BNHS Library


Looking for a way to get your students to read more expository texts CONNECTED to your curriculum?

Try RSS feed readers! Setting up an RSS feed reader is easy and free, and can allow your students to read countless articles, blogs and other content on topics and subjects related to your curriculum. Using tools like RSS and feed readers-

  • grants us opportunities to teach our students how to pursue critical inquiry and write about a vast variety of topics;
  • provides us with opportunities to teach students how to get a balance of content so they have a variety of materials to help support the texts and curriculum being taught in the classroom;
  • allows us to incorporate a larger quantity of current, relevant, higher-level reading into our curriculum seamlessly; and
  • encourages student to read expository and nonfiction texts that they’re interested in (this can be used for Byron Reads, too!).

It’s really easy to set up and use a feed reader, and there are several choices of feed readers to choose from:

Here is a link to specific instructions for using Feedly:

Once your students get their RSS feed readers set up, you can give them opportunities to interact with their readers in short increments of time, or even as homework. This really is a great way to use current, relevant material to support what you're teaching. I am more than happy to come in an help your classes get their readers set up, and also available to help you plan how to integrate this in your curriculum.

*Below is an screenshot of an RSS feed reader.

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GALE: Student Resources in Context

Our GALE database is awesome, but with all the products it comes with, it can sometimes be overwhelming. Student Resources in Context is a great product on the GALE database that gives students access to many sources, and a variety of types of sources (primary sources, news articles, journal articles, videos, interviews, etc.), and is incredibly user friendly. Details about some of the exciting features of this product are as follows:

  • The bookmark tool, which allows students, or you, to save sources in a list format. Once you've bookmarked the sources you want, you email or copy the link provided, and you, or your students, can access the sources at any time. The best thing about this feature is that it constantly updates the information, so that if you save sources today, but didn't have your students access them for six months, the information would automatically update and would be current when your students access it down the road.

  • This product gives you the ability to share a source with anyone. If you, or your students, find a source they want to share out (students could use this when working in a collaborative group), simply email the link to the source, and the source will be viewable by the recipient, even without logging in to GALE. This means that you can locate sources you want your students to view, link them to your netSchool page, and students can access them directly from netSchool.

  • Every source in this product has an audio feature that will read the entire source to the student. This is great for struggling readers, or for students who require or just need texts read aloud to them, especially if they're viewing the sources outside of the classroom. You also have the ability to increase or decrease the font, making it easier for visually challenged students to read. Additionally, each source can be translated to assist our ELL students.

  • Certain topics and subjects have virtual maps that provide specific statistics by state (see the image below).

  • Every source provided is color-coded to indicate the reading level it's intended for: green- easy, best for struggling readers or resources classes; yellow- intermediate, best for high school level readers; red- AP or academic level; best for more advanced readers or students in advanced courses.

Check out this product, and please let me know if I can come in and introduce this to your students!

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