Differentiation: not just a buzz word

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Aug 26, 2016 11:00:00 AM

As I listened to our opening day Back to School speaker, something the speaker said hit me. He said, “we need to make it a one to one!” He wasn’t referring to the one to one initiatives we all hear about, he wanted teachers to develop meaningful relationships with our students. The more I thought about this concept, the more I saw how it fits into the model of differentiation. Basically, when we get to know our students, on a personal level, our teaching can be more effective.  So how is this possible in a classroom of 30 students?

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Differentiation, Special Education

DRA Basics: Benchmarking and Diagnostic (now what?)

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Aug 20, 2016 9:37:32 AM

Do your plans for the first few weeks of school include formative assessments? If so, you are not alone. The first assessment of the school year (for most districts) is your baseline. Using programs such as DRA (Developmental Reading Assessment), allows you to get a snapshot of your students’ independent and instructional reading levels. Finding their level, early in the school year, allows you to monitor their growth throughout the year. This post will provide information on how to use their test results to increase student achievement as well as helpful tips to get started if you have never used this assessment before.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Differentiation, Special Education, Publisher Preview, Reading Lists

Empowering Students: Flipped Classrooms

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Aug 12, 2016 11:07:09 AM

This post is part of a two part series about empowering students.  The basic premise behind empowering students is that when students have ownership of their learning, students are more engaged in the classroom. Problem Based Learning was discussed in last week's’ post.  This week we will discuss how flipping your classroom can create engagement.  

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Technology, Literacy

Empowering Students: Problem Based Learning

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Aug 5, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Problem Based Learning allows students to solve a real-life problem in the classroom. Typically these problems last several months or for the entire school year. Due to the open ended nature of these projects, students are able to utilize higher level thinking skills in your K-12 classroom. PBL motivates students and also encourages creativity while still meeting content standards. 

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Differentiation, Integration Ideas, Reading Lists, Technology

Quick Formative Assessments: Exit Tickets

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jul 28, 2016 10:55:09 AM

As a teacher, do you feel like you are constantly assessing your students?  Rightly so, because you are. Whether you are administering formative or summative assessments, you know it is essential to your students' learning. Today, I will discuss the differences between formative and summative assessment and show you how to use “Exit tickets” as a quick formative assessment.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Common Core, Differentiation, Writing, Technology, Literacy

Books that Take You Places

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jul 22, 2016 10:00:00 AM

What are your travel plans this summer? Are you trying to fit one last trip before back to school? Here's an idea: learn about your mode of transportation before you go. This is just one way to get engage readers during the summer. Topics that students can relate to or that they find interesting are a great "starters" for independent research.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Reviews, Publisher Preview, Integration Ideas, Reading Lists

Please BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) to School

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jul 13, 2016 10:13:35 AM

One to one initiatives are no longer a futuristic thought. Many schools have successfully implemented programs that have a ratio of one computer for each student. These programs alleviate computer lab scheduling and ensure that students have immediate access to information. But what if your school lacks money to support a one to one program? There are many schools that would love to try a 1:1 initiative, but lack the funds to fully support such an effort. So what are schools doing?

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Topics: Personal Experiences, Integration Ideas, Technology

Professional Development: It's What Teachers Do (in the Summer)!

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jul 7, 2016 11:16:16 AM

What most people think teachers do during the summer months…sit by the pool; read or relax, without a care in the world.

What teachers actually do…attend workshops, find “cheap” school supplies, plan lessons, read books for our classrooms and find a little “me” time during the summer.

Before you know it, we have whittled away our summer vacation. Was it really a vacation?

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Topics: Personal Experiences, Differentiation

Using eBooks to Support Themed Lessons

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Jun 29, 2016 11:47:23 AM

How do you know you are using the best possible resources? There are a lot of books available in print and electronic formats to choose from. Today, we will learn about the acronym RADCAB. This evaluation tool will help you to determine the best learning materials for any themed lesson. So, let's get started...

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Integration Ideas

Ohio District Uses Big Universe to Introduce Technology in K-4 Schools

Posted by Big Universe on Jun 14, 2016 10:56:26 AM

At the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, three fourth grade teachers started an enterprising new path in their careers. Kristen Fudale, Nancy Marquette, and Jenifer Maddox all applied and were accepted to be Academic Technology Integration Specialists (ATIS) for Stow-Munroe Falls City Schools, a new position for the district.

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Topics: Success Stories

Thank you for taking the time to read the Big Universe blog. We hope that you find the information of value as you create a reading culture within your classrooms and schools. If you would you like more information regarding how you can utilize the Big Universe cloud-based literacy solution in your school, please contact one of our Literacy Consultants to learn more.