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eField Trips

What it is: eField Trips are a neat idea for students to ‘travel’ virtually to learn about the world.  These virtual eTrips are composed of 4 parts.  The first part is a pdf called the Trip Journal.  Teachers download and print out the trip journal to guide students on their journey and to give them a place to record what they are learning on their trip.  Second is the virtual visit, this is a flash video where students go on the actual trip at their own pace.  Generally trips take about 15 minutes to complete.  Third is a form where students can ask experts questions they have about the trip they took.  Actual experts will respond to the question in 1 to 2 days.  The fourth is a live chat.  These chats allow students to interact with the experts in a live session at a scheduled time.  Available eField Trips include: Pearl Harbor, bats, underwater ecosystems, brown vs. board of education, butterflies, western exploration, caves, climbing Denali, desert dwellers, Dred Scott, Earthquakes, mountains, and glaciers, fires roll in an ecosystem, Glacier Bay, Grand Tetons, invasive species, whales, renewable energy, sea turtles, mammals of Denali, manatee, reptiles and amphibians, wetlands, and more.  I would categorize eField Trips more like a webquest than a virtual field trip.  These are great webquests! How to integrate eField Trips into the classroom: These eField Trips would be an excellent extension (or replacement) for text book reading.  Students can work through the eField Trip at their own pace in the computer lab setting.  I like the Trip Journals that guide students on their journey and keep them thinking critically about what they are encountering.  For younger students, take an eField Trip as a whole class using a projector or an interactive whiteboard.  Each student could still fill out a Trip Journal as the class goes on the journey.  Because the etrips require reading, struggling readers may be paired up with confident readers or a helper.  I really like the interaction that students get with experts after the field trip.  As students are going on their journey, they are bound to come up with additional questions.  Students always love sending and getting mail, eField Trips gives students the opportunity to do both. Tips: One thing that I don’t love about this site, it is hard to navigate back to the homepage.  This isn’t a problem for students completing the trips, but it is a little frustrating as a teacher planning a trip.   Leave a comment and tell us how you are using eField Trips in 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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