Accelerated Reader and Storia

 Storia is a new program through Scholastic Book Clubs that allows parents, teachers and students to purchase grade level appropriate, age appropriate story books at a discounted price, as e-books. Storia offers teachers the ability track reading progress, share books amongst students and track reading progress. In addition, the Storia e-reader app allows for notes to be taken on stories, various different learning activities, and a dictionary. This type of educational innovation is very valuable to teachers, students and parents, as it uses modern technology, while still encouraging reading and learning growth.

 

Another innovation along the same lines is Accelerated Reader. This program allows students to take vocabulary quizzes, comprehension quizzes, determine their reading level, and most importantly gives instant feedback regarding their reading progress.

 

http://store.scholastic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/LandingPageView?storeId=10052&catalogId=10051&jspStoreDir=SSOStore&pageName=storia/about

 

http://www.renlearn.com/default.aspx

 

 

 

Online Grade/Attendance Books and More!!

Gone are the days of teachers having graph like grade books that they hold all their information in to only be disclosed at mid-term and the end of the marking period. Gone are the days of the easy grader, or pencil and calculator being pulled out to calculate grades. Welcome to the 21st century, where we now have online grade books, online attendance books, and instant access as parents, teachers and students to the progress being made in the classroom.

Many school districts have adopted these online grade books district wide, handing out passwords for parents at open house, allowing parents to receive daily, weekly, and sometimes even hourly notifications of their child’s attendance and grades. This use of technology takes the guess work out of the age old question “how is my child doing in school?”

 

http://www.powerschool.com/

http://www.mygradebook.com/

http://www.engrade.com/

https://www.learnboost.com/

http://gradebookportal.com/

https://www.igradeplus.com/

https://www.gpateacher.com/

http://www.schoolcircuit.com/

 

Smart Boards

Many classrooms and schools across America are using Smart Boards as a replacement for the traditional chalk/white board in front of the classroom. This new innovation came on the market about 5-7 years ago. The technology is driven by the teacher’s computer, and a projector. The teacher can project his/her lesson on the board, and the students then can use it as an interactive platform. In addition, if the teacher does want to write on the board or if the students do work on the board, the teacher can print what is written as a handout. The Smart Board technology also has interactive components built in. This technology and innovation has given the ability for learners to engage in using various modalities of learning. Students and teachers alike are excited to be using this technology.

 

http://smarttech.com/smartboard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8P-sv9dOu8

http://www.myrecordjournal.com/cheshirecitizen/article_41da71ae-52a8-11e0-8268-001cc4c002e0.html

http://teacherslovesmartboards.com/2008/10/smartboards-are-making-it-into-the-classroom.html/

http://mhess1.pbworks.com/f/Smart%20Boards%2032699193.pdf

 

 

iPad for the new Generation of Learners

Where would be today without the iPad? It is basically one of the best inventions for every purpose, in my opinion. My 1 year old even knows how to use the iPad! It is awesome the potential this little device has, and how much it has changed education. We can now connect with our students through social media outlets, connect with different cultures and explore the world at their finger tips. Children now days can experience things we as adults only used to read about in books, and dream about someday being able to see or do. It is user friendly, updating and changing everyday! I am very impressed with all that can be done with the iPad.

Here are several very helpful links to help use your iPad more effectively in the classroom setting and for educational purposes.

http://21centuryedtech.wikispaces.com/iPad+In+Education

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/igeneration/50-resources-for-ipad-use-in-the-classroom/16126

http://www.schrockguide.net/ipads-in-the-classroom.html

http://appsineducation.blogspot.com/2011/12/more-kindergarten-ipad-resources.html

http://edudemic.com/2012/09/100-ways-to-use-ipads-in-your-classroom/

http://prekinders.com/2012/08/ipads-in-the-preschool-classroom/

http://m.pinterest.com/katiechristo/ This link has a breakdown of iPad apps per grade, and purpose!

 

I found this website, that I found very helpful and interesting. It breaks down different apps according to Howard Garder’s ideas on Multiple Intelligences as well as Blooms Taxonomy.

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/08/the-top-educational-ipad-apps-every.html

Lastly, if you are like me and need more understanding of your iPhone or iPad iO6 update, here is a helpful link to aid in understanding.

http://www.techchef4u.com/?p=3529

 

Constructivism

While researching different theories on how the brain works, and individuals grasp information best, I tend to favor the constructivism theory. Somewhat based on the old saying “don’t reinvent the wheel” it is important to build upon the prior knowledge that students have, which helps them to have a better understanding of what they are learning. In addition it helps them to master the information and concepts better. I also have found that when students have a little understanding of what they are learning beforehand it helps them understand the material better, as well as take a little more ownership over what they are learning.

For more information on the constructivism theory: http://www.learning-theories.com/constructivism.html

One of the hardest things that I had to learn basically over night, was how to care for my baby. I am an only child, and all of my cousins and other relatives are basically close in age. So when I gave birth to my son last September it was an immediate learning experience. Yes, I went to classes, and read every book, from sleep training to breast feeding, and everything in between. Additionally I had been a nanny in high school and college, but it is different for sure! Nothing prepares you for the minute the nurse walks in your room after 55 hours of labor and says “I think someone is hungry!” I laughed in the midst of my sleepy state and said to the nurse that she must have the wrong room because I didn’t have a baby! Well, sure enough I did, and a year later through lots of blood swet and tears, we have managed to figure it out. The books helped, but in the middle of the night or in the middle of a crying fit you just figure it out. The need for visual and hands on application of having the newborn to care for is what triggered the instant learning or at least the instant need to try and try again until you can meet the need of this individual that wants something and you can’t figure it out!

Dr. Tae talked about the various failed attempts at learning how to do his 360 trick. He also mentioned the fact that everyone learns at a different pace. It is important that we as educators especially remember that learning happens at different speeds for different individuals. Some things with motherhood obviously I had to learn overnight, or in the moment.

Dr. Tae. (2011). Can skateboarding save our schools? Retrieved from http://drtae.org/can-skateboarding-save-our-schools/.

Helpful Websites

Being an educator is not always an easy job, but knowing what resources are available to you and your students is easy!! utilizing the different aspects of the internet and the technology that we have at our fingertips is key!

Here are some helpful links that I use daily in my classroom, that might be helpful for your classroom as well. Feel free to share and add your favorite websites as well!

These are cool websites for students and teachers to use:

http://edtechideas.com/2012/06/01/49-cool-summer-sites-for-kids-and-teachers/

http://www.pbs.org/teachers/stem/

http://www.eduhound.com/

http://www.edhelper.com/

Here are some ideas on how to incorporate different aspects of technology and other things into your classroom, another innovative teacher blog!

http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/

I will continue to update websites as I find them, These are some helpful ones that it seems that if we can have them all in one place, the easier it is for us busy educators!!