Last week, I wrote a post sharing my preliminary thoughts about how I was going to teach U.S. History to English Language Learners – either online, in person, or a hybrid. It will be a combination class of both Newcomers and Intermediates.
Earlier this year, SAS announced they were taking all their great activities off-line. However, they have now decided to keep them available through the next school year. One concern I do have is that they are Flash-based, and I know that Google says they are ending Flash support on Chromebooks by the end of the year. Since our students have Chromebooks, I’m not sure how that’s going to work (or not work).
I’m also not sure if we are going to use actual physical textbooks. I’m assuming not and, unfortunately, America’s Story is not available in an electronic version. So, based on costs, I’m thinking I might need to replace it with either both (or one) of Kids Discover Online or IXL Social Studies. I’ve heard some bad things about IXL, so I will have to carefully vet their activities. There just isn’t much else out there that’s accessible to ELLs – that I can see, at least.
Unfortunately, I’m not hopeful that our school will have the financial resources to pay for a school-wide subscription to Brainpop (I sure wish they still had the class subscription option they had years ago where you could pay for twenty-or-so student log-ins). So, I may only use them in live sessions or assign students times they can use my teacher subscription to access them.
The Simple History YouTube Channel is a video resource I might use in its place (see “SIMPLE HISTORY” IS A DECENT FREE ALTERNATIVE TO BRAINPOP). I can upload them to EdPuzzle and create my own activities for them.
In addition to various activities I already have on our blog, I’m also planning to seriously explore iCivics (see Wow! It Looks Like iCivics Wants To Be THE One-Stop Shop For Social Studies Teachers).
Finally, I’ll probably also have students use some texts from ReadWorks and, for more advanced students, might have them use Zoom In. FlipGrid may be a key online tool to use for online presentations. Other online tools that I use in my English ELL classes that I’ll likely use in U.S. History also include Wizer (an interactive “worksheet” generator where I often have students write) and Quizizz (online games and formative assessment). ThingLink is great for annotating images online.
I’ll probably whittle these down a bit or, at least, start with just a few and add a new one every two months or so.
What am I missing?