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Kids love to use technology, but what apps are worth buying?  Are the free ones worth downloading?  It takes so much time to research all of the options!  To help save you time, I have reviewed eight fantastic language arts apps for upper elementary classrooms.  Some of them are free, while others are paid.

Are you looking for fantastic language arts apps to use with your upper elementary students? Check out these eight fantastic language arts apps!
Each review explains the pros and cons of the app, as well as the apps cost and availability.

In recent years, students have been expected to synthesize what they read at a deeper level than when I started teaching (long, long ago...). When readers synthesize information, they bring together facts from multiple sources to create an overall understanding of the material. Readers blend their background knowledge, new information from the reading, and facts learned in discussion to develop a deeper level of comprehension.

Students need to learn how to synthesize information, including what they already know and new facts from reading and discussions. In this blog post, you will earn three different methods to teach synthesizing to students.
Make Synthesizing Easy with These Simple Strategies
I was so happy to see Paddington Bear make a comeback a few years ago. I really enjoyed those books as a kid, and it was great to be able to share them with my own students. Before the movie came out, I figured I had better reread the book so I could see if I wanted to use it with my fifth graders. I was afraid it might be too easy for older students, but it actually was a really good fit. Keep reading to learn more about A Bear Called Paddington and how to use it in the classroom.

A Bear Called Paddington is a great book to use as a read aloud or in a literature circle book in upper elementary. It would also be a wonderful book to use in a unit on immigration or culture.
A Bear Called Paddington


One reading strategy that students use frequently is summarizing texts and passages. Summarizing means restating the most important points in the reading. When school becomes more about reading to learn than learning to read, students really need to learn how to identify the main ideas and then summarize them.

Teachers should model summarizing both as they read and at the end of a text. Summarizing as they read will help students improve their reading comprehension, because they are reflecting on the information presented in small chunks instead of plowing through an entire text or lesson. There are many reasons someone would summarize a text after they are finished, and teachers should integrate these real world activities into instruction.  For example, teachers could model summarizing a movie or TV show episode or an event (ballgame, party, etc) to someone else, then move onto summarizing text in a newspaper article or to write a book review.
Summarizing is an important reading strategy to master, especially when students begin reading to learn. Discover five easy ways to teach summarizing to upper elementary students.
Five Easy Ways to Teach Summarizing

Teaching non-fiction text structures effectively can seem overwhelming, but teachers can (and should!) break the reading strategy into manageable chunks. The main purpose of learning text structures is not to be able to identify them, but rather internalize them to improve reading comprehension. When students understand how a passage is organized, then they can better identify the key topics and main ideas in the passage.
Learn best practices for teaching nonfiction text structures to students. Blog post includes a variety of lesson ideas as well as mentor texts.
How to Teach the Types of Text Structures
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