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Showing posts from October, 2013

Tearing the Walls Down with Global Read Aloud

This summer when I stumbled upon the Global Read Aloud project, I wasn't sure how I would incorporate it into our daily routine, and I definitely wasn't sure how I would connect with others using tech since I never really had before. However, I knew I HAD to try it out. It sounded fun and exciting- two adjectives that I sometimes felt I was missing in my classroom lately. I knew if it piqued my curiosity and made me excited, it definitely would interest my kids. I registered and joined the wiki, and we were on our way!
Unsure what all this was about or what it would entail, I felt obligated to find another #GRA newbie and make a connection. I met Phillip Jones via email. He, too, was a Global Read Aloud newbie and just as unsure as I was as far as what we were supposed to do or what this would even look like with our kids. We both quickly learned it was okay to have more than one connection and more than one way to connect.  We are currently in our fifth week of the project, and…

Google Helps Students w/Reading Disabilities

As a Reading teacher, and also a mom who deals with reading struggles in my own kids, finding a way for my students and children to learn online content without someone having to continually assist with unknown words or becoming totally frustrated has been important.Working diligently to address and close the gaps in a student's reading deficits are always a top priority, but what happens when that child wants to learn more on a subject he is interested in?Or when she needs to do online research for an upcoming project in social studies?The fact is, when you have a reading disability, it affects not only your reading class, but your entire life.
This past summer, after downloading Google Drive, I discovered the app, "Read&Write forGoogle" in the Chrome Store. The tagline caught my eye, "...to help individuals struggling with reading and writing, those with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, or English Language Learners." I knew immediately I must try it…

Dot Day Celebrations 2013

Recently I posted about our Dot Day Celebrations and explained what The Dot is all about. You can read that post HERE if you miss it.

For our Dot Day Celebrations, we started with reading The Dot by Peter Reynolds and discussed its theme. Students were encouraged to think about what they are passionate about. Many had never considered this. Some even asked ME what the right answer was.... So we talked about what being passionate about something meant and what goals they had for themselves in life. Because we listed our goals for the school year the first week of school, I at least had SOMETHING to pull from in pushing students to think of themselves in the future tense. 

We used a page from the ColAR apps website that was created with FableVision to create our own original dots. Students were asked to use many colors and designs to create a dot that reflects their personal personality. What students DIDN'T realize, is once they were completed, I was able to show them the mind-blowin…

Making Your Mark- What Dot Day is All About

Despite great intentions and ahead of scheduled planning, our efforts to experience all things that are The Dot got off to what was most assuredly- a rocky start. For those of you unfamiliar with The Dot, it is a charming tale of a young girl, Vashti, who feels frustrated she is unable to draw during art class one day. With the simple solution of her teacher, "Make a mark and see where it takes you," Vashti quickly realizes she CAN create art- and quite well. The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds is a reminder that we all have talents and abilities- even when those talents and abilities seem hidden and dormant. 

The morning we were to read The Dot, I arrived to school with frenzied excitement. Over the course of the night, I had played out the lesson in my mind, along with all of the wisdom I would impart on my young learners. I was downright giddy when the bell rang and the first class began filing in. 

Then reality hit.

My VGA cord to connect the iPad to our projector was acting up so…