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Posts Tagged ‘literacy’

April 26 Webinar – Digital Tools for Improving Listening and Speaking Skills

April 23rd, 2012 No comments
Two girls with a tin can phone.

CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Florian SEROUSSI (Flickr)

“To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation,” said François de La Rochefoucauld. In our constantly connected society, some worry that we are losing our ability to communicate well through face-to-face discourse. While most of us recognize listening and speaking as fundamental literacy skills, sometimes these skills are given short shrift in our classrooms and are overlooked in favor of reading and writing.

In this week’s webinar, we will explore ways to use digital tools to give students experiences that will improve their listening and speaking skills and help them meet the Common Core State Standards for speaking and listening. We will take a close look at the CCSS to identify which skills are addressed, and we will share some ideas for using software and web tools to give students opportunities to practice and improve these skills. While the CCSS focus primarily on the skills needed for classroom discussions and presentations, we will also explore some digital resources we can use to help students learn to listen for information and enjoyment and gain confidence in speaking for an audience.

By the way, April is National Poetry Month and April 26 is Poem in Your Pocket Day, so don’t be surprised if we spend some time Thursday practicing our listening and speaking skills with some favorite poems.

I hope you can join us on Thursday, April 26 at 3:15 or 7:15. Please click on the Webcasts tab to register. We have upgraded to a new registration system, allowing you to register directly in Adobe Connect, making the whole webinar process smoother and easier! If you have any questions, please contact Juanita Dickson. Click on the time you wish to participate in and you will be directed to an online registration form.  Please type your email address carefully as all information will be sent to that address. After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a log in link – please use that link to log into the webinar prior to the start time.

March 15 Webinar – Using Social Media to Enhance Writing Skills

March 13th, 2012 3 comments
A collection of buttons with various social media icons

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Kexino

“Beware the Ides of March,” said the soothsayer in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, but in today’s world he would likely have tweeted that warning or written it on Caesar’s FaceBook wall. There’s no need for you to be wary of the Ides of March this year because that’s when we will present a webinar about how students can use social media to improve their writing.

In past webinars we have taken a close look at the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, focusing on the standards for reading literary and informational text. This week we will explore the writing standards paying particular attention to digital writing. Many of you have participated in past webinars on the writing process from the 2009 – 2010 school year and have a good overview of how our MLTI devices support all stages of the writing process. If you need a refresher, you can find links to all those webinar recordings on our archives page.

In this session we will look specifically at social media and how educators can help students become better writers and meet the writing standards through the participatory web. We’ll look at the opportunities social media provide for writing different types of texts for different purposes, for publishing to various audiences, and for conducting research.

Please join us Thursday, March 15 at 3:15 or 7:15. Please click on the Webcasts tab to register. We have upgraded to a new registration system, allowing you to register directly in Adobe Connect, making the whole webinar process smoother and easier! If you have any questions, please contact Juanita Dickson. Click on the time you wish to participate in and you will be directed to an online registration form. Please type your email address carefully as all information will be sent to that address. After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a log in link – please use that link to log into the webinar prior to the start time.

February 16 Webinar: Ever-Evolving Science Standards

February 11th, 2012 3 comments
Cover conceptual Framework for Science Education

National Academies Press: Conceptual Framework for Science Education

Science teachers are guided by the Maine Learning Results, AAAS Benchmarks, and the National Science Education Standards. But, in many cases, they deal with just the standards, and not the reasoning behind the standards. By utilizing the full texts and the Strand Map of Science literacy, participants will be able to look at the relationships among the specific standards they are using and how they relate to the standards for the other grades and content areas. The Strand Map also gives reference to textual and web-based resources related to various standards, and includes information about student conceptual problems. Participants will be able to access the Maine Learning Results, AAAS Benchmarks, and the National Science Education Standards, and the Strand Map online, as well as the recently released A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Participants will be able to use the web-based Strand Map of Science Literacy (based on the 2 volume Atlas of Science Literacy) to inform their science teaching through the Maine Learning Results, AAAS Benchmarks, and the National Science Education Standards. We will also examine web-based resources related to science education standards.

You can access the recordings for both sessions from Thursday, February 16 at 3:15pm or 7:15pm.   When you look at the schedule, you will see the correct date and times. Click on the time you wish to view and you will be linked to the recording. You can stop and start it as you would a movie.  If you have any questions, please contact Juanita Dickson.

Slideshow from Standards Webinar

Maine DOE SciTech Framework Blog

This is a link to the NDSL Strand Map for Science Literacy

Here are resources that were referenced in the webinar – You can read them on the web for free.

Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A guide for teaching and learning

National Science Education Standards.

Project 2061: Science for all Americans.

Maine Learning Results (Science and Technology)

Benchmarks for Science Literacy

How People Learn

How Students Learn Science in the Classroom

Ready, Set, Science!

