Posts categorized "Literacy" Feed

4th or 5th Grade Collaboration Opportunities - Mystery Location Calls and Virtual LitCircles

Fourth and Fifth Grade Teacher Friends - 

I've been coaching teachers at Falconer School in Chicago for the past two years as part of a pilot project through Kajeet and funded by Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative.  I conduct professional development with these teachers about once a month, and towards the end of the year, I typically help out with projects in classrooms. 

Four classrooms (three currently) for the past three years have been given Android tablets to use as personal learning devices. The teachers in these classrooms have embraced educational technology, trying out various tools and growing their professional learning networks. These devices are enabled with filtered 4G connectivity through Kajeet and the students are allowed to take these devices home. It has been a great project; it has been a privilege and honor to work with the students and teachers involved.

We're in the process of thinking about culminating activities for this school year, and are seeking other classrooms for a couple of projects. Here they are:

  • We would like to start holding weekly mystery location calls with other classrooms and perhaps track our calls through a Google Map. The Falconer teachers are open to using Skype or Google Hangouts. We would prefer to do this with other fifth-grade classrooms, but we are flexible.
  • The students are reading two books starting in mid-May that could lend themselves to virtual literature circles in Edmodo. We would set up groups for each class, you would have your students join these groups, and teachers would post discussion questions and other activities for each class to do and share. We've done this in the past with two of Grace Lin's books, and it's particularly worked well when each teacher takes responsibility for posting lessons for a week at a time.  Since these book groups are taking place at the end of the year, we could get creative with other supplemental activities. We are planning on starting Bud Not Buddy in mid-May. Maniac Magee would be the last book covered during the last two weeks in June (Chicago Public Schools gets out fairly late, probably due to snow days.) Fourth, fifth or sixth grades with fairly good access to technology devices would be ideal. The type of device used by another school is not an issue; we'll use tools that are not platform specific.  Ideally, we'd like to hold a planning meeting with interested teachers before any of these units are taught, too. 

For more info about what this fifth grade team has been up to, check out  teacher Tasia Pena's Weebly site, her class Kidblog, and her Twitter feed.  Another teacher Jackeline Rivera also posted this Weebly site as well. 

If you'd like to work with us, email me at elemenous at gmail dot com or send me a tweet at @elemenous! Looking forward to finding new friends for my fifth grade team! 


Friday 5: Literacy

Since reviving the Friday 5, my plan is to start with re-visiting basic content areas with a few links worth exploring. In the past few weeks, I've covered math and science; today's featured topic is literacy.


1. Voice of Literacy
http://www.voiceofliteracy.org/

Podcasts by literacy researchers on the implications of their work in classrooms. I think this is a great way to bridge the gap between research and practice and the design of the site makes it very easy to listen and share podcasts. Wouldn't it be fun to have a similar site dedicated to discussing educational technology research?

2. K-2 Writing Interactives
http://www.uen.org/k-2interactives/writing.shtml

Links to some high quality sites for helping kids with writing.

3. Leading to Read
http://www.rif.org/kids/leadingtoreading/en/leadingtoreading.htm

Activities for early childhood from RIF.

4. Kids on the Net
http://www.kidsonthenet.org.uk/

This is a great site for encouraging kids to write and publish. One activity that looks particular fun is their interactive Monster Motel:

http://www.kidsonthenet.org.uk/motel/motel/welcome.html.

5. Woodlands Literacy Zone
http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/literacy/index.htm

Another site from the UK that contains tons of links for every language arts skill imaginable.




Teacher Book Wizard Widget

Scholastic always has tons of well designed materials for kids, parents, and teachers. Tonight, I was browsing their site and noticed their new Teacher Book Wizard and its accompanying widget (embedded below). I used my Twit This bookmarklet to share this find with my Twitter friends, and one reported that when she embedded this widget in her ning, Google Ads appeared. So, now I'm trying it out here...I'm thinking that this service is going to be handy for our literacy coaches.Too bad Amazon doesn't have tools like this for teachers! I also noticed that Scholastic has RSS feeds so that one can keep up with their latest articles, lesson plans, and podcasts. I'm thinking a lot of education web sites need to up date... Education World do you hear me?


Friday 5: Special Mystery Guest: ELL

Hi All -

Larry Ferlazzo has put together tremendous resources for teachers and students. He teaches Social Studies and English to English Language Learners and native-English speakers at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, CA.  He was named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2007 International Reading Association Presidential Award For Reading and Technology.  He has a website with over 7,000 categorized links accessible to English Language Learners and younger native English speakers at http://www.bayworld.net/ferlazzo/english.html and a blog (http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/) where he daily shares new content added to the website. A few months ago, I shared his student examples page (http://www.bayworld.net/ferlazzo/Student%20Work.htm l) with Friday 5 readers; it's helpful because I'm always seeking concrete examples of student technology use. Thanks, Larry, for sharing your expertise with us!

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com
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1) Oxford University Press -- Student   Sites
 
Hundreds, and probably thousands, of online   English language development activities for all levels.
 
 
2) Peace Corps English Teaching Manuals
 
I think the teaching manuals the Peace Corps   has developed for teaching English as a second language are extraordinarily   helpful to teachers.
 
 
3) Starfall
 
The best online site to teach reading to   beginning English Language Learners or young native speakers to read..
 
 
4) Dvolver Moviemaker
 
A great site for students to develop their   writing skills in a fun and creative way by creating simple movies.
 
 
5) Hello World English
 
A site for beginning English Language Learners   to learn basic "survival" English.
 
