaborative, leveled reading experiences!

With Google Docs, you can leave comments as reading prompts to which your students can reply as well as give them the opportunity to highlight and comment on the text themselves. As a teacher, you can then take part in all of the virtual conversations as well as see what connections your students are making to the content.

In fact, you can experience this as a student by responding to my comments in this Google Doc. I adjusted the NEWSELA article, Baby elephants born in zoos celebrated, and presented it at the lowest available Lexile (750L). Note that with NEWSELA, the available levels adjust depending on the intended audience of the article.

Set-Up Process

From a teacher’s perspective, here is how to make this all happen.

  1. Find an article from NEWSELA that you would like for your students to read.

  2. Create Google Docs for your desired reading levels.

  3. Copy & Paste the contents of the article, at reading level, into the Docs.
    IMPORTANT - don’t forget to model good digital citizenship for your students and cite the original article.

  4. Share the Docs as Comment Only.

  5. Watch your students start reading from any device (laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, even smart phones)!