Category Archives: literacy

With the Summer term in full swing, schools across Scotland, England and Wales are getting excited about their own Famous Five adventures!

To mark the 75th Anniversary of Enid Blyton's 'The Famous Five' we invited all schools to take part in our exciting competition as a Literacy Project for their class or an after-school club project, in collaboration with Hachette Children’s Books. We have had so many schools across the country taking part in creating their own exclusive Famous Five Adventures and have loved seeing your enthusiasm for writing on Twitter!… Visit the author's original post

BETT 2017 Guest Post: Pobble – “Saving teachers time”

Continuing our series of guest partner posts for BETT 2017, we are pleased to share a piece from the team at Pobble – the platform that makes writing ridiculously exciting! Teachers use the Pobble platform to find the best teaching resources, give pupils a global audience for their work, and to assess writing. The literacy platform was started in 2013, by a group of teachers based in North Yorkshire, England. Since then, Pobble has gained the support of prominent education leaders and has received praise from bestselling authors such as Anthony Horowitz and Michael Morpurgo.Visit the author's original post

NYC DOE Supports Innovative Teaching

Recently, I delivered several Redefining Learning PD sessions for NYC DOE educators. Teachers were thrilled to discover Microsoft’s OneNote and Class Notebook. Part of Office 365, Microsoft has made technology free, accessible and is helping to equalize the playing field in education. Teachers no longer need to stress over xerox copies and handouts being completed in time. Paperwork does not need to be carried home for scoring as all notebooks are stored in the cloud.  Digital notebooks are created and quickly duplicated for different subjects or classes.… Visit the author's original post

Making It Easier To Read & Write with OneNote Learning Tools

Few would argue against the fact that technology should support teachers and learners in the classroom to achieve better learning outcomes and comprehension. Sadly, too often the technology is shoe-horned into learning environments simply to “tick the box” that eLearning … Continue reading Visit the author's original post

Our Epic Nonfiction Picture Book Project Take 2

For the past few years, my students have written nonfiction picture books for younger audiences around the world.  Last year, I decided to share the lesson plan to serve as inspiration for those who wanted it, and this year I thought I would do the same.  While the foundation is the same, the process has been tweaked a bit for a more meaningful experience for the students.

The goal of the project is rather simple; create a 15 to 25 slide/page nonfiction picture book meant for a 2nd or 3rd grade audience on anything you wish to write about.  … Visit the author's original post

But How Do You Really Teach With Picture Books?

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2 days into the year and already we have shared 5 picture books.  Today I read How to Read A Story by the amazing Kate Messner 5 times as we discussed what we love and hate about reading.  As we discussed what makes a great reading experience.  As I invited my students to come on over, one boy clapped his hands, “Story time!” he said.  And not in a sarcastic 7th grade too-cool-for-school kind of way, but in the way that little kids say  it; excited to hear the story.  … Visit the author's original post

6 Simple Ideas to Get Kids to Read

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Loving reading, loving books, being a reader, and finding your own books to share are central goals in our 7th grade English classroom.  And I spend every waking moment at times it seems trying to find ways for students to find that special book that will make them feel like they are a reader.  I spend hours planning, prepping, buying books, and yes, reading them to make sure that I am the best teacher possible for all of my many students. … Visit the author's original post

What About the “P” In Your B.Y.O.D.?

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The final quarter of last year, our classroom was a limited B.Y.O.D. zone, meaning yes, bring your own device but check it at the door unless we had a purpose for it.  I instituted this because I felt we were getting distracted, myself included, we were having a hard time resisting the instant temptations that our smartphones seem to provide for us.  So we left them out of the room and the students were just fine with it.  I was too.  … Visit the author's original post

My Child Is Not A Struggling Reader

She snuggles in next to me, holds up the book really high and looks at me expectantly, “Ready, mom?”  I nod and off we go, Thea trying to figure out what happened to Daniel Tiger and why he got so upset with his friends.  Every word is a thought. Every word is work.   She uses expression yet chops her way through.  Some words she completely misses, her legs moving, her body wiggling, and guesses fly out of her mouth because her eyes are not looking at the words but instead at the pictures.… Visit the author's original post

The Millionaires’ Club

Fourth graders from Ms. Jackson’s and Ms. Lopez’s are learning about the stock market and finances.  In a group selected by the teachers, children are able to learn about the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ exchange. Students analyzed their own lives and reflected on every day products they know, love and use. They brainstormed and came up with Apple, McDonald’s, Sony, Colgate, Six Flags, Disney, Scholastic, Target,  Staples, Children’s Place, Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson, Samsung and Google. Children selected an investment choice based on financial numbers and individual experiences.  … Visit the author's original post

The Millionaires’ Club

Fourth graders from Ms. Jackson’s and Ms. Lopez’s are learning about the stock market and finances.  In a group selected by the teachers, children are able to learn about the New York Stock Exchange and the NASDAQ exchange. Students analyzed their own lives and reflected on every day products they know, love and use. They brainstormed and came up with Apple, McDonald’s, Sony, Colgate, Six Flags, Disney, Scholastic, Target,  Staples, Children’s Place, Starbucks, Johnson & Johnson, Samsung and Google. Children selected an investment choice based on financial numbers and individual experiences.  … Visit the author's original post

