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Planting Rainbows

Well, this school year has certainly taken an unexpected turn. As my family has adjusted to the change in schedule and the abrupt change of pace in our daily living,...

The Good Part of Tech

I have struggled to accept technology as a part of my classroom. I attend technology workshops with cynicism and regularly bemoan the amount of money that goes into technology purchases...

Picture Books to Teach Digital Citizenship

My daughter and I were reading together recently, sitting side by side on the couch. She sighed, closed her book, and said, “Well, lesson learned there!” I smiled, and we...

The Basics of Teaching Internet Search Skills to Children

One of the most amazing things about living in the digital age is the fact that information is everywhere. With a few clicks, keystrokes, or taps I can get most...

Digital Revision: Conferring with Aidan

Gigi McAllister helps fourth grader Aidan revise his writing on the computer to flesh out character development.

Video Games and Literacy

Picture this: A student finishes early with a letter-writing activity, thanking a community member for a donation to their classroom. The teacher encourages her to select an independent task for...

The iPad Is 7

Consider this: the iPad is only seven years old. Hard to believe, right? That thing—and its brothers and sisters, phones and tablets of various brand names—all seem to have been...

Getting Started with Voice Recorded Responses

Reading and writing float on a sea of talk.                                                                      —James Britton “How is your class?” is a common question we teachers ask each other throughout the school year. It...

Branding Blogs (Part 3)

I entered many a school year optimistically, with renewed hopes that this would be the year student blogging would be productive and present long-term opportunities for students to have an...

Branding Blogs (Part 2)

In the first installment of this series, I wrote about my students using blogs as open-ended writing platforms and how I learned about more focused, “branded” blogs. In this installment,...

The Craft of Blogging

Blogging is one of my favorite hobbies. Mary Lee Hahn and I have blogged at A Year of Reading for more than a decade. If you read the blog, you...

Branding Blogs (Part 1)

For many years I have used Kidblog, a student-friendly blogging platform, with my students. As we launched our first weeks of writing workshop, September and October always felt like fertile...

Guidelines for Posting Online

Katherine Sokolowski describes a wall display with guidelines to ensure students are respectful and aware of the pitfalls of posting online.  

Padlet Possibilities

Far and away the most-used technology resource in my fifth-grade classroom is Padlet. Padlet is simply a website. I think of it as an online bulletin board. There are two...

Tweets in the High School Classroom

Whenever I see a really clever tweet or the perfect hashtag, I am reminded of how there is an art to writing something that expresses so much and yet is...

Tweeting a Favorite Author

Katherine Sokolowski helps her fifth-grade student Tyler send a tweet to a favorite author.

Jumping into Just-Right Apps

My K-1 students gathered together in front of a giant projection of my iPad screen. They dutifully placed their own iPads in their laps as they listened to me lead...

Tech Anchor Charts

In my fifth-grade language arts class, we use a lot of technology. The start of the year seems incomplete when comparing this new group of students with the ones who...

Student Writing, Filters, and Social Media

As I’ve thought about how social media affects the stories we tell, I’ve started to consider the earliest lessons writers need. One of the first things today’s writers need to...

Bringing Writers’ Voices Home with QR Codes

I love the feeling of wrapping up a unit of study in writing. I love watching my students choose a favorite piece and prepare to make it public by adding...

Using Webcomics in Classrooms

I’ve always been a supporter of graphic novels in the classroom for a variety of reasons. Graphic novels can support your struggling readers, but they are more than that. They...