Elizabeth Bartels-Huizar is a 4th grade Reading and Language Arts teacher. She uses TeacherMade to create online worksheets with multimedia for reading comprehension, spelling tests, and accommodations in her classroom.
What tools do you use to make online interactive activities?
TeacherMade is a great tool for online work because you can add multimedia that takes it to the next level. In my 4th grade Reading/English Language Arts class, I can add images, links, and audio to enhance many types of assignments.
How do you add images, audio, and multimedia to online worksheets?
Recently, TeacherMade has made it even easier to add multimedia to an assignment – just click and drag your mouse where you want to insert something, and a menu will pop up. You can see the list of content tools such as Text, Images, Audio, and Links. When you click on “Audio,” for example, it will allow you to record up to 5 minutes or upload a file from your computer. For “Images,” you can drag and drop picture files or upload them from your computer. When inserting a “Link,” input the URL, and then you can customize the hyperlink to say anything by editing the label. As the creator, you can customize an assignment to best fit the needs of your students.
How do digital worksheets help with reading comprehension?
When I assign a text to my students, I know how important it is for them to have background knowledge on the topic. Multimedia like images and links to videos or other websites can help students become more familiar with what they will be reading about—providing context before reading allows for better comprehension of a text. My students enjoy being able to do a little of their own research before we get started, and it is also a natural segue into class discussions about the topic before we read. I have found that students are more engaged in reading, especially nonfiction texts when they have the ability to connect to the subject matter.
How do you make accommodations for online assignments?
Another exciting multimedia function I use is recording audio to embed in an assignment. For my students who benefit from the questions and answer choices being read aloud to them, I can record myself and embed it right next to the questions. This saves me so much time in class since I do not personally have to go to each student and read to them. This also helps with timider students who would not regularly ask for help because they feel ashamed or embarrassed. I have seen a lot of growth and independence in these students, particularly when including audio with the task.
How do you do online spelling tests?
I also use multimedia to create differentiated spelling tests for my students. Since I have various levels of readers and writers in my class, I must use accommodated or modified spelling tests for some students. With TeacherMade, I am able to create spelling tests in which I read the words aloud to each student at their own pace. I include an Audio button next to each text box where they type in their correctly spelled word after listening to me say it out loud and sometimes look at an included image. I used to dread making more than one spelling test, but this makes it so easy. It’s incredible how much time I save on grading the tests and deciphering letters because it auto-grades what they type! Students love to see their grades immediately, and I am able to give feedback quickly as well. This is the only way I give spelling tests now, especially because I can save all my work to use again next year.
How do you make online assignments that mirror real-world skills?
Including multimedia adds so much value to an assignment and is a better example of real-world work where multiple resources must be consulted to gain information. Students can practice these invaluable skills in context and apply them immediately. TeacherMade has so many amazing features all in one place, which makes it my go-to online resource for creating digital activities.
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