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Pass it On…

Last week I was presented with a blog award from Emily Starr who writes the Interactive Content Corner blog.  The award is meant to honor blogs that we personally hold in high regard by spreading the word about them and sharing them with others.  I didn’t act fast enough in passing my award on and got awarded again by Maggie Hos-McGrane who writes Tech Transformation, Michael Zimmer who writes The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness Nicholas Provenzano who Writes The Nerdy Teacher and Vanessa Cassie who writes Sharp.  Thank you all, I am humbled to be included in your lists.  Now I am faced with a problem, in my procrastination you all have nominated some of my very favorite blogs and I must work on passing on to someone who hasn’t already been nominated! I relish the idea of paying it forward and spreading the word about excellent education blogs.  There are so many talented and brilliant educators who have joined the blogosphere and added their voices to help shine a light on education, it is time that they got recognized for what they do and encouraged to keep doing it! The rules of the award are as follows: 1- Copy and display the picture of the award given to you; 2- Link back to the blog that nominated you; 3- Nominate 10 different blogs yourself; 4- Inform the people you nominated, so they can in turn, continue the chain and spread the word about other great blogs out there. So, without further ado, here are my nominations- in no particular order (and yes, I did dress up for this occasion) 1. Suzanne’s Blog-  Suzanne Whitlow writes an excellent blog for her teaching staff at Shady Grove, Twin Hickory, Ridge, and Ratcliffe….little does she know how much what she writes ends up in classrooms around the world! Suzanne shares lessons, templates, and reflections on education.  All of the ideas she shares are innovative and special. 2. The Learning Blog- Todd Wandio shares his often humorous take on learning, literacy, and the classroom of the 21st century as he wades through a sea of middle school students.  His posts are always insightful and thought provoking. 3. Teacher Toys- John Fladd is the teacher I wish I had in school.  The original goal of the blog was to share classroom technology finds but the blog has become so much more.  John shares his wealth of knowledge on every subject and gives us glimpses of his classroom through lessons that he teaches, and learning interactions with students. Any teacher who has a project titled “Destiny & Diarrhea” and uses the old Sears Catalog to teach students is aces in my book. 4. Bright Ideas Blog- Judith Way writes a blog by the School Library Association of Victoria.  She writes extensively about Web 2.0 tools in the library and offers inspiration for any librarian or classroom teacher.  I have learned so much from Judith, she shares a wealth of knowledge and resources. 5. It’s Elementary- Tamra Lanning is a teacher who obviously loves what she does.  She shares ideas for using technology successfully in the elementary classroom.  I learn a little bit of everything from Tamra but especially appreciate her posts about what is happening with technology in her school…they do such neat projects! 6. Son of a Teacher Man- Geoff writes about his journey into education, he gives an honest look at education through the eyes of a first year teacher.  I appreciate his vulnerability and willing to tell it like it is. 7.  TechnoTIC- Raul writes from Spain where he shares about everything technology.  I appreciate his unique perspective and his always helpful tips about “presentation zen.”  The showcase of tools Raul offers for secondary classrooms is impressive. 8. Thinking Outside the Box- Sarah Major creates solutions for learning.  I am truly amazed at her ability to understand children and the learning process.  She offers daily inspiration and solutions for students who learn differently (don’t all children learn differently?).  I especially appreciate the visual aids that Sarah shares that help students understand difficult concepts. 9. This Week in Ed Tech- Buzz Garwood has a great tag line “On the Paper-Cutting Edge of Educational Technology”.  Buzz shares technology integration stories and resources, they are usually resources and ideas I haven’t seen elsewhere.  Each post is well thought out and through, he does all the heavy lifting for you! 10. John Spencer writes three blogs that I can’t get enough of.  All are excellent and thought provoking: Adventures in Pencil Integration-  This is a fictional blog that takes place in the 19th century.  The blog posts may be fictional but the content couldn’t ring more true.   The premise of the blog is a 19th century teacher who is leading an initiative for one pencil per child.  The blog makes me think and rethink my stance on technology integration, makes me laugh out loud, and entertains me. Musings From a Not-So-Master Teacher- This is the blog where John takes us on a journey of authentic learning and thinking.  He readily admits that he doesn’t have all the answers, but I enjoy journeying with him as he explores education, teaching, and learning.   John also has a collection of visual musings (cartoons and sketches) that are a must see. Ditch That Word- John doesn’t offer a vocabulary boosting word-a-day, instead he aims at helping us ditch the words that have watered down our language and twisted it into something unrecognizable or cliche.  Ditch that word makes me laugh out loud and groan in realization of how often I use those words in my own daily language.  John is usually right on about words to ditch. Now I must figure out how to weed them out of my vocabulary Only naming 10 is an exercise in restraint for me.  I read so many incredible blogs every day, I am surrounded by greatness!  If you are interested in jumping into blogging or encouraging other educational bloggers, consider joining the edublogger alliance.

