Teachers could have students conduct safe searches while reading articles customized to their reading level and subjects. Teachers should tell each student which reading level and subjects they should choose before searching, and they should note that sometimes it's best to choose two reading levels to sort through. Teachers should review what makes a good source while researching before students begin searching. Choosito suggests reviewing the five Ws (who, what, where, when and why) with students as a good place to start discussing what makes a good resource. Teachers can rate resources found in the Choosito library to show students what's reliable and useful. There's no dedicated teacher dashboard, but adding one would be useful as a tool for helping kids get specific directions on effective searching.Continue reading Show less
Choosito is a Web-based, customizable search engine specifically made for students to safely search classroom-ready topics. The sources on the site are curated by educational professionals, and teachers can rate the resources (although few resources have been rated thus far). Users can narrow their search results by choosing reading levels (the reading levels are early, emerging, fluent, and advanced). Users can also search by subject level. On the flip side, users can also expand the "related search" to see suggestions for other search terms or to find similar resources.
The site helps students effectively search for topics they want to learn more about in a safe environment, which is a huge plus for many educators, allowing them a little more control while students surf the Web. This is a helpful tool that makes research time all about research rather than about seeking kid-appropriate content. Students and teachers can (roughly) choose Lexile levels for students to sort through a library of trusted resources curated by educators. If they search the Choosito library but can't find what they're looking for, students can search the Web with a search engine powered by Bing.
Students will likely need supports from the teacher in order to make the most of their learning. Searching on its own can help students gain new knowledge, but it's ultimately up to the teacher to help guide students toward more deeper thinking. Choosito is, at its core, simply a safe search engine for finding resources about topics that might interest students.
Key Standards Supported
Reading Informational Text
Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
By the end of the year, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 6–8 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.
Evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of using different mediums (e.g., print or digital text, video, multimedia) to present a particular topic or idea.
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
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.
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.