Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Next month, in Florida, FCAT testing begins.  These are the standardized tests students take in our state to demonstrate proficiency.    

Students from 3rd grade through high school must take these exams.  Elementary students are given lots of practice time in school to prepare them for this experience.  Older students may want to practice on their own to help them build confidence.  

Below is a small list of sites I have compiled that are designed to help Middle and High School students hone their test-taking and Reading Comprehension skills.  Some of the links are teacher-generated sites.  I appreciate the excellent educators who have taken the time to create such content-rich resources!  


Middle School

High School

Good luck Florida students! 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Do YOU Schmoop?

Well, if you teach, you totally should! 
 This is an EXCELLENT resource 
for students and teachers! 
 Check it out!

Dorking Out Over InstaGrok!

I just found this AWESOME resource called InstaGrok.  It allows students to search on any informational topic and gives them a Web Diagram of information that automatically eliminates profanity and irrelevant sites.  They can link to websites, images, videos, key points, add notes on their discoveries- it is amazing.  Teachers can even create classroom accounts in which students can create online research journals using this site.  I am ABSOLUTELY going to use it with my 4th and 5th graders next lesson cycle as we learn more about text features and investigation in research.

For my MS/HS classes- I am posting an example of a search I did on Web Quests.  This should help them get a better idea of what their next project is all about.  So EXCITING!!

Webquests | Learn about Webquests on instaGrok, the research engine

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The C.R.A.A.P Test

CRAAP TEST for Web Evaluation

Use the websites below to do this activity:

Chicken Aprons

It might or might not be a hoax.  If it isn't, does it look like a good site to learn about chickens?


Is this a REAL environmental site?  Does the information seem accurate?  Would you use this site for a paper about the environment?

DoGo News

Do you trust this site?  Is the authority strong?  Would you want to get your news from here?

Science Buddies

Would you trust the people who run this site to know anything about science?

Blue Moon

Would this site help you to learn about history?  Are these toys safe?  Would your parents like you to have these figurines?  Does the authority seem strong?

ART School

Would you like to attend this art school?  Does the school seem to have an expertise in art?  Would you trust the authority of this site?

Performing Arts School

Would you want to attend this performing arts school?  Does it seem credible?  Who works for this organization?  Do they have strong credentials?

USE THE C.R.A.A.P Method to evaluate these websites.  Each source should be tested with these questions.  Have fun!  

Name of Website: _______________________________________________

Currency: The timeliness of the information.
1. What is the copyright date of the website, if given? ____________
2. Does the layout of the site look modern to you?   ____________

Relevance: The importance of the information for your needs.

3. Who is this site supposed to be for? ______________________

4. Would this be a good site for research?  _____________________________

Authority: The source of the information.

5.  Who is the author, editor, or organization responsible for this website? ______________________

6.  What is their title or education, if given? Are they experts?  _________________________________

7. What is their contact information, if given? ________________________________

8.  What is the domain extension (.com; .org; .edu)? ____________

Accuracy: The reliability, truthfulness and correctness of the content.
9. Do they list any sources they used? ___________
10. What other organizations support the information, if any? ________________
11. Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion? _____________
12. Does the site look professional to you?  ____________
13. Does the information seem believable?  ______________

Purpose: The reason the information exists.

14.  Is this site trying to sell you something? Inform you of something? 

Entertain you? Persuade you of something? Teach you? ________________________

15. Explain your answer: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

16.  Are there any opinions stated?  ______________________

17.  Is the language professional or emotional?  ________________________

Rate this source:

18. Out of 5 stars, how many stars would you give this source as a credible source for research? _________________
The C.R.A.A.P. Test was created by California State University at Chico