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Showing posts from September, 2014

Appy Friday! ReadWorks Reading Resources

With an emphasis on balanced literacy in reading instruction, teachers will want to check out the ReadWorks.org website for quality, research-based reading comprehension resources. The curriculum is varied and there are many ways for teachers to access and share lessons, passages, and activities. The lessons are divided into four sections:

Skill and Strategy Units: CCSS based lesson plans with texts, lessons, and independent practice. Comprehension Units: Grade-level lessons revolve around a read-aloud or paired text. Novel Study Units: 5th and 6th grade resources include pacing guides, lessons, and assessments. Reading Passages: Leveled passages with corresponding question sets to support comprehension. These reading resources are free, but teachers must register on the website to access them. You can find out more by taking an introductory video tour of the resources they offer.
If you are specifically looking for social studies or science articles to increase student reading of informat…

Appy Friday! ShowMe: A Good Workhorse App

The ShowMe app turns the iPad into your personal interactive whiteboard, allowing you to easily record voice-over lessons and share them with your students, parents and/or colleagues. The app is free and there is no limit what you can teach! Students can make math concept lessons to share with classmates in the spirit of Khan Academy. It is an appropriate application for students to use in science to illustrate and explain a sequence of events such as island formation or phases of the moon. 

Another easy way to implement ShowMe into your daily routine is to use the app for quick responses replacing the traditional whiteboard and dry erase markers. Students can switch colors whereas you can't with traditional whiteboards, plus students do not need accounts to use the app in this way. It’s a win-win!

The ShowMe community has created millions of ShowMes, from chemistry to history to football strategy and includes Common Core aligned content - and more knowledge is being shared everyday

Geoboard App: Manipulating Shapes to Teach Elementary CCSS

Remember the old geoboards and rubber bands? Invariably, when you pulled out the boards after a summer of storage, the rubber bands had disintegrated into a sticky mess and would render the boards useless. Troubles no more...Geoboard is one of the iPad math apps that Paula Noda used for several years in her 4th grade classroom. Nothing beats it for student practice in learning geometric shapes with an iPad. Learning is extended by students taking screenshots of their shapes then using a drawing app such as Doodle Buddy to label and classify the shapes. Students can culminate the activity by finding patterns in their shapes, popping their annotated images into the Educreations or Show Me app and explaining the logic behind their patterns.

In today's Edutopia blog, Monica Burns describes how first and second grade students can use the Geoboard app to manipulate and write about shapes, then document their learning to meet Common Core State Standards and engage in higher level thinking…

Appy Friday! Raz-Kids Tutorials

Many kindergarten through second grade teachers recently received confirmation of their Raz-Kids accounts. If you are new to Raz-Kids and are looking to get up to speed quickly, you will want to view one or more recorded webinar session to learn the basics of getting started. These tutorials guide the teacher in managing her Raz-Kids account: adding students, assigning reading activities and assessments, and reviewing student completed work. Even if you will not be using all the Raz-Kids features at the beginning of the school year, this is a great place to go to get an overview of the options available for both teachers and students, and to see what diagnostics you might want to add as the year goes on using this on-line guided reading program.

Appy Friday! I was reminded to remind teachers about Remind.

At a Pacific first grade meeting this week, Paula Noda was reminded what a great app Remind is. She added the Remind app to her iPad last year and used it with her class to get out those important last minute reminders about activities throughout the year. The beauty of the app is that it sends your texts to the people who have subscribed to your class, but your phone number is kept private and the messages are sent with no open replies. It’s a one-way text message!
Teachers might want to consider getting the app, signing up for an account, and then asking parents to sign up at Back to School Night. I seem to remember that Remind even sets you up with the flyer instructing your parents on how to sign up. Learn more here.