Taking Science to School

A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas

 

 

February 2 Webinar – Strategies for Reading Digital Text

February 1st, 2012 1 comment

As we discussed in our webinar on January 5, many schools in Maine are beginning to study and unpack the Common Core State Standards and are taking preliminary steps to align their curriculum. The English Language Arts standards are of particular interest to most teachers because they include literacy standards for other content areas. In the January 5 webinar we began a discussion of the reading standards, how the CCSS defines text complexity, and the prevalence of digital text in our MLTI classrooms where much of the reading students do is from a screen. We then explored ways teachers can find and evaluate online reading material and collect it into digital anthologies that will give students experiences with close reading of both literary and informational text. If you missed this webinar, you can find links to the recordings of the 3:15 and 7:15 sessions on our Webcasts Archives page.

a laptop computer held sideways to look like a book

CC BY-NC 2.0 by Ken-ichi (Flickr)

In this week’s webinar, we will begin to look at the CCSS for English Language Arts & Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects, Grades 6-12. We will start with the reading standards and take a close look at how our technology supports students in achieving those standards, and we will investigate some strategies students can use in close reading of digital text. We will explore and demonstrate how software tools on the MLTI devices and online tools can be used before, during, and after reading to help students connect with, interpret, and use the text they are reading. Some tools we will look at include online surveys for anticipation guides, markup tools in Preview and NoteShare for annotating text, OmniGraffle for creating graphic organizers, and much more.

I hope you can join us on Thursday, February 2 at 3:15 or 7:15. Please click on the Webcasts tab to register. We have upgraded to a new registration system, allowing you to register directly in Adobe Connect, making the whole webinar process smoother and easier! If you have any questions, please contact Juanita Dickson. Click on the time you wish to participate in and you will be directed to an online registration form.  Please type your email address carefully as all information will be sent to that address. After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a log in link – please use that link to log into the webinar prior to the start time.

Categories: Common Core Tags: , , ,

January 5 Webinar – Finding and Collecting Digital Text

January 3rd, 2012 No comments
Open book with flash drive

CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Beppie K

If you are an ELA teacher, you have probably already begun to study the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts. You may also have suggested that your colleagues in other content areas check out the standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects. In the coming months, we’ll be offering a series of webinars where we will take a close look at the CCSS for ELA 6-12 and discuss how our MLTI devices can support our students as they strive to meet those standards.

We will begin by looking at the reading standards for literature and informational text. In our January 5 webinar, we will discuss text complexity as outlined in Appendix A of the CCSS for ELA and share ideas for finding and collecting text on the internet that can provide the resources for reading experiences that our students must have in order to meet the standards. Many middle and high school teachers are finding that their reading programs include a lot of literature but not enough informational text. Fortunately we have the tools we need to collect text that we have determined is appropriately complex for our students. This text can be gathered into digital anthologies that are customized for our students, unlike the expensive, one-size-fits-all print text books that we used in the past.

Join us on Thursday, January 5th at 3:15 pm. or 7:15 pm. and learn how to create reading anthologies for your students. To register, click on the Webcasts tab above to view our winter-spring webinar calendar and find links to the registration pages. Please note that we have a new registration process that is required for entering our webinar rooms.

March 31 Webinar Notes: Vocabulary

April 2nd, 2011 1 comment
Scrabble game

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by dangerismycat

I hope everyone who attended Thursday’s webinars learned one or two new things about vocabulary instruction and can try out some of those ideas with students. Special thanks to Jill Spencer for adding her expertise to the sessions. Don’t forget to check out Jill’s two books, Everyone’s Invited and Teaming Rocks! Both books are published by the National Middle School Association and each has a chapter about vocabulary.

In the first part of the webinar, we talked about books, articles, and research Jill and I have read on the subject of vocabulary instruction and shared some of the practices we gleaned from that reading. Perhaps the most important idea is that the way we traditionally have taught vocabulary just doesn’t work. Students need more than dictionary definitions and memorization to learn new words. We also learned that wide and varied reading helps students expand their vocabularies but it’s not enough. Explicit instruction is necessary including these elements:

  • Making connections
  • Constructed definitions
  • Word Analysis
  • Repeated exposure and use
  • Discussions
  • Nonlinguistic representations
  • Word play

We looked at ways the applications on the MLTI MacBook as well as some online resources and tools can support vocabulary instruction. Please visit the recorded archives (mouse over the Webcasts tab above and click on Archives) to view these demonstrations and to download a copy of the slides with all the linked resources and the Bento template for creating a database for word study. If you use that template with your students, let us know how it goes and share any ideas you have for revising and improving it.

