Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Long time, no blogging! I was reworking and planning, and decided I wanted to share. OK, I am totally procrastinating here, but here goes...
Often, kiddos think that nonfiction is boring, or not relevant to them. Wonder where to find easily level-able (yes I made a word) nonfiction articles from a searchable, legit source covering a variety of topics from Arts to Sports? Wonder no more! NewsELA.com is a pretty awesome resource shared with me at an edCamp a year or two ago. Since that time, I have not had a steady classroom (I was instructional coach or Special Ed Co-teacher) to implement it fully, but wanted to share the joy of discovery before I was sidetracked with my lesson planning. OK, so I was totally distracted when I realized I had not written and shared this more. Must. Share. Now!!!
NewsELA.com is well organized, easy to navigate, add free (big plus to me) free, and secure...and tracks your students progress, if you so desire. The article options cover a wide variety of topics to build a binder and schedule the assignments for delivery. Post the link to the article in edmodo or on your webpage, and the kids read, quiz, and learn.
It's a new school year, and now may be a great time to add it to my regular procedures. If my students had cells, I would add it to a non-computer lab day either straight through edmodo or via an established class on NewsELA itself (free function). I prefer having only one gradebook location, so although it is more complicated I would probably assign the lexile level and paste into a post, THEN do the same creating a quiz for the assignment. That's in a perfect world where I have the time to be proactive rather than reactive...It also has a writing prompt! Could I add to AR? I think so! But more on that later, I have so much to learn this year :)
The lexile level of the text sets ranging can be adjusted 2nd grade to 10th or even higher on the same article. As a special ed teacher, the modifications provide such are a blessing for mixed groups. All students can discuss the same article and be included, despite the fact the article has been adjusted for each student's level.
More later, if I get a chance :) I can see using it in a very similar way to Wonderopolis.com for current articles, but the objective references is a winner for me, so I can see mixing these together as a part of a routine reading activity.
How have you used it? Share your thoughts, please!
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Thursday, January 29, 2015
This is absolutely awesome: If you are not sure about what can be an artifact for your TLE, the link below takes you to an excellent resource...four pages, breaking down some great ideas on what to document for EACH of the 20 indicators!
Monday, January 5, 2015
If you have any additional problems, let me know and I'll see what I can do to help! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your SmartNotebook or Ed Tech questions :)
Any requests for a new Tech in Two? Please drop me a line at email@example.com.
Have a fabulous day!
Saturday, January 3, 2015
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
And I recently posted a few online activities for my kiddos to work on these concepts, available here: http://mrsmenzie.blogspot.com/2014/10/games-for-synonyms-antonyms-and-homonyms.html
and a new one I really enjoyed that could be timed class competition is: http://www.homonymgame.com/1.html
Here's another great resource: http://www.aasd.k12.wi.us/staff/boldtkatherine/ReadingFun3-6/ReadingFun_Homophones.htm
with numourous online activities.
This week we are working on reviewing Homonyms, and I found this great song on them I wanted to share with my students. Let them get familiar with the lists, and then have a contest to see who can write down the homonym pair. Have a really great prize (crowbar "pries"?) for the kiddos? Yes, I am a total nerd, I thought that was terribly clever!
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Friday, November 7, 2014
Sight Word Games
Free Sightword Flashcards:
List 1 http://specialed.about.com/library/list1.pdf
List 2 http://specialed.about.com/library/list2.pdf
List 3 http://specialed.about.com/library/list3.pdf
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Word Frog provides practice in matching antonyms, synonyms, and homonyms. The target word appears on the frog, with the word category underneath defining the relationship to be matched.
Content: Antonyms, Synonyms, and Homonyms
Standards: L.4.5: Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
Quizlet.com has numurous sets already built for activities, and you can build your own.
