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Do You Want to Form an Alliance With Me? (Take 2)

In March, I posed the following question: Do You Want to Form an Alliance With Me?  I asked educators around the world to join me in an exercise of blogging, commenting, and encouraging other blogging educators.  The response was amazing.  74 educators signed up to be a part of the alliance.  We committed to commenting on each other’s posts, following each other on Twitter, and encouraging one another in teaching and learning.  In the past two months I have grown immeasurably as a result of the alliance.  I have been introduced to exceptional resources, forward thinking teachers, new friendships, an incredible support system, and had the opportunity to peek inside of classrooms around the world.  I believe that those involved in the alliance have been equally inspired.  I asked the members of the current alliance to weigh in with their impressions of the alliance.  We compiled the answers on the following Wallwisher (click to enlarge). I have had many requests for an expansion of the Educator Blogging Alliance, today I am opening the alliance to other interested educators.  Before you fill out the form to join, I would ask that you read my original post about the alliance here. Here is a snip from the original post: “The Alliance… After reading the alliance article an idea began to take shape.  What if we, educational bloggers, were to form an alliance.  No need for the secrecy.  This alliance would be a group of educational bloggers who are committed to working together for the mutual benefit of all the members in the alliance.  We all have something valuable to add to the conversation of education and learning.  Each of us has a unique voice, outlook, approach, skills, strengths, and focuses. The goal of the alliance is two fold: 1. To encourage educators in their blogging endeavors whether they be new, established, or otherwise.  There are so many valuable additions to the conversation that are being overlooked. 2. To create a united network of educators working toward the larger goal of being heard by those not in education.  It is time for the general public to see us for the highly qualified professionals that we are. How the Alliance could work… 1. Commenting on each others blogs- in the Problogger article, those in the alliance committed to commenting on each others blogs at least once every week day.  The comments should stimulate interesting discussions, and encourage those involved that someone, is indeed, reading their blog. 2. Linking to One Another- This could be linking to related posts on another educational bloggers website, adding them to your blog roll, or naturally as a result of subscribing to one another’s blogs. 3. Social Bookmarking and Tweeting- This is my personal favorite suggestion, Twitter has done wonders for iLearn Technology as my PLN passes on my posts to others.  Promoting  posts on Twitter, Digg, Delicious, and StumbleUpon increases awareness of what educators around the world are doing that works.  It also connects those new to educational blogging. 4. Guest Posts- Guest posting could be an opt-in option for the alliance.  I know that it isn’t always possible to find time to write a blog post for your blog, let alone polish it enough for someone else’s blog. 5.  Thank You Page Promotions- When someone signs up to receive your RSS feed, they are generally taken to a page thanking them for subscribing.  This Thank You Page could also be used to promote other education blogs.  For example: “If you like iLearn Technology, you should also be sure to check out blog A, B, C, and D.” I hope you will join us in this undertaking, I believe that when educators work together, we become an unstoppable force for change.   I am putting a time limit on the enrollment so that we can get a good group together that is committed to supporting and encouraging one another.  If you would like to join us, please do so before May 21, 2010.  I will organize the group and have us up and running by May 28, 2010.  So, do you want to form an alliance with me? If you are in, please fill out the following form (inactive after May 21st).

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Fluency Finder: App

Posted by admin | Posted in Interactive book, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources | Posted on 04-03-2013

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Normally I post all of my app posts at my other blog, iPad Curriculum.  Because iDevices are becoming SO common place as a technology in the classroom, I’m going to start posting them here as well.  If you just want apps, head over to iPad Curriculum and you can search apps only!  Just like iLearn Technology, you can search any app by Bloom’s Taxonomy level.  All of the websites I share on iLearn Technology are completely FREE, the apps I review tend to be a mix of free and paid apps.  At the bottom of each post, I share the cost of the app.


Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 2.29.31 PMFluency Finder

What it is: Fluency Finder is a fantastically handy app that I learned about from my friend @dkapuler.  David was kind enough to offer Team Anastasis some download codes so that we could try the app out with our students.  Any teacher who has ever done fluency tests knows that they can be a little bit of a pain.  Folders and folders of passages to store, stop watch, scribbled notes on the page as they read, calculator, and keeping track of it all in an orderly fashion to refer back to later.  I’m a huge fan of anything that can help minimize the paper I have to store and keep track of in my life.  Fluency Finder takes care of all of this!  Not only can you record results, you can also maintain records on a class full of students and share information.  You can easily find and track fluency rates so that you have more time to help students strengthen reading skills and find books that are confidence-building and enjoyable.

How to integrate Fluency Finder app into the classroom:

Fluency Finder makes it simple to assess reading fluency in 1st-8th grade reading levels.  To get started:

  • Add students to the app
  • Select an appropriate grade level passage for the student to read
  • Print the passage from the www.fluencyfinder.com website (students could also read from their own iDevice or computer if you want to save paper)
  • Begin assessment, start the app timer as the student begins reading
  • Student will read from printed passage as you follow on your iDevice marking any mistakes
  • Tap the (+) button when student makes a reading mistake
  • Tap the (-) button if the student self-corrects a mistake
  • End the timer when the student finishes
  • Tap the “finish assessment” button to instantly see results

Now instead of focusing so much on keeping track of the fluency and score, you can focus on what actually matters: listening for fluency, comprehension and expression.

Being a paperless school, we are LOVING this option for helping students choose books that are at a level that is “just right.”  It gives us the opportunity to help students hunt down the perfect amount of challenge and really focus on a story they can love.  We are all about encouraging an absolute love of reading!

Screen Shot 2013-03-04 at 2.29.58 PM

Tips: Target Fluency Rates

First Grade: 60-70 wpm

Second Grade: 80-95 wpm

Third Grade: 100-120 wpm

Fourth Grade: 120-135 wpm

Fifth Grade: 130-145 wpm

Sixth Grade: 140-150 wpm

Seventh Grade: 150-160 wpm

Eighth Grade 160-175 wpm

Cost: $6.99 (iTunes link)

Compatible with: iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later

Leave a comment and tell us how you are using  Fluency Finder in your classroom.

Comments (1)

[…] books that are confidence-building and enjoyable for them.  I have written about Fluency Finder before (here), but I’m writing about it again because they have just come out with some great new features […]

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