Thanks to Nik’s Shout Out for pointing out Twurdy, a search engine that could prove extremely useful for teachers in addressing literacy issues. Twurdy uses the google search engine, then runs an algorithm to rate the readibility of the content on the pages. The results are then given in an easy-to-read color-coded format. So how do we use this?
1) When we’re attempting to differentiate instruction for ESL students, IEP students, or struggling readers, this will allow us to draw from a variety of “texts” on the same subject. Conversely, it can be used to challenge our advanced students by finding richer, complex reading.
2) For secondary content teachers who struggle with differentiation of literacy (few secondary English teachers see themselves as literacy instructors, much less secondary Physics teachers), this gives them an accessible, easy to use tool to use when assigning content reading to students or groups of students.
3) When pushing kids toward research projects in content areas, students could be made aware of Twurdy and use it to find sources at an appropriate reading level.