Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Going Digital with Video Book Reports

You might be looking for a book report refresh that gets the students' work off of paper and out into the world as an authentic publication. I was looking for just that recently when I assigned my fourth graders their historical fiction culminating independent reading book activity. This was their foot in the door to using iMovie on their iPads to produce book report videos.

Historical Fiction Video Book Report Examples

Historical Fiction Activity--Book Selection

Historical Fiction Book Requirement
Due Tuesday, April 4

Historical Fiction Book Activity Resources

1. Blank Story Map for Historical Fiction (to be done as homework)
2. Rose Blanche Story Map Example
2. Rose Blanche Book Report Script Example (to be done as homework in a Google Doc assigned through student's Google Classroom--the student will need to sign in)
3. Rose Blanche Book Report Poster Example (will be done in class) for classroom historical fiction timeline
4. Rose Blanche Book Report Video Example (will be done in class using the student's story map and script)

Call Me! Extra Credit Opportunity: One of the requirements for your historical fiction book activity is to practice reading your script so you can read it expressively and fluently. If you would like to read it to me once you have practiced, call me at (424) 262-0654, my Google Voice phone number, and read your script as a message. (Be sure to tell me who your are!) I will receive an audio recording  and a translation of your reading, and will be happy to listen to you read your script. Don’t wait to the last minute though, as you might have trouble getting through if everyone is calling on Monday night!

iMovie Instructions

iMovie Review

iMovie Publication

I publish student work to my professional YouTube channel through Google Apps for Education. You will want to make a folder to collect these videos. You can change the privacy settings so that only people with the link can view your students' videos.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Hour of Code is Coming...December 5-9

The Hour of Code takes place each year during Computer Science Education Week. The 2016 Computer Science Education Week will be December 5-11, but you can host an Hour of Code all year round. Computer Science Education Week is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906).

How to teach one Hour of Code:

Join the movement and introduce a group of students to their hour of computer science with these steps (if you are not able to fit this into your curriculum the week of December 5-9, it can be scheduled for anytime in the school year; the important thing is that all students get this Hour of Code exposure every year):

1)       Watch this how-to video

2)       Choose a tutorial for your hour:

Code.org provides a variety of fun, hour-long tutorials for students of all ages, created by a variety of partners.

·         Require minimal prep-time for teachers
·         Self-guided - allowing students to work at their own pace and skill-level

·         Are lesson plans that require some advance teacher preparation
·         Are categorized by grade level and by subject (eg Math, English, etc)


3. Videos to inspire students:

·         Why Most Schools Don’t Teach (5min)  
·         The Hour of Code is Here  (2:22min)     
·         Anybody Can Learn   (1:00min)

4. Teachers, share what you did here

Thursday, June 2, 2016

ReadWorks Digital: Add Digital Reading to Your Students' Comprehension Curriculum

ReadWorks.org has long been a favorite website of mine for finding quality, leveled, short reading passages by subject and topic with vocabulary and comprehension question sets that tie to the reading for grades K-12. ReadWorks is a nonprofit committed to supporting teachers in their use of research-based pedagogy and curriculum for reading comprehension. ReadWorks is free for teachers and is meant to be shared broadly.

Last week I was excited to see that the service ramped up their offering with ReadWorks Digital so it is now easier to assign students specific articles to be read on any internet-connected device. The beauty of the digital informational and fictional text is the ease of assignment selection,  student accessibility, and automatic scoring and access to results for both teacher and student. Watch this short video to learn more.

Class administration is easy. The teacher logs into the digital.readworks.org website, creates a class, and adds assignments to the class. Students can join the class using their Google Apps for Education account and a teacher access code. There is no need to upload student information in advance. Once logged in, the student has easy access to assignments. Articles can be assigned to selected students as a way to differentiate, or the class as a whole.

The teacher can search for passages by topic, subtopic, grade or Lexile, and/or type of text. Not only can teachers select passages to assign, but they can add articles to their list for future use.

If you want to try it out before committing to an account, ReadWorks invites you to use their guest login after accessing the website:
email: guest@readworks.org
Password: password123

Here is an example of the results of an article search under the topic of Skills and Strategies for 4th grade informational text.

The teacher can preview an article, vocabulary, and question sets before assigning.

There are choices when the teacher is assigning the article.

After students login to their student accounts, they will see the assignment.

Students will read, review vocabulary, and complete the questions. It is easy for students to toggle back and forth between the article and questions to reread or check for understanding.

Students will experience both multiple choice and short answer questions in their question set.

Once student have submitted their assignment, the teacher can access the students’ work under the Assignments dashboard.

The teacher will view the class results and grade any short answer passages the students answered.

Students can see their assignment results after the teacher has reviewed and graded any short answer questions.

An additional benefit of using ReadWorks Digital is increased student exposure to and experience with digital reading passages and questions similar to those they might find on state SBAC tests.  

I hope that teachers will give their students the opportunity to engage interactively with ReadWorks’ award-winning, research-based, reading comprehension articles and curriculum as they begin planning for a new school year.