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Doceri as a Graphic Organizer and Differentiator

by Jason Gilmore, Doceri Community Advocate
Jason is a special educator with more than 15 years of classroom experience.
He is currently on staff at Discovery Charter School in San Jose, Calif. 

As a special educator it is my job to develop ways of organizing new content that my students can access and process at their own pace. Traditionally, graphic organizers are the go-to organizational device used by teachers in the lower grades or when working with students with special needs.

In the secondary grades the use of graphic organizers decrease dramatically. This is why accommodation on Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) is that students have access to a graphic organizer for writing, reading comprehension, history, and science.

Why do graphic organizers have to be a tool exclusive to the elementary level and students with special needs?

Maybe the expectation is that older students can work without visual aids, or that little boxes are too limiting for higher order thinking. This is preposterous especially for our visual learners without IEPs.

Doceri as a Graphic Organizer
No more little boxesPerhaps teachers of older students don’t like the idea of students being forced to think inside little boxes. Fortunately, Doceri can free students from the limits of paper and pencil.

With Doceri a student can produce a flexible graphic organizer to demonstrate comprehension in language arts as well as well as history and science.

When reading any text (fiction or non-fiction) a student can use the Doceri timeline as a story journal, plot map, character map, theme chart, or for collecting facts from a text book. Students can create a new slide for every chapter complete with notes, pictures, and even sound. Each reading session can be a video file!

Any student can make a recording of the important points of the story as they go in a multisensory fashion. Towards the end of the story students can combine the story videos that they create into an entire storyline with a mere drag and drop of the video files on top of one another.

A student of any writing skill level can easily recall the major moments of the story to derive a theme and make an evidence-based claim in essay format. Differentiation becomes very easy.

Here’s a short list of some further content organization applications of Doceri.

For the struggling reader
Teachers can take a picture of a limited portion of a whole text, annotate it, and read the text to the students in a Doceri screencast recording. When posted on the classroom Web page or School’s learning management system (LMS), no student is left behind. Thank you Cheryl Morris – @guster4lovers on Twitter – for this one.

The basic/ proficient assignment
Students can create a chapter-by-chapter comic book video summary of a novel. Middle school students in my co-teaching ELA class are producing these for a summary of the novel Ender’s Game. Watch for a future blog post about their experience.

For the proficient/ advanced student
Task students to create a “persuasive screencast” that chronicles a character’s development through the story and points to specific scenes in the book. These scenes can be recreated by drawing
that support a specific claim.

What ideas do you have for using Doceri as a graphic organizer? 


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