 
6) English 180
 
A very good site for both Beginning and   Intermediate English Language Learners with graduated lessons.
 
 
7) English Interactive
 
Another excellent site for both Beginning and   Intermediate English Language Learners with exercises at various levels.
 
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  You can subscribe to the Friday 5 at   http://groups.google.com/group/friday5 or read it in my blog:   http://elemenous.typepad.com.
 
 




Friday 5: Ning

Hey Everyone -

A year or two ago, during the early stages of my foray into Web 2.0 applications,  I was introduced to a web site that I really didn't quite get called Ning. My vague recollection of the original Ning was that one could create various items to share with others such as a list of books. I recall exploring it a bit, not finding it particularly user friendly or compelling, and setting it aside for other Web 2.0 tools.

Fellow ITM blogger Steve Hargadon revived my interest in Ning last spring. Using Ning, he created two online communities that I joined, and I found that this social networking tool had completely changed since my initial exploration. In a nutshell, anyone can create a customized space online, make it public or private, and invite others to participate via threaded discussions, the sharing of multimedia, and posting of blog entries. Ning communities can be further embellished with all sorts of web widgets that are available from third party developers as well.

I am fascinated by how quickly Steve's Classroom 2.0 Ning caught on. Since March 2007, nearly 3000 educators have joined this group which focuses on using Web 2.0 tools (Flickr, del.icio.us, Google Docs & Spreadsheets are examples of this). For some reason the format put forth by Ning seems conducive to participation by others. Several worthwhile communities have since developed and I thought I'd share them with you this week.

I think Ning is a powerful tool because it makes it easy for educators to take charge of their professional development by interacting virtually with other like-minded souls. For instance, I've had answers to questions within hours, been directed to great edtech resources, philosophized with online colleagues about the state of education, and even met many of my fellow "friends" on Ning in person at conferences. My personal network has grown substantially because of this.

Keep your eye on Ning as it is still being developed and additional features are frequently announced. Recently, Steve started another group that focuses just on the uses of Ning within education. Ning wasn't necessarily developed as an education tool, but it seems teachers have found their Ning experiences worthwhile and are eager to try it out in their classrooms. Something has to be done about advertising within Ning sites before I will try it out with younger students, but in the meantime, it's a great tool for working with adults or maybe even high schoolers.

I hope you'll check out the following Ning groups and consider joining one or two! Let me know if you know of any other good Nings!

Thanks,

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

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1) School 2.0
http://school20.ning.com/

This is one of Steve Hargadon's original Ning sites and it focuses on rethinking schools under 21st century terms.

2) Classroom 2.0
http://classroom20.ning.com/

Here's a very active group in which people explore the use of emerging technologies in education.

3) Ning in Education
http://education.ning.com/

4) Global Education Collaborative
http://globaleducation.ning.com

Yes, this is a shameless plug for a Ning that I started and have been nurturing. If you're interested in global education related topics, this is the Ning for you. Many educators from around the world have joined this adventure and are in need of global collaborative partners. If you are looking for resources, projects, and ideas, this is the place for you! We will be holding our first online meeting this Sunday evening CST. Email me if you're interested in participating.

5) Literacy Coaches
http://literacycoaches.ning.com/

Matthew Needleman's new literacy site is designed to support coaches in his district using the Open Court reading series, but it is open to everyone and growing! Literacy coaching is a fairly new concept to me and I'm interested in it as its practiced in my new set of schools.

6) Open Education
http://openlearn.ning.com/

Learn more about Open University's open source courses and materials here.

7) Library 2.0
http://library20.ning.com/

A plethora of librarians have gathered here to share ideas and resources.

8) Learning 2.0 Conference
http://learning2cn.ning.com/

This event is taking place right now in Shanghai. Isn't is amazing how we can now follow along and learn virtually? This is the Ning that interests me the most right now!


Friday 5: Literacy

Greetings, Friday Fivers -

My new school has been in session for a full week now. One of the first things I've noticed as a newcomer is the attention paid to literacy and to professional development. Teachers at NKO are devoting an hour and a half each week to discussion and reflection on literacy best practices, more specifically on improving reading instruction in the content areas. This week, we discussed reading aloud and text sets. As a result, I've been poking around literacy web sites that might support this professional development, and I thought I'd share some of my better finds with you this week.

Have a great Labor Day,

Lucy Gray
elemenous@gmail.com

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1) BBC - Schools Ages 4-11 - Literacy Sites
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/websites/4_11/site/literacy.shtml
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/stories/

The BBC produces wonderful stories and games for kids.

2) Word Girl
http://pbskids.org/wordgirl/

This is a web site for a new PBS show that promotes literacy. Word up!

3) Verizon Literacy Network
http://literacynetwork.verizon.org/Verizon-Literacy-Network-Home.10.0.html

Check out literacy resources from what was formerly known as Marco Polo, now known as Verizon's Thinkfinity.

4) Literacy Coaching Clearinghouse
http://www.literacycoachingonline.org/

Literacy coaching is a new concept to me and it is used at my new school, so I thought I'd learn more about it.

5) Reading Rockets
http://www.readingrockets.org/

Reading Rockets is one-stop shopping for all things related early literacy. I subscribe to their newsfeeds in my newsreader.

6) The Literacy Web at the University of Connecticut
http://www.literacy.uconn.edu/index.htm

Find lots of resources arranged by grade level here in addition to literacy research. I particularly like the links to teacher web pages; it's nice to get a peek into other classrooms.

For more literacy sites, check out my links in del.icio.us:
http://del.icio.us/elemenous/readaloud
http://del.icio.us/elemenous/literacy