I retired in June after having taught at the public elementary school level for over 33 years. Retirement drove me insane, and I desperately missed teaching! Now I am a permanent sub for an ELL teacher in the Newton School system in Massachusetts. I have found that Raz-for-Kids is an inexpensive yearly program that offers both fiction and non-fiction leveled books for all readers. You can use an in-focus machine to project any book to a "big book," and there are scaffolded worksheets created by teachers that are really good to use for every book offered.
I also subscribed to Zimmer Twins so that kids could create their own animated comics and summarize and paraphrase movies they can save and keep. This is a great way to work on grammar skills and reading comprehension skills. Make Beleifs Comix is a free program to make still comics I will be using as well.
Good graphic novels are the rage for boys to be motivated to read. Why not let them create comics to have them show their knowledge around a variety of subjects, and work on their literacy skills as well?!
If anyone wants to see the amazing free programs I am using, let me know and I'll copy and paste their websites.
Thanks for sharing MakeBeliefsComix.com with readers. It provides a wonderful, easy, fun way for students to practice their language arts by creating comic strips. There also are more than 100 free graphic printables also available on the site to encourage writing and creative thinking. The latest one, just posted, is for Martin Luther King Day at http://www.makebeliefscomix.com/Digital-Write-Ables/Rev_Martin_Luth... The site is free.
Bill Zimmerman, Creator, MakeBeliefsComix.com
I already printed out the M.L.K. graphic organizer, Bill! I have used your site for many students - now ELL students. I'm still waiting for more "global" characters and settings so students can integrate social studies with literacy in your site.
I'm always looking for free amazing programs.... Please copy and paste.
Great to see, Marcy -- and thanks for the list. Here are some software-free comics my (adult learner) students created in a recent class: