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Podcast Summit

As promised I want to share some of the incredible uses of podcasting in the classroom that I heard at the Colorado Podcast Summit yesterday. One of the keynote speakers was ISTE Primary Teacher of the Year Carol Greig. Her Keynote entitled “Podcasting for the Struggling Reader” was truly inspiring. Carol teaches kindergarten in the Eugene School District in Oregon, here she started a podcasting program for her struggling readers called Reading Buddies. The Reading Buddies program uses several iPod shuffles that are loaded with reading lessons (created and recorded by Carol) that go home with the students. Carol said something that I think rings true with educators everywhere, “No one can teach my students as well as I can.” Reading Buddies allowed Carol to go home with her students every night using the iPod. The goal of the Reading Buddies program was to help struggling readers reach the benchmark. Carol loaded the iPods with reading lessons based on the individual child’s needs, this provided guided learning at home with and extended student learning. In the Reading Buddies packs Carol included vocabulary picture cards which she created, fluency cards, a book or two and the iPod Shuffle. A sample lesson might sound something like this: “Take out the green picture card. What picture do you see first? That’s right, a cat! Cat starts with the letter C. Cat, Cat. What is the next picture?” Carol pauses after a question so that the students have time to think and respond. The Reading Buddies program helps kids with vocabulary, fluency, alphabetic principal, rhyming, phoneme segmentation, and literature. The iPod “buddies” have been a huge success with 99% of students reaching the reading benchmark by the end of the year. Carol started getting calls from parents requesting that their student be a part of the Reading Buddy program, parents and other educators in the district started offering help to create the recordings for the Reading Buddies. At the end of the first year a parent called to thank her for the wonderful program and things it had done for her son, but she also benefited. After her son went to bed, the mother would listen to the reading buddy and follow along, she learned English by listening to her kindergarten son’s Reading Buddy! There are some good rules that were set up for the students who have reading buddies, each child was told that only the child who was given the Reading Buddy was allowed to use it, if a Buddy was lost or broken the students family was responsible for replacing it. It is a privelege that can be taken away if the Buddies were not cared for. They have never had to take a Buddy away or replace one that was lost or broken by a student. The future of the Reading Buddies program includes expansion to other grades, older students could have their anthologies or science text recorded on the Shuffle. The Reading Buddies program won the presidential award for reading and technology…it is easy to see why! The new iPod Nano would be great to use as a reading buddy because students could have audio and visual presented. The Shuffles are nice because they are so affordable (the 1G just dropped to $49 yesterday!) I am hoping to get a Reading Buddy Program up and running at my school. I will keep you posted with any success stories or lessons learned!

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Moon in Google Earth

Posted by admin | Posted in Fun & Games, Geography, History, Interactive Whiteboard, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Virtual Field Trips | Posted on 20-07-2009

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What it is: Today is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission.  I have been following the moon landing on We Choose the Moon.  This is an incredible site that has allowed me to re-live (for the first time) the Apollo 11 mission as if it were happening today.  In honor of this historic day, Google released Google Earth 5.0 complete with Moon view.  With Moon in Google Earth you and your students can take tours of landing sites narrated by Apollo astronauts, view 3-D models of landed spacecraft, zoom into 360* photos of astronauts footprints, and watch rare TV footage of the Apollo missions.

How to integrate Moon in Google Earth into the classroom: Now that the moon has made an appearance in Google Earth, your students can experience the moon and Apollo missions up close and personal.  Space, astronauts, Apollo missions, and the moon were the stuff of legends before the space race took off.  Moon in Google Earth brings back the excitement of the space race allowing students to explore and discover.  This is an excellent virtual field trip to take your students on during any space or moon unit.  Use an interactive whiteboard to discover as a class.  Students can take turns being moon tour guides.  Students could also explore independently keeping their discoveries in a space journal and reporting back to others what they discovered on their journey to the moon.

Tips: Google Earth is a download.  If you need IT to perform downloads for you, be sure that Google Earth makes it on your list of must haves for the school year.

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Moon in Google Earth in your classroom.Moon in Google Earth

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