Tech with Little Prep

Recently, I saw this.  It led me to think, how I could do better incorporating technology into our classroom.  The implementation of the Common Core and 21st Century Skills challenges us to incorporate critical thinking, collaboration, and technology into our daily learning.

I wish I could say that this has come easily.  Instead, it has led me to think about how I could "tweak" or change what I already do.  Here are some ideas:

  • Turn on the video function of your camera on your mobile device.  Record your students retelling a story, sharing, or explaining their thinking to a math problem.  (Don't forget to share the content with your class.)
  • Let your students use the camera to take a picture and write about it.  
  • Use the Notes app on your mobile device to document student learning.  Simply print afterwards.
  • Use Voice Memos; located under Utilities, on your mobile device to record your students reading.  
(Sorry, my knowledge is only limited to Apple devices as that is what I have and use.)

Click here to listen.

Here is a sample of what I have done.  Each week, my students read to me a decodable passage which they have practiced for homework.  Using the app, SuperNote, I recorded them and took notes about the reading.  Afterwards, the child heard themselves read.  As we listened, we had a mini-conference about the reading.

Over time, I will have many samples of reading growth to share with families as well as my colleagues about how my students read.  I can use this data for report cards and progress monitoring.  Best of all, it did not take much more time than it usually does to hear them read to me.  

The options are limitless.  It does require some thinking our your part.  But, it is possible to add technology into our day.  What have you done to incorporate technology into your teaching?

Happy Teaching!
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Graphics by The School Supply Addict and Graphics From the Pond

Nurturing Early Readers


Our classroom is a buzz with reading.  In the fall, we plant the seeds developing alphabetic and sound principle knowledge.  We work diligently to put those sounds into use.  For some, it comes naturally and they learn to read with ease.

Then, there are those which you plant the seeds and tend to them with daily interventions, small group reading, and a smorgasbord of other tricks.   Only now, do you see them begin to sprout into readers.

In my classroom, I use several resources to help me develop their reading skills.

We use the Leap Frog's Talking Words Factory to show our students how to build and blend words.  It is great for introducing the "sticky vowels." Our students love the DVD and build the words with Tad and his sister on their white boards.

We also use several resources from HeidiSongs.  The CVC workbook is wonderful to check for understanding. I have taught my students that they read the words first and then, match it to the picture on the page; rather than the other way around.

Our adoption, comes with an arsenal of little readers which change weekly.  My students who need more practice with blending read the "approaching" and "on level" readers. We read these almost daily.  They also get a dose of shared reading in what I consider oldies but goodies; many from Joy Cowley.

Most importantly, I like them to read "real" books. I want them to know that their reading efforts transfer into books that can be found at the library or in bookstores.

How do you foster and grow readers in your classroom?

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Common Core Standards:
K.RFS.4 Read emergent texts with purpose and understanding.


Lovin' Learning

There has been a "buzz" of learning in our classroom.

This craft was so fun to make! As we would say in our classroom, it was easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The class can never get enough of Math Work Stations.  For the past few weeks, we've worked hard on teen numbers and I can see their mastery and understanding during center time.  Centers are from here and here.

Nothing could be further from the truth,

as a colleague and I presented parent/child workshops about subjects which our students at times struggle with.

It was awesome to see parents and children working together.  The kids were so excited to show their parents what they knew.  Our parents were eager to learn and do anything to help their child succeed.  I am so proud of them all.  It was a lot of work to put together but I know that our families benefited.  

What are you loving about teaching?

Happy Teaching and Learning!
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