So, I teach at a school with shared curriculum. Overall I really enjoy what I teach. However, the 6th grade hasn’t been 1:1 so sometimes there are great opportunities for improving the lessons via tech.

This last unit was a unit which covered teaching elements of fiction through short stories covering the topic of bullying. The stories themselves were great, but all the unit had was the textbook.

I took this as an opportunity to improve, and used DocentEDU to make the stories interactive and differentiated. I also added a nonfiction article dealing with the very relevant and timely topic of the election.

I made a lesson of this article from the AP about bullying speech in the election into an interactive lesson. It includes vocabulary, embedded questions, and live-updating class discussions. My students really enjoyed this lesson and the conversation was very lively.

Next, I made a lesson of the short story from the unit, “Tuesday of the Other June.” This text now included an audio book for differentiation for students of different reading levels and language abilities. It also included lively full-class discussions as well as embedded and interactive vocabulary. Finally, it also included embedded questions, allowing my students to more easily think on a higher-level and use textual evidence for their answers. I also had students interact with and annotate the text to show their understanding of the essential question of the unit.

None of these activities would have been possible in a textbook. My students enjoyed these lessons, I enjoyed the lessons, and I know that they learned more than they would have otherwise in the traditional manner.