Learning Target

We can model and promote collaborative planning and teaching within a school climate that is conducive to and supportive of collaborative learning.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Are you transforming?

Questions We ask Ourselves...
When you stop and reflect upon yourself as an educator do you see transformation?  Do you provide the necessary learning environment that will nourish our ever-changing student?  What are the benefits of teaching in a digitally connected environment?  What are the benefits for your students?

New technologies create new ways to connect, create, and communicate. It provides opportunities for students to discover the curriculum rather than have it delivered to them. (Educational Leadership, March 2013)  Continual transformation as an educator is essential to providing the enriched learning opportunities that our students in this digital age demand.  Being transliterate isn't just a expectation for our students but for ourselves.

Innovative vs Traditional?
As a teacher the benefits of adapting from a more traditional learning environment using paper and pencil as the main learning tool to a more innovative environment utilizing tools such as laptops and now to iPads is incredible.  Being able to make the learning visible, have evidence of growth in an almost instantaneous timeframe, making a consistent home/school connection and providing authentic learning experiences are just some of the benefits of this transformation.  And all of these benefits come with an easier more flexible way of doing things, allowing students and teachers to have choice in their learning.  We have witnessed the exciting benefits for our students such as students taking more ownership of their own learning and becoming more self-directed learners, students having the ability to be connected to a global society to meet their own individualized learning plans and becoming more engaged learners.  With all of those benefits it is difficult to not choose to innovate and transform.

How have we transformed lately?

Recently we 'stretched our wings'  and took on more of a leadership role by seeking out the opportunity to present at the Illinois Computing Educators Conference (ICE).  Before the presentation so many questions and concerns popped into our heads...will people find what we share valuable, will we have enough time, how will we be received...  After all was said and done, completing our session exactly in the time frame allotted we immediately felt relief and a sense of success.  A very special thanks goes out to the woman three rows back that gave a hardy "Whoohoo!" shout out.  But as all the excitement settled down and we were able to reflect on what we had done, we realized that the "trifecta" model that we truly value and try to exemplify really is unique and the risk is always worth it!  Sharing our perspective and what we know is best practice and what's best for kids provides others the opportunity too see another possible avenue for their own transformation.

We would like to thank Jen Wanger who we met at ICE a few years ago and took the time to visit us at Henking.  She was the one that encouraged us to 'tell our story' by creating our own blog.  Well it took some time, some transformation of our own, but here we are and we're loving it!  So thanks to you Jen!  http://www.projectsbyjen.com/

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

50 Shades of Literacy: Putting the passion into teaching writing and literature

We were so excited about presenting at ICE 2013!  We presented 50 Shades of Literacy: Putting the passion into teaching writing and literature.  This presentation showcased: Getting excited about teaching literacy! Learning about the trilogy: literacy, literature, technology and the trilogy support systems, the: classroom teachers, Technology Facilitators, LRC Directors who help to differentiate your instruction and engage your students in a 1:1 learning environment. Participants walked away with 50 must try activities for the primary classroom. These were tried and true activities which truly incorporated the refocused definition of Transliteracy, the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media. So join the trilogy movement and discover how to spice up your literacy lessons!

(to view the presentation slides click the image below)

Top 50 Activities with the ELA Strand
Items marked in green are specifically showcased in the presentation.

Reading: Text complexity and the growth of comprehension
  • Google forms- comprehension check   
  • Learning A to Z- comprehension
  • Tumblebooks- Listening to reading
  • Storia- Independent reading
  • Storia- Shared reading
  • Pebble Go- non-fiction reading/text features
  • Follet Shelf- Independent Reading
  • Book Flix- independent reading
  • We Give Books- Independent Reading
  • Notebook- students sort sentences based on the type of sentence such as questions, exclamations and statements
  • Notebook- story sequence
  • Storia- partner reading
  • Tumblebooks- Listen for point of view and voice

Writing: Text types, responding to reading and research
  • Audioboo- Book review
  • Google forms- writing data
  • Educreations - Write a pattern book
  • Pages- Writing
  • Twitter- Tweet about books you are reading in class
  • Popplet- Story Map
  • iMovie- Create a commercial for a book
  • Pages- Students document their learning (create a poster for fiction/non-fiction)
  • Doodle Buddy- Character Cloud
  • Notebook- Story Map
  • iMovie- “Book print” Create movie about their personal reading life  
  • Lino- my favorite part of this story
  • Pages- take a picture and write about it
  • iMovie- This is what I learned
  • Kidblog.org - writing responses
  • Scribble Press- Story Writing

Speaking & Listening: flexible communication and collaboration
  • QR Codes - Retelling
  • Quick voice- Fluency Check
  • Photos- Reading words
  • Quick Voice- word list reading
  • Camera- act out scenes from a book and respond
  • Quick Voice- record reading for point of view and expression
  • Quick Voice- students record their own writing and listen back

Language: conventions, effective use and vocabulary
  • Make dice lite- site word practice
  • iCard sort- Sort words by syllables or vowels
  • iCard sort- Sort words by topic/concept
  • Doodle Buddy- word list writing
  • Spelling City- Word work
  • Doodle Buddy- Vocabulary illustrations
  • iCard Sort- word building
  • iCard Sort- individual word walls
  • Magnetic Letters- Word building
  • Magnetic Letters- Word list writing
  • iCard Sort- Student created common/proper noun sort
  • Doodle Buddy- Letter formation
  • Doodle Buddy- letter recognition
  • Skitch- define/label a picture

If you had a chance to see the presentation let us know your thoughts.
Exit slip: http://tinyurl.com/50ShadesOfLiteracy

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Our Instructional Roadmap

Our Instructional Roadmap

Providing a complete balance of resources that are meaningful to our staff is possible by creating an open dialog through multiple means of communication.  On-the-fly conversations, emails and iChats, through PLC and grade-level collaboration as well as providing relaxed sharing opportunities where curriculum design and development can be attained, are just some of the ways the needs of our staff can be accessed and resources can be collected.  Compiling those resources in an easy to locate and use method gives the teachers a 'one stop shop' ability to access and utilize them.

The Transliteracy Trifecta

Forming a pleasing whole: the LRC/TF team with their harmonious blend of transliteracy skills and resources become part of the instructional design trilogy that includes the LRC Director, Technology Facilitator and classroom teacher.

What is transliteracy?  Transliteracy is "The ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks. (PART 2007) The modern meaning of the term combines literacy with the prefix trans-, which means “across; through”, so a transliterate person is one who is literate across multiple media.”
from Transliteracy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia at Sun Jul 18 2010 14:12:31 GMT-0400 (EST) on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transliteracy