The 100th Day of School Celebration

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAScholars always look forward to special days and events and the 100th Day of School is one of the most special days. To children, 100 is special since it is a landmark number and because they know the day will be filled with fun activities both in the classroom and by content specialists. In the Library Media Center, multiple classes came together to hear a read aloud about the a kindergarten class celebrating 100 and count out 100 edible items. Upper academy children scaffolded lower grades as scholars counted out 10 groups of 10.… Visit the author's original post

The 100th Day of School Celebration

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAScholars always look forward to special days and events and the 100th Day of School is one of the most special days. To children, 100 is special since it is a landmark number and because they know the day will be filled with fun activities both in the classroom and by content specialists. In the Library Media Center, multiple classes came together to hear a read aloud about the a kindergarten class celebrating 100 and count out 100 edible items. Upper academy children scaffolded lower grades as scholars counted out 10 groups of 10.… Visit the author's original post

Dr. Seuss, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Seuss

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In celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, several classes across all different grade levels listened to various Dr. Seuss stories. Children participated in accountable talk and made hats to look like the Cat in the Hat. Children then did a hands on activity of edible bracelets with licorice and fruit loops. Whoever knew that birthdays could be so much fun!!!

 


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Dr. Seuss, Dr. Seuss, Dr. Seuss

photo 1-1 photo 1-2 photo 2-2 photo 2 photo 3 Iphoto 4

In celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, several classes across all different grade levels listened to various Dr. Seuss stories. Children participated in accountable talk and made hats to look like the Cat in the Hat. Children then did a hands on activity of edible bracelets with licorice and fruit loops. Whoever knew that birthdays could be so much fun!!!

 


Visit the author's original post

Competing with the Gifted & Talented

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Ms. Lopez’s 4th grade class got a crack at Mystery Skype with a gifted and talented class. After taking turns asking several yes and no questions, P.S. 54 4th graders were able to determine that their challengers have a mild winter, borders the ocean as one of the 13 colonies, state name does not start with a vowel and has more than three syllables. Children worked as a team looking up information, writing questions for the speakers to ask and crossing off states that knew it could not be.… Visit the author's original post

Competing with the Gifted & Talented

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Ms. Lopez’s 4th grade class got a crack at Mystery Skype with a gifted and talented class. After taking turns asking several yes and no questions, P.S. 54 4th graders were able to determine that their challengers have a mild winter, borders the ocean as one of the 13 colonies, state name does not start with a vowel and has more than three syllables. Children worked as a team looking up information, writing questions for the speakers to ask and crossing off states that knew it could not be.… Visit the author's original post

Transmedia Storytelling

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Jason Ohler is an enthusiastic proponent of Digital Storytelling and Literacy. In 2005 Jason spent some time in Cork as part of a program called “Stories of Culture and Place” in association with the University of Alasks’s Geography Program. He helped pupils create stories with original artwork and then edit them into a production using a green screen (Chroma screen) environment. You can read about the process here on Jason’s own website.
Recently I read a quote from Jason about “Transmedia Storytelling”.… Visit the author's original post

Yoga = Literacy + Health Wellness in the School Library

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“What’s your favorite subject?” a child’s mother asked. “Library,” he told me he answered. “Library isn’t a class,” the mom promptly responded. “Oh, yes it is,” he answered. Oh, yes it it!!!

In the school library, I am able to teach research and information literacy skills. Students learn how to evaluate information and find resources. They begin to appreciate literature in new ways. Scholars are able to explore subjects they may have an interest in and expand their thinking. Several special education classes have been also able to learn how to relax, breathe calmly through difficult situations with other classmates or teachers that frustrate them and to let it roll right off.… Visit the author's original post

Julie Hembree: Adding Coding to Your Literacy Bag of Tricks

by Julie Hembree
Expert Educator Columnist, USA

I am a reader, a writer and an elementary school librarian. What I am not is a computer programmer or coder, or so I thought until recently. This fall when the wave of publicity increased about the Hour of Code, and National Computer Science week, I dismissed it. I simply didn’t think coding was anything I needed to teach during my library lessons, especially in elementary school. I have so much to teach in my weekly lessons already, why should I add more to my plate?… Visit the author's original post

App of the Week- Microsoft Flashcard and Mobile’s Role in Literacy

by Minnia Feng, MSEN Community Manager

“Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If our world is to meet the challenges of the 21st century we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens.”

Former President of the United States Bill Clinton made these remarks 20 years ago on International Literacy Day. The words were true then and are even truer now as the world faces more and more difficult challenges.

Teachers are a huge part of that initiative to bring literacy to all.… Visit the author's original post

My Spelling Words – Spelling lists like never before

Looking for an engaging way for students to learn their spelling? Want students to develop handwriting skills while using a device?  My Spelling Words is the app for you.  

The developers of the hugely popular app School Writing AU/NZ have just released their next app called My Spelling Words. This Australian developed app is all about making spelling lists engaging and educational at the same time.  

It takes the humble and tedious weekly spelling list and turns it into a digitally enhanced audio experience with handwriting at its core.

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