Synonym Toast http://www.scholastic.com/wordgirl/synonym_toast.htm
Thursday, May 22, 2014
They killed the program! So there isn't anything going on over there. The good news: if you know anywhere looking for an Tech Facilitator/Coach, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Here's a Thank you/Shout out to the Sponsors who helped make the day possible, in alphabetical order: apollo.AtlasLearning.net, AtomicLearning.com, Edmodo.com, edutopia.org, FableVisionLearning.com, Flocabulary.com, iBallz.info, Kensington.com, MentoringMinds.com, Oklahoma City Public Schools, Oklahoma Technology Association who has an upcoming Annual Conference, OTA Encyclo-Media, Oct. 7-8, 2014 , SafariMontage.com.
There were four sessions in 10 different rooms, with a wide variety of topics. When was the last time you had an opportunity to pick from FORTY choices at PD? Even if I and my co-attendees came away with just one thing to add to my educator toolbox from each session, that's a mighty big toolbox. But since I haven't mastered Cloning myself, I could only pick 4. My husband (aka The Hubs) attended with me, and we usually split up (the old divide and conquer) to experience as much as possible. The Hubs, a special ed teacher in Science and Math, enjoyed his day and said the most valuable take away he had was the session about Attention Span. Hubs also wants to buy makeymakey.com for his students (and himself :). If anyone knows who ran the Attention Span session...oh look, a monkey...ummm, oh yeah...I would LOVE to talk to the Attention Span moderator!
Two of the sessions I attended were requested by attendees, and did not have a lead/mentor to share their take on how to specifically address the issue at hand. Everyone who arrived had the same question! This is one drawback to the nature of the EdCamp beast, so although there were a few awkward pauses at moments it still provided numerous opportunities for enrichment. As we opened up and shared what we knew, we still ended up with a handful of resources on the topic. I still left satisfied great things were happening.
Session 1: Creativity Aps for Early Education
- Digital Storyteller A digital story combines text and images with narration in the student’s own voice to form a short digital movie.
- Educreations' tagline is "Teach what you know. Learn what you don't." Create and share video lessons with your iPad or browser.
- Matt B Gomez blogs about his journey as a Kindergarten teacher. He shares play, inquiry and technology experiences, and believes relationships matter and are the key to success in the classroom.
- Knomio teach --I must have misspelled this in my notes, because I cannot find anything about this when I search. Help?
- Little Bird Tales was created to help nurture children's creativity and imagination while simultaneously creating one of-a-kind digital stories that can easily be shared. I like their statement "we strive to foster a love for reading, writing, self-expression and creative technology and to make the process easy and fun for students and teachers" Little Bird Lessons opens up new possibilities in the classroom, giving educators and students a truly interactive experience with options like listening to verbal instructions, voice recording/verbal response, drawing, importing images, and writing using a keyboard. With hundreds of ready-made lessons offered, teachers will have more time to focus on teaching.
- Scholastic's Book flix reads a story and highlights words as they read. "Scholastic BookFlix is a new online literacy resource that pairs classic video storybooks from Weston Woods with related nonfiction eBooks from Scholastic to build a love of reading and learning. The engaging way to link fact and fiction, BookFlix reinforces early reading skills and introduces children to a world of knowledge and exploration." Not free, and I couldn't find the cost without "Requesting a quote." Bummer...
Session 2: Making Elementary Libraries Grow into Technology Savvy Media Centers
Twitter Roll Call: These people were in attendance and shared their twitter handles: @glenwoodelelib, @tech4t3eachers,@42Jwellen, @eshileman, @edtech, @TrinaRMenzie
And I don't know how to link Twitter handles in Blogger. Yep, I'm not much on twitter...next summer...
Although I have fewer resources to share from this session, the quality of the sites shared as a teacher resource are extremely high. Now that I have had time to browse them, I am even more impressed with the Librarians and other attendees from this session.
