Digital magazines can help teachers by providing materials to help in literacy stations. For instance, I have used Scholastic magazines in my classroom for a few years. Last year, they launched their online, interactive magazines.
Here are a few reasons I really enjoyed Scholastic:
- Introductory Video: I found that many times, my students didn’t have background knowledge on the nonfiction text they were about to read. Yes, I could have spent hours searching TeacherTube or Discovery Education, but it’s so nice that the video is already there.
- Words to Know: Each issue had about 6 vocabulary words. When the students click on “Words to Know”, they are directed to a slide show where the students hear the word, see a picture of the word, and hear the word used in a sentence.
- Text to Talk: This is perhaps my favorite component. I have seen online magazines before, but they are really just glorified pdf files. However, the text to talk function reads the text to my students (Listen to Reading).
- Text Difficulty: With the click of a button, the entire article changes reading level. No more hunting down magazines from different grade levels. No more having disengaged, frustrated readers.
- Digital Sticky Notes: By now, we all know that Common Core is asking the students to return to the text and provide evidence. Many teachers utilize sticky notes on their traditional books already. The digital sticky notes allow the students to still return to the text and make notes, even in a digital format.
- Drawing Tool and Highlighter: These functions serve as additional tools to help students return to the text and provide evidence.
- Interactive Maps: Students may click on the maps, photos, and diagrams and they zoom in. The students may then interact with them to work on specific standards.
- Embedded Common Core Questions: Each issue has a specific Common Core focus and will embed questions into the articles.
- Instant Feedback: We are all familiar with the “test prep” on the back page of a magazine. In years past, perhaps you had the students pencil in their answers, turn in the magazine, and you graded it 4 weeks later (if you were lucky). Now, the feedback is immediate.
- Searchable Archives: Perhaps the issue 2 months ago was about hurricanes, yet your curriculum map tells you to teach hurricanes next week. No problem! Go to the archives and pull up the hurricane issue. It’s that easy. No more stashing piles of magazines that you just might use one day.
Want to try it now? Go to:
classroommagazines.scholastic.com and select your grade level from the Classroom Magazines drop-down menu.
Which digital magazines have you used?