Featured Post

Picturing America Part 2

   What it is: I have posted about Picturing America before (March 18th) but I just received my Picturing America kit yesterday and had to post again and make sure everyone was taking advantage of this amazing resource.  I knew that the kit was going to be good but I truly had no idea how AMAZED I would be.  The quality of materials is amazing (there really isn’t another word for it!)  I’ll post pictures of my actual kit so you can get an idea for just what you get in this kit.  Did I mention it was FREE?!  The Picturing America program is completely free for schools and libraries and provides them with 40 high-quality masterpieces, a teacher resources book, and the program website.  The National Endowment for the Humanities gives a grant making this all possible.  As the recipient your only task is to write up a one page report about your experience.  They give almost a calendar year for you to do this.     How to integrate Picturing America into your curriculum: What better way to teach your students American history than actually bringing history into the classroom and providing students with real ties to the past? I wish that I had the opportunity to learn history this way!Picturing America is going to bring authentic conversation into your classroom about American history. It would be the perfect use of web 2.0 collaborative tools where students can discuss the history and the art in Picturing America. Picturing America masterpieces would also be easily integrated into the art classroom or in literacy as writing inspiration. The teacher resource book is going to provide you with wonderful tie ins to your current curriculum. This is an amazing program, I encourage you to take part in it!  These masterpieces will beautify your walls and provide teaching opportunities year round regardless of the age of students you teach.     Tips: Apply for the Picturing America program today. I can’t tell you how completely blown away I am by this program!!!   Please leave a comment and share how you are using Picturing America in your classroom.

Read More

Podcast Summit

Posted by admin | Posted in Language Arts, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Spelling, Teacher Resources | Posted on 20-02-2008

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

1

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!

Comments (1)

[...] and help students develop a love for story.  Books Should Be Free is a great way to start a Reading Buddies program at your school with some MP3 players or iPods that can go home with students loaded up with [...]

Write a comment

*