Thoreau once wrote we are in danger of becoming the "tool of our tools," but it's doubtful he envisioned a day when there would be so much technology hardware and software to distract and empower us at the same time. Teachers who are grappling with iPads, laptops, kid blogs and cellphones in classrooms share their triumphs and struggles here.
Mary Lee Hahn provides a wealth of web resources and practical suggestions for using technology for poetry instruction.
Heather Rader finds web video is a powerful tool for scaffolding young writers as they produce informational texts.
It’s a dilemma many middle school teachers face. How do you construct anchor charts with multiple groups of students, when only one chart will be hung in the room? Katherine Sokolowski explains how she ensures all classes have input and a “clean slate” in constructing charts.
Franki Sibberson turns to museums for inspiration as she designs wall displays for the start of the school year.
It can be difficult to move from print to electronic records in the classroom. After using a spiral notebook for 10 years, Cathy Mere did just that.
Erin Ocon discovers a surprising tool to help her middle school English language learners develop their writing and oral language skills — Powerpoint presentations. Erin shares some practical tips for using presentation software to support English language learners.
Franki Sibberson explains how low-tech board games can be a powerful tool for developing skills that will be in high demand in the coming years.
Heather Rader considers the cultural divide between teachers and students who are “screenagers” when it comes to texting. If u r getting LOLed out in ur classroom u might want 2 read this.
Video is a terrific tool for building connections between home and school. Heather Rader explains how Kelli Demonte uses video to guide children and communicate with families.
Ruth Ayres inspires us to develop the habit of writing on a regular basis by taking a bite out of the Slice of Life Story Challenge.
Teachers know visual learners are in every classroom and Andrea Smith is no exception. She uses an “image of the week” to get at high expectations, observations, publishing and of course, building community.
Erin Ocon highlights the life and work of William Stafford and how she uses the archives of his work to bring poetry alive for her middle school students.
Do you have fact hunters in your room? Andrea Smith legitimizes and celebrates these collectors and brings a new level of nonfiction awareness to her classroom.
In this podcast, Kate Messner points out the cost and kid benefits for skyping with an author.
Katie Baydo-Reed finds the web has great resources for her middle school students when it comes to sparking more interest in poetry.
If you're overwhelmed with the slew of new technology tools coming out all the time (and who isn't?), you might appreciate Scott Sibberson's Top 10 Tech Tools for Teachers. You are probably using some of the tools daily, and may discover a few new ones too.
Wild Facts is a terrific example of how Andrea Smith's intermediate students naturally connect web resources with content learning.
Dozens of children’s book authors will “visit” classrooms for free twenty minute chats via the Internet. Talking with authors about books students have read takes motivation and comprehension to new levels. Colby Sharp shares the nuts and bolts of getting the most out of virtual author visits.
In order for an iPad to transform teaching and learning, Tony Keefer suggests we need to think about these tools with creativity in mind. This article is packed with thoughtful resources for iPad users.
Andrea Smith uses the school-to-home communication tool to give her writers an authentic process and audience.
As Suzy Kaback explores the question “How does your expertise function?” she explains the power of Photovoice and details its use in K-12 classrooms.
Intrigue, frustration, instruction at the point of need…Franki Sibberson cycles through many common learning stages as she builds Twitter into her daily routine.
Andrea Smith evaluates the success of her new student blogging program.
Wonderopolis hits the sweet spot so many of us are looking for in web resources for students, delivering free, engaging, high-quality nonfiction text and video in small chunks that can easily be integrated into literacy and science workshops. Andrea Smith explains how she uses Wonderopolis daily with her students.
The good news? There are lots of free and low-cost digital books for young readers on the web. The bad news? The quality of many of them is mediocre at best. Andrea Smith highlights three web-based resources for digital books that are affordable and also high quality.
Reading Interviews are a staple in many literacy programs – a terrific tool for learning more about the history and habits of students. Franki Sibberson explains how she has updated her reading interview to include questions about digital resources and tools.
If you are beginning to involve yourself more in online networks, you might enjoy these suggestions from Mary Lee Hahn and Franki Sibberson.
Cute Alert – what’s more adorable than babies or animals?Â Perhaps baby animals!Â Andrea Smith shares an addictive web resource that will instantly hook students of any age.Â It’s zoo postings of newborn animals from around the world, with many literacy connections.
Patrick Carman is the author of some fascinating multimedia novels for young readers.
Here’s a problem many teachers share – students are far too literal when it comes to inferring while reading. Ellie Gilbert finds animated short films readily available on the web are a terrific tool for helping students move beyond literal interpretations of text.
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