Saturday, May 11, 2013

Using Scrible to Teach Common Core Reading, Researching, Collaborating, and Publishing

The Common Core Standards have been approved by 47 of the 50 United States.  Here in California, many schools have piloted programs incorporating the new CCSS, while others are still learning about how the new standards will impact their teaching practices.  I personally still have a lot to learn about the Common Core State Standards, but I am excited to be able to help prepare my biology students to be better scientific writers and to be able to understand and decipher arguments, claims and evidence from scientific papers, labs, and writings.  Scientific literacy has always been a strong interest of mine, and the CCSS strongly supports incorporating this in my classroom.

Today I was able to attend Connect U, North Bay CUE's annual conference.  I learned a lot about google spreadsheets, vlookups and pivot tables (which I am so excited about, thanks to Alice Keeler!), but also was introduced to my new favorite web tool, is a free site which allows students to annotate web resources, write notes, analyze what they read, get citations, collaborate with others, and then write and publish their work.  I have included some of the 9th and 10th grade reading and writing standards at the bottom of this blog post.  These standards need to be taught not just in English, but history and science courses as well. I believe that Scrible can be used as a tool to facilitate meeting these standards in each subject area.  

Here is a sample of a webpage I annotated using  (Click on the link to see what the entire document looks like, this pic below is just a small portion.)

Annotations using  These can be shared with others,
and multiple people can edit or annotate the document.

While Scrible doesn't find articles for students, or teach them how to find and analyze the important information or arguments within them, Scrible provides the tools necessary for students to annotate, summarize, and work with the text.  Scrible is an amazing tool because it makes the whole process of reading, researching, and writing easier.  All the annotations and notes that the students take are saved in the cloud, can be shared with others, and then incorporated into the final report/writing.  Scrible is a powerful tool that all students should be using in all of their classes to meet Common Core Standards.

Bibliography created using webpages annotated and saved in your Scrible library.

Students can write reports using notes they took, quotes they highlighted,
and add the bibliography info to the bottom of the document.

I wish that I would have had this tool when I was in college (and high school!).  I hated having all those note cards, figuring out how to format a bibliography, and carrying everything around. is one of the best tech tools I have seen to help students become college ready.  Today I sent a note out to all of my AVID Class of 2012 grads who are finishing their first year of college, and many have signed up for Scrible.

Scrible can be used on any computer as well as on the iPad using the Safari Browser.  (Not all Scrible features are available on the iPad and I found it a little challenging to use on the device.  Scrible will be working on updates and a native app for the iPad in the future.)

Here is a video which shows how to sign up for Scrible and how to use it.   Right now, Scrible is in beta form, but the developers are very responsive to questions and feedback.  Try it out!  I am sure you and your students will love it!   Use this link to sign up for your free account & a storage upgrade:  Scrible.

Click here for a tour of Scrible.  Click here for a demo where you can play around with it before you sign up.  (But you will love it and sign up anyways!)

CCSS:  English Language Arts Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text’s explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.5 Analyze the structure of the relationships among concepts in a text, including relationships among key terms (e.g., force, friction, reaction force, energy).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.6 Analyze the author’s purpose in providing an explanation, describing a procedure, or discussing an experiment in a text, defining the question the author seeks to address.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.8 Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claim or a recommendation for solving a scientific or technical problem.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.9-10.9 Compare and contrast findings presented in a text to those from other sources (including their own experiments), noting when the findings support or contradict previous explanations or accounts.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.1a Introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among the claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.1b Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying data and evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both claim(s) and counterclaims in a discipline-appropriate form and in a manner that anticipates the audience’s knowledge level and concerns.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.WHST.9-10.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

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