Diamonds in the Rough….My Builder Tools (part 1)

As the Kansas Discovery Leadership Council talks with educators across Kansas we learn that most teachers are not aware of the numerous tools provided for classroom integration.  Therefore, we are going to start developing a series of blog posts focusing on specific tools offered within Discovery Education Streaming regardless of which version you can access.  So, may the learning begin!The focus of episode one is on the Writing Prompt Builder.  The Writing Prompt Builder can be used for numerous activities or as preparation for the state writing assessment.  The prompts can be used to address five different types of writing:

  1. Analysis
  2. Descriptive
  3. Expository
  4. Narrative
  5. Persuasive

Writing Prompts can include a single image or video, a combination of two images or an image and video segment.  This is a big change from the previous setup of only a single image.  An additional function permitted in the prompts is the ability to take the embed code of a Web 2.0 tool and include it within a writing prompt.   After creating a writing prompt teachers can take advantage of another new feature “My Classrooms”.  This option provides teachers the ability to create class rosters permitting items to be assigned to the whole class or individually as a method for differentiated instruction.  One piece of advice for those looking to use a writing prompt, there is NO ability to save it as a “draft” if class is about to expire before a student completes the project.  Therefore, provide enough class time for a writing prompt to be completed.  The Discovery Education team that is responsible for the design of the site and it’s tools have been made aware of the need for such an enhancement.  We will have to wait until December’s update to know if an ability to save a writing prompt draft is available.In concluding, we hope that you will consider investigating the Writing Prompt Builder as a way to assist in the development of your students’ ability to write.  Please consider watching this 27 minute tutorial video on how to successfully use the Writing Prompt Builder.  You will also find the PDF guide for Discovery Education’s Writing Prompt Builder attached to this post.  Good luck and happy writing!

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