Storybird Studio, a free tool will inspire the most reluctant writer! Aligned with the common core, this resource is very user friendly. Teachers create a free account with robust features your kids will enjoy and which will save you time. Unfortunately, print access is a premium feature–but there are plenty of extras on the free version to make this worth your while.
Students can opt to READ or WRITE.
The reading option allows them to read stories from international professional and amateur authors. There are three tabs for stories, poetry and blog. Within the stories tab, students can filter for recent, popular, or recommended articles; categories such as adventure, sci-fi or romance; format (longform or picture books) and by age range. Thumbnails give brief teasers or descriptions and tell students how long the passage is. The site seems to offer a vast array of choices. Images are extremely well done.
The After creating an account, students select an image which inspires them.
Using the search bar allows you to narrow your choices and provides a good selection of artwork. Next you will need to determine how you want to use the art–for a Longform book, Picture Book or Poem. (Poems are single image). For a picture book, drag the picture to the page and use the + button to add text. Longform books begin with the cover and then start writing paragraphs. Using INSERT additional artwork can be added from the choices appearing at the side of the page.
Save if the story is not completed and publish when it is done. The teacher dashboard allows you to create classes, review student work. Classes are private. Teachers can form classes, create assignments, grade and comment, and manage their classroom.
The video below explains the teacher components including suggested ways to use Storybird and using the collaboration feature.
Inspiring students to write is easy with this free online program. There are premium features available, however the free version is pretty extensive. The paid version includes courses such as Point of View, writing graphic novels, and how to write song lyrics. Other premium features include unlimited digital downloads and additional customization. This is a good tool for the toolbox for language arts educators.
Searching for additional ways to get your students writing?
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Not sure how to use the language experience approach? Have a volunteer, aide, or tutor coming but no time to explain what to do? Working with struggling reader or want to expand the vocabulary of your students? This guide will enable you to promote reading and writing through the use of personal experiences. Guide can be used in a 1 on 1 tutorial situation, small groups, or full class instruction. Use this integrated whole language approach to reading and writing.
Included in the unit:
• Step by step instructions for completing a language experience story
• How to use the story for beginning readers
• Incorporating phonics instruction in the language experience story
• making a comprehension connection
• student work page