On a personal note, I must say the session made me realize the frustration (maybe even jealousy?) I feel. Some school districts have so much but still perceive themselves as behind the curve when it comes to being Tech Savvy. There is so much one teacher/librarian/avid reader can share and do for a school with just your basic pc and a cell phone that is overlooked and unexplored. I don't have ipads, tablets or chromebooks for my schools, students or teachers. I still recognize the potential available with the materials available to us. More Gadgets does not equate to Tech Savvy, just more charger cords to try and figure out what goes with what. For some, nothing scarier to a non-nerdy person than a shiny new box of expensive gadgets you may or may not have asked for, but are expected to take time to learn how to use. Technology is not a cure all, and is only as productive/good as the person handed the responsiblity of implementation. Stop throwing money at the issue (they don't have any to throw) and training/learning/exploring start using what we already have in our toolbox already. For example--most of the resources shared were blogs that impress me so much are FREE and set up using any old pc or smartphone with internet.
OK, let me put my soap box away...it's hard to type from up here anyway.
- Blogging thru the Fourth Dimension at pernillesripp.com by 5th grade teacher @pernilleRipp from Wisconson,is a nerdy opinionated expressive blog that very much impressed me. I heart Pernille, and whoever suggested this site--I owe you a tasty beverage of your choice. Call me!
- Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk blog's tagline is "Leaving readers confused at a higher level since 2005" Love, love, love this blog!
- Capstone interactive books looks interesting. Geared for iPad and Smartboards, it is not free so I didn't explore it much. Comment below to sing it's praises?
- Encyclo-media seems to be difficult to nail down a specific link. Comment below on how I can provide further information, please!?!
- Nerdy book Club
- Oklahoma Technology Association's website seems out of date--is there another website that has updated info? Ironic, I know. I must be finding the wrong resource.
- Shannon M. Miller is a teacher, librarian, and technology specialist.
- Read Kennedy Read is a school library blog about adventures, reading, storytelling, research and Web 2.0
Session 3: Literacy Aps (not really aps but websights for the most part)
- Streamlined grading...I have this written in my notes and have no idea what this refers to. Help?
- bookseer.com is a great way for ANYONE to get a suggestion for their next book!
- Newsela.com is an innovative way for students to build reading comprehension with nonfiction that's always releveant: daily news. It's easy and amazing to scale the lexile level to the reader.
- readnaturally.com provides research based reading interventions. Not Free. comment below to elaborate on why this is the bomb dot com?
- readingrockets.com was launched in 2001 by a public radia/tv station in DC. Excellent resource that creates and disseminates free, evidence-based info about reading with video and lessons.
- readworks.org is an excellent FREE teacher resource with lessons, reading passages and related activities. Love!
- readwritethink.org has tons of Classroom resources including LP's and Student Interactives, Parent/Afterschool resources, PD, et cetera. Searchable by Grade! Love!
- spellingcity.com has Language Arts Lessons, word lists, articles and other help and information. Free and Pay.
- is a free iPad app that allows classroom groups to exchange ideas in the pages of digital text$. You can also layer in enrichment materials, assignments and quizzes--opening up almost limitless opportunities...sounds great. I need to explore it more, if I get digital text$ and iPad$. $omeday!
Session 4: PD for PD
I am positive that one of the other attendees would provide a much better synopsis of this session, so I focused my energies on the other session. Comment below to link me up with a description, and I'll link it here. Thanks!
From Twitter feed during session: Do we have differentiated professional development? We sure encourage differentiated instruction.
Although it did not come up in conversation during the session--I would like to recommend SimpleK12.com for great pd webinars and live chats. I'm too broke to become a full member, but I often view what's available in their free session and have come away with lots of great ideas and resources.
Monday, January 27, 2014
West Virginia Phonics lessons
The Reac3h training talked about this as a great resource!
The Reac3 Coaches website is http://swokreac3hcoach.weebly.com
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Here's what some of you came up with for the four types of technology. This is a temporary page, I will type it all up and share it in paragraph/list form so it is easier to read and understand.