Friday, March 25, 2011

Summarizing with Twitter

Another super 21st century way to get kids excited about Summarizing is to Twitter.  Certainly, a Web 2.0 tool, Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that allows you answer the question, "What are you doing? [right now]" ....so in our case, at school, we are micro-blogging to answer the question, "What are you learning, right now?"  We started our account yesterday and have used it so far in one of my four reading groups, with 3rd graders.  They had all heard of Twitter, but had not tweeted themselves.  When I told them what it was and what it was used for, they got very excited.  They were challenged with the 140 character limit, and made the anology that it was like making GIST statements...and that choosing important  powerful words to get your message across was essential.   We'd love to find other students/classes that are tweeting about their learning, so follow us @mrsjonesotters on Twitter and we'll follow you.

21 Things That Will Be Obsolete in Education in 2020

I was particulary fascinated with this blog post titled, 21 Things That will be Obsolete in Education by 2020.  Through Twitter, I've noticed it has resurfaced on different sites.  It is obviously an opinion piece, however, it is interesting and food for 21st century thought.   It left me with some lingering questions.....

How old is the person in your district that continues to place furniture orders? 
I work in a very large district that continues to open new schools every year....are we outfitting new schools with 21st century technology and 20th century furniture and architecture? Mmmmm.

Are the university professors who are "preparing" future teachers, modeling and integrating 21st century skills and technology (including web 2.0 tools) that will be expected of those teachers once they get hired.

The face and future of education is rapidly changing....is EVERYONE on board?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Reading Strategies: Summarizing


I've been working with a small group of 3rd graders for about a month now...I don't know their exact reading levels and I kind of like it this way.   From what our Literacy Coach is saying (who is doing a Book Study with other Literacy Coaches on the book Preventing Misguided Reading....strategy groups such as mine are the way guided reading is heading).  We work on a variety of strategies at the same time, but have spent more time on summarizing due to the nature of the strategy itself.  Being able to summarize really takes the prerequisite skills of determining important information and creating inferences (for others to figure out).   So, when teaching the strategy of summarizing to my group, I use the analogy of a camera....because first we must zoom in and find all the details, but then we must use those important details to form a summary.   Two of the activities that we've done lately are GIST statements.  Here is the template for creating 10-word GIST statements, and you can download it here.

And creating bumper stickers....which is a great way to teach summarizing, because you must make your point in only a few words. Ironically, when I said we were going to create bumper stickers to capture the essence of the article...they looked at me like they'd never heard of a bumper sticker before.  When I showed them a picture of the van above, they knew what a bumper sticker was, they'd seen them before on other people's cars or the had one or two on their own cars.  We used this opportunity to talk about how bumper stickers get a short message across in a short amout of time....we can usually only read them when we are stopped behind someone at traffic light, so the message can't be too long, but should be packed with a meaningful message.   The following (real) website to order bumper stickers does a nice job of classifying the different types of bumper stickers.  Cut some cardstock into strips (or use sentence strips) and give students a chance to CREATE a bumper sticker summary of a fiction story's message or lesson OR a non-fiction article's main idea or point. 

Then some bumper stickers like, Think Globally, Act Locally, have some hidden understandings that readers must determine in order to "get" the bumper sticker.

After instruction, GIST Statements and bumper stickers can also be used as formative assessment to who in your class "gets it" and who still needs help.   Here is an example of a Summarizing assessment using Google Forms.   


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Writing Fun: An Interactive Writing Resource

Using Writing Fun by jenny eather, students can use online text organizers or teachers can print out all text type templates as word documents. 

bookr & other flickr toys for digital storytelling

bookr :: pimpampum using only creative common images from flickr. other flickr toys like phrasr - here's mine. Would be a great activity for vocabulary instruction.  Other web tools here for digital storytelling.

Friday, March 18, 2011

IRT Meeting @ McKimmon: My Awesome Table

A big shout out to the awesome ladies at my table today....Alison, Amy, Julie, Ashley, Carol and Velinda! We've had some great conversations...especially the ones about technology, which I love the most!
So, ladies, this is for you....
My top preference for a web presence right now...http://www.blogger.com/
My top preference for cute clipart....http://www.pccrafter.com/
My top preference for cute lettering right now....http://www.letteringdelights.com/
My top preference for blog backgrounds right now...http://www.shabbyblogs.com/
My top preference for grabbing screenshots right now...http://www.techsmith.com/jing/

Teaching about Japan

If you're interested in teaching about Japan, here's a cool link:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/events/japan-quake-2011/beforeafter.htm

Be sure to move the cursor from left to right to see before and after pictures.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

NCRA: Presentations, Handouts & Presentation Resources



On Monday, March 14th, I gave a presentation with my four classmates and my professor in the MAED READ program through ECU. Here is a link to the handout from our session.

Hot Tech Tools for Literacy Instruction Handout

From left: Thea Johnson, me, Sandy Brannan, Dr. Swaggerty, Megon Ormond

On Tuesday, March 15, I gave a presentation with Dawn Reynolds, a 2nd grade teacher from my school. We only gave out one handout and a short piece of text that was used for an activity, but I wanted to share some other resources for Reciprocal Teaching. I have uploaded more handouts and resources to my professional e-portfolio which you are free download if you wish...here is the link:


In our presentation, we also shared several sources for finding short text as Reciprocal Teaching works best with short pieces of text. Here is a link my one of earlier blog posts about where to find online based text.


In our presentation, we also showed a short clip of a guided reading lesson where a teacher was leading the students in the strategies of Reciprocal Teaching.  Here is a link to that video:


If you have any questions about our presentations, please feel free to email any one of us.  Our email addresses are on the last slide of our presentations.  

From left: Dawn Reynolds, me

The best part about presenting at the conference was getting to listen to the opening Key Note Speaker, Lester Laminack...one of my favorite children's authors.