Digital Literacy

The most important part that I have yet to mention within my blog is Digital Literacy. Digital Literacy is something that should be taught, discussed, and brought up whenever technology is used within the classroom.

 

digital-literacy

 

Simiply by showing this image, or one similar to your class and ask them what they think each point means.

“What is E-Safety”?

 

“Why do we need to think about cultural and social understanding?”

 

“How are we collaborating online?”

 

Having discussions like this within your class can happen at any age, even in primary. Students need to be aware of the big wide world of the internet and having discussions will help start that thinking young.

 

Remember to talk to parents about programs you are utilizing, and encourage them to have these conversations at home. Use the tool, incorporate technology, integrate resources, but educate yourself and your students about all the key factors that play into technology as well!

 

“It is not about the technology; it’s about sharing knowledge and information, communicating efficiently, building learning communities and creating a culture of professionalism in schools. These are the key responsibilities of all educational leaders”. – Marion Ginapolis

 

 

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Digital Literacy

The most important part that I have yet to mention within my blog is Digital Literacy. Digital Literacy is something that should be taught, discussed, and brought up whenever technology is used within the classroom.

 

digital-literacy

 

Simiply by showing this image, or one similar to your class and ask them what they think each point means.

“What is E-Safety”?

 

“Why do we need to think about cultural and social understanding?”

 

“How are we collaborating online?”

 

Having discussions like this within your class can happen at any age, even in primary. Students need to be aware of the big wide world of the internet and having discussions will help start that thinking young.

 

Remember to talk to parents about programs you are utilizing, and encourage them to have these conversations at home. Use the tool, incorporate technology, integrate resources, but educate yourself and your students about all the key factors that play into technology as well!

 

“It is not about the technology; it’s about sharing knowledge and information, communicating efficiently, building learning communities and creating a culture of professionalism in schools. These are the key responsibilities of all educational leaders”. – Marion Ginapolis

 

 

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Great Educational Websites!

Every now and then while teaching you have an awkward amount of time where you don’t want to start a lesson that you would have to end early for your students to go out for recess, go to library, whatever it may be. Or maybe, you are just plain old tired and need to sit down for a bit but need your students to be preoccupied. Well I have some resources that are day savers!

First,

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Storyline Online is an amazing, FREE, resource that can be used at anytime within the classroom, or students can use at home. This website offers an abundance of books, brand new, and older, that are read outloud by actors and actresses. They take the illustrations and bring them to life, while reading the story with great expression.

The website states, “reading aloud to children has been shown to improve reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking and concentration, and general academic aptitude, as well as inspire a lifelong love of reading“. This is such a true statement and shows why this resource is great addition to your classroom.

Students tend to love this website and it is great to put on at lunch time, to use as a hook for a literacy lesson, used on ipads for literacy centres, or just to play for the class during spare time.

 

Another AMAZING resource my students and I have loved to incorporate is BrainPopJr.

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BrainPop Jr does require a membership but one account can be used my many different users. Brain Pop Jr, as you can see above has many different subjects.

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The more you click on, the deeper they dive into that topic.

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When you click on a topic, a video will come up where the BrainPop characters explain all about that subject or subtopic and then after the video they give you an option to take an Easy or Hard Quiz, do activities, word play, and more!

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BrainPop Jr is geared toward early primary and BrainPop is geared toward upper primary. Although there is an account needed to access this website, I highly recommend getting an account for your school to use. The websites are great to use as a visual aid for students to hear another perspective on a Science, or Math concept.

 

A great resource for intermediate classes is TedED. We all know what TED Talks are and have experienced how powerful they can be. TED-ed is a program TED has created for schools and classrooms. It has a multitude of videos of all sorts of topics.

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You have the option to choose Student Level, Subject Area, etc.

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When you click on a video, it brings you to a page where the video is bigger. Then on the side it has the buttons, Think, Dig Deeper, and Discuss.  When you press Think, a multiple choice quiz come up all about the video.

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Dig Deeper offers additional resources for you to read about the videos topic to “dig deeper” into the topic. Key words are written in red to help make connections to what they just heard within the video.

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And finally, Discuss where they provide you with a platform to discuss the topic. Threads may have already been started on the topic or you can create your own thread that you could potentially have each student comment on and start a class discussion online.

One neat feature TEDed has is that you can create your own lessons. 

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You as the teacher could post a video on a topic you are teaching, a video on a thought provoking topic, a current event, and so on..

