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.
Topics: Success Stories
When Lance Yoder considered becoming the District Technology Peer Coach for Indiana's East Noble School Corporation, he knew he could make a difference. Yoder's fourth-grade students already used technology every day. So, he felt he would be able to help other teachers integrate technology in their classrooms as East Noble rolled out its ambitious district-wide 1-to-1 implementation. Fast-forward, now in their second year using three different devices (depending upon grade level), East Noble's 1-to-1 program is a success. One key to their success is Big Universe. Students and teachers are able to utilize Big Universe's vast array of digital fiction and non-fiction content on all three devices. The combination of access to technology and content enables students to learn in an interactive and engaging way. Teachers are able to monitor, track and individualize the learning. Put all that together and you start thinking it's not just a story to remember, it's one for the books.
Topics: Success Stories
As a high-achieving school, McKenzie Elementary School has a problem most districts dream about: how to show improvement when test scores are already better than state averages. “We have always had 5s in achievement, but struggled to improve our growth score,” says Carol Nanney, the librarian at McKenzie. “This year, our growth score in literature increased from a 1 to a 3. Big Universe has sparked excitement in our students.”
Topics: Success Stories
Teachers are bound to have one or two students in their classes that seem to lack the confidence they need to attack a challenging problem or assignment. These students, who are most often very capable of completing the task, have underlying reasons for their seemingly unwillingness to try: the fear of failure, helplessness learned by having adults always willing to do things for them, lack of persistence confused with laziness. Whatever the reason, teachers need some strategies to help pull these students out of this pattern and allow them to see success, which, in turn, can build their confidence. The following is a list of strategies you can use to boost confidence and persistence in your struggling students.
Today’s kids are used to having access to access to their devices 24/7...at home, on the bus, at school, and everywhere in between. When they want to learn something new, they reach for these devices to do an internet search or to communicate on social media about that topic. They are hard-wired to be comfortable in a digital environment and they look to it as their first and most meaningful learning tool. Consider these benefits of incorporating eBooks into your classroom:
More and more schools are making iPads and other types of tablets available for classroom use. Whether it is through one-to-one technology, iPad carts available for teachers to check out or through allowing students to bring their own devices (BYOD), tablets are a tool that many teachers have found useful in the classroom. They enhance the teacher’s ability to monitor and assess student learning, they help personalize student learning and they allow for easy collaboration between students. If you are still wondering how to best utilize this tool in your classroom, here are some tips for using iPads in your classroom.
Spring is in the air and with it comes kids (and teachers) who are anxious to get outside. Take advantage of the nice weather and plan some lessons and activities that allow you to get your class out of the building and into nature. The Big Universe title, What Happens in Spring? Birds in Spring is a great resource for focusing some of your students’ day-dreaming, outside focus into learning.
The end of the year is tough. Really tough. The stress of finishing up all that’s on a teacher’s plate before the end of the year can be astounding. Assessments, projects, reviews or evaluations, and grades or report cards are just a few of the millions of things on a teacher’s mind each and every day of those last few weeks. I look at other teachers in my school and think, “How do they keep smiling through it all?” Well, I asked them that question and several answers kept coming up. Here are the top five tips that seem to keep my colleagues in a great state of mind in spite of all the stress around them.
It can be challenging to keep students motivated, but with a little planning, the last few weeks of school can be meaningful and fun. Here are some time-honored end-of-year literacy activities you may want to consider.
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.