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Creative Park

  What it is: Creative Park is a great free creative resource library for teachers and students.  Creativity is such an important part of child development but also an important aspect of 21st century learning and thinking.  Creative Park offers teachers and students awesome resources for putting that creativity to use.  The website offers ideas and templates that can be coupled with your lesson plans.  Projects range from 3-D paper crafts (like airplanes, the Great Pyramids, a globe, dinosaurs, and the Leaning Tower of Piza, etc.)  There are great special collections including an Architecture museum, circus land, and science museum.  Creative Park also features calendars, art crafts, a digital photo gallery, and scrapbook area. How to integrate Creative Park into the classroom:  Lets face it, teachers don’t have the largest budgets in the world to buy manipulatives and learning displays.  Creative Park can help ease some of this burden by giving you free high quality paper crafts that your students can assemble.  I love that this taps into following directions and creativity for students.  Students can use these materials to make class dioramas or displays.  This is also a great stop for those indoor recess days.  Keep your kids busy creating when they have to be cooped up inside.  Use the scrapbook pages to create custom class memory books.  Each student can create their own as a keepsake for the end of the year (my students LOVE their memory books each year).  The greeting section is wonderful for elementary teachers who are in charge of covering every holiday and making sure that mom and dad get a card from their child.  Many of the materials available on this site would be perfect for bulletin boards.  The creative activities would also liven up classroom parties.  This is a fun site to sit and explore! Tips:  Stock your printer up with paper and ink for these projects.     Leave a comment and share how you are using Creative Park for your classroom.     

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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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