You then have the ability to add your own questions, discussion prompts, and resources. Then you can share your lesson with your student and track their progress and exploration through the lesson! SO COOL! You can create all of this prior to the lesson and then have each student individually working on this on Ipads, during Computers, or at home. Your lesson is done for the day, covering everything you would want, without having to do much actual teaching in that moment because your video, questions, and discussion do it for you. Plus, it puts learning into the hands of your students and their discussion is built upon through their thoughts and inputs.

I personally love TED talks and think this resource would be a great addition to a Social Studies unit, Science unit, or any subject really!

 

 

 

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Raving about Raz Kids!

Raz Kids is an amazing reading program to utilize within your classroom! Raz Kids is an online guided reading program that offers e-books, online reading quizzes, and downloadable stories. It is geared towards K-Grade 5 and has 29 different levels of reading difficulty, This tool can be utilized both in the classroom and at home!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcOMiudSAqM  

Check out the link above!

razkids4

The website is very user and kid friendly! Teachers, or parents, set up the students accounts. They can preset each account to the “just right” reading level for that student. Students log on, using picture codes so they don’t need to remember a wordy password. They can then choose from an abundance of different books that are all set the the level they are at.

Each student has a robot attached to their account. The more they read, the more options, they can to change and alter their robot. The students have the option to read them story themselves, have it read out loud, and then after they can do a comprehension quiz. The more they do, the more points they accumulate which means they can do more to their robot.

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Raz Kids offers lots of neat features. There is a button on their website called “Teachers Corner”, where it offers support in leveling, assessing, using the program and more. It has online running records where teachers can assess their student online. Teachers can also advance their student, or move their student, to a different level if they find their reading is ready for a change. Raz Kids is very easily accessable so students can read in class, at home, and on the go!

 

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Raz Kids is from the company Learning A-Z. This company also has programs, Science A-Z, Writing A-Z, Vocabulary A-Z, and Reading A-Z.  I personally think the Science A-Z program looks the most worthwhile due to it combining science lessons and reading, two birds, one stone!!

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The only downfall of these programs would be the price. Each individual program costs around 100 dollars for a year membership. If you had funding or the money for these programs I would say they are, without a doubt, worth it.

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All the programs offer amazing resources and add additional ways to incorporate technology into your classroom that are engaging for your students!

 

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Raving about Raz Kids!

Raz Kids is an amazing reading program to utilize within your classroom! Raz Kids is an online guided reading program that offers e-books, online reading quizzes, and downloadable stories. It is geared towards K-Grade 5 and has 29 different levels of reading difficulty, This tool can be utilized both in the classroom and at home!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kcOMiudSAqM  

Check out the link above!

razkids4

The website is very user and kid friendly! Teachers, or parents, set up the students accounts. They can preset each account to the “just right” reading level for that student. Students log on, using picture codes so they don’t need to remember a wordy password. They can then choose from an abundance of different books that are all set the the level they are at.

Each student has a robot attached to their account. The more they read, the more options, they can to change and alter their robot. The students have the option to read them story themselves, have it read out loud, and then after they can do a comprehension quiz. The more they do, the more points they accumulate which means they can do more to their robot.

maxresdefault

Raz Kids offers lots of neat features. There is a button on their website called “Teachers Corner”, where it offers support in leveling, assessing, using the program and more. It has online running records where teachers can assess their student online. Teachers can also advance their student, or move their student, to a different level if they find their reading is ready for a change. Raz Kids is very easily accessable so students can read in class, at home, and on the go!

 

tab1-screenshot

Raz Kids is from the company Learning A-Z. This company also has programs, Science A-Z, Writing A-Z, Vocabulary A-Z, and Reading A-Z.  I personally think the Science A-Z program looks the most worthwhile due to it combining science lessons and reading, two birds, one stone!!

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 8.23.36 AM

 

The only downfall of these programs would be the price. Each individual program costs around 100 dollars for a year membership. If you had funding or the money for these programs I would say they are, without a doubt, worth it.

Screen Shot 2018-01-16 at 8.29.27 AM

 

All the programs offer amazing resources and add additional ways to incorporate technology into your classroom that are engaging for your students!

 

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Noisy Classroom? Try this!

It is easy for noise levels to raise on a daily basis in classrooms. While I don’t have a magic trick to eliminate it all together, I do have a few ideas!

 

bouncy_balls_001

First,

Copy and paste, www.bouncyballs.org  into a new tab and press Begin!