The chat pod was very busy, especially in the evening session, and participants shared a lot of great ideas for vocabulary study. I’ll list some of them here, but be sure to check out the recordings for more details:

  • http://wordsmith.org/awad/ will send the word of the day to your email.
  • Use wikis to collect words and images related to a unit.
  • Have students use text-to-speech when they come upon an unfamiliar word, combined with control-command-D for the pop up dictionary.
  • Becca’s “War of the Words” game where students compete to “own” the most words.
  • Word Ladder Wednesday with Tim Rasinski’s books
  • Have students create symbols, graphics, or pictures for new words.
  • Ask questions in book conferences that incorporate new words
  • Have students keep a running list of words they encounter that have the root or affix that is being studied.
  • Team members support each other and agree on root words to teach in all content areas.
  • Math word of the week and “Big Dog Word of the Day”
  • Use Frayer model for big concept words (sometimes with interactive white board)
  • Vocab words on exit slips
  • Two online tools for stickies: http://en.linoit.com/ and http://www.wallwisher.com/
  • The “I have… Who has…” activity based on this math activity
  • Vocaroo for voice recordings

Some books that Jill and I have read and referred to in this session include:

  • Allen, J. (2007). Inside words: Tools for teaching academic vocabulary, grades 4-12. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.
  • Allen, J. (1999). Words, words, words: Teaching vocabulary in grades 4-12. Portland, ME: Stenhouse Publishers.
  • Beck, I., McKeown, M., & Kucan, L. (2002). Robust vocabulary instruction: Bringing words to life. NY: Guilford Press.
  • Benjamin, A., & Crow, J. T. (2009). Vocabulary at the Center. Larchmont, NY: Eye on Education.
  • Graves, M. (Ed.) (2009). Essential readings on vocabulary instruction. Newark, DE: International Reading Association.
  • Marzano, R. J. (2004). Building background knowledge for academic achievement: Research on what works in schools. Alexandra, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

And finally, Tim Hart sent me some additional sites for word play and word games that your students will enjoy. Thanks, Tim!

March 31 Webinar – Vocabulary: There’s a Word for That!

March 29th, 2011 4 comments
dictionary page with magnifying glass

CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 by chrisjohnbeckett

Every teacher, at any grade level or in any content area, faces the challenge of teaching vocabulary. The traditional practice of having students look up the word, copy the dictionary definition, use the word in a sentence, and then memorize it for a test has been proven ineffective. How can we help our students truly expand both their receptive and productive vocabularies?

In this webinar we will examine some of the research on best practices for vocabulary instruction as we explore how we can use some applications on the MLTI MacBook as well as some online resources to help our students learn new words, make strong connections, and retain the vocabulary they need for academic success.

My special guest for this webinar is Jill Spencer, author of Everyone’s Invited and Teaming Rocks! Jill is a veteran middle level educator, consultant, and presenter with extensive knowledge of literacy instruction and issues. We’ll be discussing some of her experiences and creative ideas for teaching vocabulary.

Please join us Thursday at 3:15 PM or 7:15 PM. To register, click on the Webcasts tab at the top of this page.

WatchMECreate Challenge #2 – WatchMERead

January 17th, 2011 No comments

Several years ago I did some tutoring for Literacy Volunteers of Maine. The student assigned to me was a man in his 30s who had dropped out of school in 9th grade and had limited reading and writing skills. He asked for a tutor because he was involved in litigation and could not read the legal papers his attorney was sending him. As I worked with him for the next few years, I was struck by how intelligent he was but how his low literacy level limited his choices in life. He had never had a checking account because he did not know how to read or write number words. He was trying to start an auto repair business but he had difficulty reading the repair manuals and writing invoices. He could not get a job working for someone else because he could not fill out an application or write a resume. One of his goals was to get his motorcycle license, but he was afraid of the written test and did not want to request a reader as he had done to get his driver’s license. Over the course of our time together he gained some basic skills and he did open a checking account, create a resume, and get a job in a garage, but I couldn’t help wondering how his life would have been different if he had learned to read earlier.

NASA Technicians Reading

NASA photo: Technicians read a manual on the Payload Ground-Handling Mechanism hook instrumentation unit.

As educators we are well aware of the importance of reading in all aspects of our lives, but how aware are our students? The current challenge at WatchMeCreate is designed to inspire students to investigate the importance of reading in our society and answer this question: “What would it take so that everyone, when asked, ‘Are you a reader?’ would say, ‘Of course I am…’?”  Student teams will, as with the earlier challenge, produce a short video (no longer than two minutes) that presents their response to this question. The deadline for submission to the WatchMERead challenge is February 18.

Almost every school in Maine has some kind of literacy initiative in place where teachers ask themselves this same question – “What will it take?” Maybe now it’s time to ask the students.

Here are some resources that you can share with your students to get them started.

November 18 Webinar: Using Technology to Enhance Literacy (TPCK/SAMR In Action)

November 16th, 2010 2 comments

Achieving high levels of student literacy stands out as a top concern for schools throughout the state of Maine. We will see how coupling 21st-Century approaches to literacy to the TPCK/SAMR models used by the MLTI, and to the tools on the laptops, provides us with a uniquely powerful recipe for success. As part of this webinar, we will look at concrete examples that teachers can use in their classrooms right away.

This webinar will be of special relevance to Language Arts teachers; however, since literacy is a concern that transcends disciplinary boundaries, we also recommend it for all other subject areas.