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Snap! Digital Reading Program: 128 leveled readers

Posted by admin | Posted in Download, Interactive book, Interactive Whiteboard, iPod, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), video, Websites | Posted on 08-08-2013

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Snap! Digital Reader Library iLearn Technology

What it is: Snap! Digital Reading Program is a set of interactive leveled books that can be printed, viewed on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, interactive whiteboards or classroom computer.  All of the books in the program have been developed to help teachers meet requirements in the Common Core Standards in vocabulary and comprehension through the use of direct instruction, close reading, modeling, guided and independent practice, and text-dependent questioning.  Each leveled reader has a digital interactive version that includes fluency exercises, comprehension and multiple-choice type assessments.  As your students read, you can track what they are reading, view the digital assessments and performance reports.  These reports include information about CLOZE scores, multiple choice scores, and fluency.  You can also see information about the  last book they read (word counts, difficulty, words read correctly, etc.).  Snap! Digital Reading Program also includes lesson plans associated with each book.  While the program isn’t a free one, a year-long subscription to all materials (interactive ebooks for student, printable PDF versions of the books/lessons/other materials, and the data analytics for all of your students is just $89.  Pretty reasonable for access for every student in your class!

How to use the Snap! Digital Reading Program in your classroom: I’ve mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating: when you have a limited classroom library (due to space, as a new teacher, budget, etc.) ebooks are such a great way to instantly expand that library exponentially!  Snap! helps you do that and more.  Not only are you able to offer your students additional access to reading material, they have the added benefit of getting interactive books that give you data so that you can better guide students in choosing books that will help them fall in love with reading.  The readers can also be used for reading interventions, guided reading, shared reading and tutoring.  The leveled readers are for students in grades k-8, so even if you have a super advanced second grade student, you can continually challenge them.

Snap! Digital Reader Library iLearn Technology

The flexibility of this program is fantastic!  I’ve long been a fan of Learning A-Z for their printable books, but they are limited to a printout.  With Snap! you have the option of printing out books, but students can also access them from home device, on the iPad, Kindle Fire, Android, interactive whiteboard, or classroom computers.  The eBook version of the reader includes audio, photo slideshows, glossary terms, videos, fun facts, interactive maps and animations.  The PDF version includes lesson plans, alphabet book, word books, assessment materials and individual student record books.  Regardless of how much technology you have available in your classroom, the Snap! program works.

In a one to one setting you get the best of all worlds.  Every student in your class instantly has access to 128 quality interactive books and activities.  Did I mention $89?! That is a great deal!  You also have the ability for offline pdf books that can be sent home for extra practice.  When I taught second grade, my students loved having a print copy of the ebooks that they read in class.  It was always a treat to have those printed to color and share at home.

In a one or two device classroom, you can set up a reading center for students to cycle through.  Students can visit the center once or twice a week to read.

Model reading strategies for the whole class using an interactive whiteboard or projector-connected computer.  Students can practice reading along and be introduced to new vocabulary.

Tips: The iPad version is not called “Snap!” Digital Reader.  The app you will download to access the interactive ebook library is Mobl21 HD.

Snap! Digital Reader Library iLearn TechnologyPrice of app: Free* ($89 yearly subscription required!)

Device: iPad with iOS 5.0 or later, Kindle Fire, Android, computer

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