 

Once you press begin you will see a microphone in the right hand top corner. Turn that one and talk, scream, yell, or just sit quietly, whatever you’d like. The balls react to the noise they hear!

This is a great tool to use in the classroom to monitor noise level. You can have in on a computer, or SmartBoard for everyone to see. Let your students scream and be noisy, then have them be quiet. Maybe even ask one student to talk, then two, and so on, so they can see how the noise grows the more people talk. Show them how the balls work and how they react to even the smallest noise.

When it gets too noisy they can visually see they are being to noisy, which means less telling your class, “It’s too noisy in here”. You can even add in little challenges for your class like, “If we can get this done without any balls touching the top of the screen, ….. (fill in the blank)”.

This is a great, and simple, way to show students how loud they are being and how they can self-regulate themselves due to visually being able to see their contribution to the noise.

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Another great tool for monitoring noise level is the app, “Too Noisy”. This is very similar to the bouncy balls website but this one is for Ipads, or any device that can have apps. This is a “Lite” version that is free to use, or you can pay $3.99 for the Pro Version.

Too Noisy

Too Noisy shows you a dashboard that monitors the noise level within the room. It also has a Smily Face that changes from a happy face, to a scared or frightened look as the noise level rises. As the faces change so does the sky in the background. It starts with sunny and blue skys, to orange, to finally a dark, gray stormy sky.

This app also has settings where you can adjust so that it doesn’t rise as quickly. This is nice as you can control what sets off the speedometer. You can set it so minimal talking stays in the green and it only moves towards the red if it gets really loud.

The Pro version has a few extra features the Lite version does not. It has stars the class earns when they stay quiet that appear on the top of the screen. The app also has the feature where you can change the background picture, set alarms to alert the class when noise levels rise, and a screen cracking effect when they exceed the limit of noise past the red zone.

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I have also found when using these apps, the students tend to tell each other to be quiet because even if one person is talking the noise level rises.

These two noise level monitors have great reviews and students really seem to benefit from having the visual aid to see that not only is their teacher saying it is too noisy but so is the screen. These tools are simple, and easy additions to the classroom to help monitor noise!

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Teaching Second Language with Technology

Victoria and I worked together to find ways to incorporate Technology into teaching Second Language. Teaching a second language or teaching English Language learners can be tricky, or an area some are not as confident in. We found many resources and engaging ways to make teaching this more enjoyable for both you and your students.

Below is a link to a Google Doc where we discuss ways to implement it into your teaching.

Examples Include:

Apps

WhiteBoard Activites

Videos

Blogging

And more…

 

Check it out!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NO7Hs0_Y_hic5QbWu0V8IXM__A7lTcHUpKECrwPGVcI/edit?usp=sharing

 

(Victoria gave permission for this to be shared)


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Class Dojo

Class Dojo is the American version of Fresh Grade. It builds community within the classroom while keeping parents and students involved. Each student recieves an avatar and all the avatars show up on the front homepage.Screen-Shot-2015-08-12-at-2.32

The little green bubbles on the upper right hand corner are points that student has earned. The teacher is able to create how students are able to collect points, as they can add and create buttons. You can choose to keep it all positive or have negative buttons as well so students can earn points or have them deducted. 6773479

The add your own button gives you the ability to create your own buttons that apply to your class. Examples could be, “Cleaned classroom”, “Is ready to learn”, “Helped a friend”, etc. You can give one individual student a point, or there is a option to give the whole class the points. These points are tracked all year which helps for writing report cards. You can go back in and see what that child did really well with all year, where they got the most points, and also, where that child struggled. Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 7.51.23 PM

 

The amazing part of Class Dojo is parents are very connected! Everytime you give a student a point or deduct points, their parent or parents get a notification sent right to their phone. Parents can send you a message on Class Dojo commenting on the reward or deduction. Parents can also send a message to ask about what happened, or even send a message to even say that student will be away tomorrow.

Class Dojo also gives you the opportunity to post photos, and similar to the point system, as soon as the photo is posted the parent or parents of the child or children within the photo are notified and are able to comment.

The only downfall of Class Dojo is you need to have every parent sold on using this app or it becomes a hassle. If one childs parents are on board, you have to ensure you do not post any photos of that child. You can still have that child on the site and give them an avatar and points but you have to be cautious about what is posted, etc.

My exploration of Class Dojo is on going but from talking to my sponsor teacher, other teachers at my school, and seeing it being used I do see it as a very beneficial tool to use within the classroom. It helps with classroom management, building community, parent communication, writing report cards, and much more!

 

 

 

 


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