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Digital Learning Schedule with Storyworks 3

By Becky Leary
April 29, 2020

Editor's Note: Becky Leary is an exceptional 3rd-grade teacher advisor at Nolan Elementary, on Signal Mountain, TN. This is her third year using Storyworks 3 and her 21st year teaching.

Once my school moved to digital learning, I turned to Storyworks 3 resources to continue to support our curriculum. The articles keep students engaged and the variety of cross curricular activities, resources, and read-aloud options were instrumental in designing our remote learning plan. 

Our third-grade team embraced the Storyworks 3 magazines because of the easy access that we had from home. But some of our parents and students were still having a hard time finding the resources I wanted them to use. So I created a schedule that provides direct links to articles to give parents and students easier access.

I’ve had fantastic results so far. Parents and students now simply click a link to get to the article I want them to use. And the students love it! In addition to writing responses to the prompts, I have kids enthusiastically FaceTiming me and videoing themselves talking about an assigned topic.

I start by finding a topic of interest. Then I research what I can find in archived issues of the magazines. For example, the Titanic is always a topic that students want to know more about. For the Titanic I found:

· A read-aloud video "Into the Dark Water" in the September 2017 Storyworks 3 issue.

· The article "The Cracker that Survived the Titanic," in the September 2016 Storyworks 3 issue along with a video called "Searching for the Titanic.”

· A YouTube video of Lauren Tarshis providing read-alouds of her book "I Survived the Titanic."

I’ve also incorporated Scholastic's free resources from the Learn at Home website. Last week, students visited the Grand Canyon with a free Scholastic News story. Students learned about the Grand Canyon’s landform, the Colorado River, erosion, animals, and more. So many of my students now want to visit that area.

For the writing assignment, I focus on summarizing, a skill that is critical to enhancing student comprehension. At times, I use suggestions or prompts within the article for the writing assignment. The Storyworks 3 prompts extend learning beyond what students have read for that particular day and help review and reinforce standards.

Check out two of my schedules below! The days are flexible, and the order can be swapped around. You can also use this idea as inspiration to create your own schedule! Below are some tips.

Change it Up: I suggest using poetry, drama, paired texts, and virtual field trips, to change the schedule each week. With the integration of other magazines provided by Scholastic on the free at home learning resources, students also have access to science and math. 

Color Coding: The color-coded schedule was designed for ease of identifying suggested priority tasks for instruction and the enrichment/extension activities. Color-coding resources in red assisted parents with recognizing the expectations of assignments that would need to be submitted to teachers for the week.

Place access sites with passwords on every schedule so parents don’t have to go searching for them.

The most critical tip? Share the actual links for easy access!

Happy Learning!

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