Methods For Building and Retaining Vocabulary

Posted by Laura Akers on Apr 25, 2017 12:08:00 PM
How often have you heard or discussed with other educators the importance of vocabulary? You have probably heard the terms Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 vocabulary. Whether you have attended one workshop or many workshops about vocabulary, refreshing your knowledge and absorbing new ideas is beneficial for you and your students.
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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Differentiation, Integration Ideas, Literacy

Digital Literacy In Action, 21st Century Skills

Posted by Reine L. on Apr 24, 2017 11:29:00 AM

Attending primary school in “my generation of learners” included the seventies and finishing both middle and high school in the eighties, literacy and numeracy discussions were summarized as The Three R’s: Reading, (w)Riting, and (a)Rithmetic; however as an educator in the 21st century literacy includes education in media literacy, and having digital literacy skills is essential for learners to participate in a classroom. The education system has completely changed throughout the world, thus literacy has evolved with discussions necessary to make sure that all learners acquire the digital competencies needed to survive in a world evermore connected to this phenomena, not to mention changes required for workplace competency.
Digital literacy is the set of competencies required for full participation in a knowledge society. It includes knowledge, skills, and behaviors involving the effective use of digital devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktop personal computers for purposes of communication, expression, collaboration and advocacy.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Integration Ideas, Technology

Being Bilingual: More than Just Head Knowledge

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Apr 22, 2017 11:53:00 AM

When I was younger, I was obsessed with learning Spanish and sign language. The former was because I loved the way it sounded in music and wanted to understand the words. The latter was because it was easy for me to understand and I loved being able to communicate with people with hearing difficulties. While I don't remember as much as I did at the time, what I was doing--unbeknownst to me--was giving myself an advantage that would benefit me for many years to come. Below I share my experience as well as benefits to promoting this in the classroom and beyond.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Differentiation

4 Essential Steps for Building an Inclusive Classroom

Posted by Rachel Tapling on Apr 21, 2017 12:04:00 PM

Within the next 30 years, there will be no ethnic majority in the U.S. Also, 1/3 of Americans will be the children of immigrants or will be foreign-born themselves.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Differentiation

Learn, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle on Earth Day.

Posted by Teresa Marchant on Apr 20, 2017 12:00:00 PM

What are your plans for Earth Day? There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day. Whether you choose to engage in these types of activities before or after the actual earth day, your students will enjoy learning about Mother Earth.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Integration Ideas

Organizing Your Classroom Library

Posted by Stacey Barbeaus on Apr 19, 2017 12:06:00 PM

A must in every elementary classroom is a library! I have spent years building mine and I continue to scour garage sales, retired teacher sales, donation piles and of course purchasing books for my library. The one thing I dread about my library is the organization of it. I have tried genre, reading level and author. I just can’t seem to win. I believe I have done an awesome job of explaining it to my first grade students; I show them, I model how to put books back, I have even used bookmarks like in the school’s library to mark where they took their book from. All for nothing.  The first couple weeks are great and it’s a downhill slide from there. I currently have books on my shelf in no particular order and it is driving me crazy!  So, I searched and came up with some ways that teachers can organize their classroom library and keep it organized. I am determined to find one that works for me as well!

One idea that I really like was placing the books in baskets. On the front of the basket is a tag, ex. Animals and it is marked with a picture. Then, each of the books in that basket have a label on the cover that says “animals” and they have the corresponding picture. This makes it so quick and easy for the books to be identified as to where they belong with no confusion on which basket they came from! Even the kids could organize them if given the task! I love it!

An idea very similar to the one above, is to again use baskets and place a number on the outside. Then all of the books in that basket would be marked with the number 5. This would allow for organizing by level, genre, author, A.R. level. Again, this is easy for children to find the box that corresponds to the number on the book.

Another idea that really struck me was using cloth bins to place books into. The child would have a clip with their name on it. Every time they took a book from the bin, they would clip their name to the cloth handle so they could remember where to put their book back. This is a fun and unique way to organize the books and help kids keep them that way! You could take photos of each of the kids, laminate them and use those for their book clips. It would be easy to come up with other variations of this idea.

A couple other ideas that caught my attention was a bin with the teacher’s name on it filled with their favorite books. Another was a “Book Hospital”. I can’t even begin to count how many times my reading group has been interrupted over a damaged book that a child found (even though they know better than to interrupt reading groups for that)! Now they can place them in the hospital bin and you can get to those books when you have time. Overtime, these books will be well "loved" and no longer available.  Eventually, my classroom will be all digital. Until then, I hope my students enjoy reading regardless of the format.

I’m excited to get my library organized and would love to hear any suggestions that you have! Happy reading!

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences

Mobile Learning, M-Learning

Posted by Reine L. on Apr 18, 2017 12:31:00 PM

What is M-Learning? M-learning or mobile learning is defined as learning across multiple contexts, through social and content interactions, using personal electronic devices. A form of distance education, m-learners use mobile device educational technology at their time convenience. The key aspect of mobile learning is using portable computing devices (such as iPads, laptops, table PC’s, PDA’s and smart phones) to extend to spaces beyond the traditional classroom. Teachers access the wireless networks in schools to enable mobility and mobile learning; allowing teaching and learning to extend to spaces beyond the traditional classroom. 

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Differentiation, Technology

Best Ways of Correcting Mistakes

Posted by Laura Akers on Apr 17, 2017 11:36:00 AM

Starting each day with words of encouragement and positive affirmations can make a difference in a person's attitude and self-confidence . Hearing phrases such as, “You are smart”, “You are friendly”, “You can do anything you set your mind to” can bring upon a smile and generates a person to feel amazing from the inside out.

What a child hears is often embedded in them from the very beginning. Hearing positive thoughts can truly make a difference in the way someone performs a task or how they feel.

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Topics: Classroom Ideas, Personal Experiences, Writing, Literacy

Success Story: eBooks Motivate Students and Empower Them to Take Ownership of Their Learning

Posted by Big Universe on Apr 14, 2017 1:13:35 PM

Mobile, AL - Cathy Burdette and the students in her second-grade classroom at Council Traditional Elementary have access to the Big Universe digital library through the Mobile County Public School System’s district license. Ms. Burdette makes the most of that subscription, incorporating Big Universe’s more than 10,000 fiction and nonfiction eBooks into every subject she teaches.

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Topics: Success Stories

Build that Home Library On a Budget!

Posted by Rashawnda Atkinson on Apr 14, 2017 12:17:00 PM

Did you know that children having a home library is just as important as the parent’s own education level?  That’s what a 20-year longitudinal study by a University of Nevada, Reno, found while studying families in the United States and China, with the astonishing fact that having around 500 books at home has a similar effect to having two college-educated parents1, with kids in both of these situations going at least 3 years more education-wise than compared to other factors in the study. It also shows the impact of having a home library, and so to get ready for those long summer days, holiday breaks, or road trips, I’ll give you some tips on how you can build your very own library at home for your children to enjoy!

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Topics: Personal Experiences, Differentiation, Literacy

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