This question comes from Scott Filkins and Laurie Henry, who presented their session "Using ReadWriteThink.org to Address the Common Core Standards and Engage Adolescent Learners" at IRA's 2013 annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. Anyone in the Community is welcome to respond.
Their session will be available online in June at http://www.readwritethink.org/convention/common-core.
I've been using a lot of graphic organizers to help students dive into complex text. I make many of them in PPT using flowchart symbols to help students make visual connections with new concepts.
One tech platform I've had students using to help organize historical information in a timeline format is: www.tiki-toki.com or www.timetoast.com. Both tools are easy to use and allows students to put events in chronological area and then build up layers of comparison.
We're also using Google Docs for collaboration projects where students can add to each other's work and put together responses to complex, higher order questions. It seems like Synthesize has become my favorite word - we're always putting things together in my classroom.
Outlines turn into multiple column charts that cover multiple texts. Using the cloud helps bring it all together in one place where students can collaborate.
I never thought to use the PPT flowchart tools to create a graphic organizer. What a great idea! Did you know that ReadWriteThink has a timeline tool? You can check it out here:
I do a lot of work with synthesizing in the classroom. I use a graphic organizer to help scaffold students through this process. Below is a snapshot of the template that I use. I'm happy to send this to you if you're interested.
I recently took a webinar on The Common Core and Writing: Building Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking from the Developmental Studies Center 's Eventbrite website. The presenter Esther Wojcicki says Journalism (Opinion Writing ) is primary research that provides the ability to gather,comprehend, evaluate, synthesize, and report on information and ideas, to conduct original research. Esther also said the easiest grades to teach journalism are 5th-9th grade English classes.
I enjoyed reading the other posts.