Literacy and Technology News

2nd Trimester - March 2016

Technology News

Keeping Kids Safe in the 21st Century

According to a recent Common Sense Media report, 75% of children 8 or younger have access to mobile devices at home. Of those children uses mobile devices:
  • 63% use them for playing games
  • 50% use apps, 47% watch videos
  • 38% watch TV/movies
  • 30% read books on their devices.
In 2011, these numbers were a fraction of what they are today. Technology and digital media are great ways for children to access educational materials, but many children are using these tools for socializing as well. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snap Chat, and Multiplayer Minecraft are just some of the ways students are communicating with others online. Many kids begin by using these websites and video games to connect with their friends and family members, but can easily get connected to people they might not be interested in talking to.

Here are some tips for increasing security and privacy when your child is using the internet or a mobile device:
  • Check-in with your child often when they are using their devices.
  • Set "screen time" guidelines and collect devices before bedtime.
  • Check app and website ratings on Common Sense Media before making purchases.
  • Monitor who your child follows on sites like Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube.
  • Enable parental control settings on YouTube to filter video content.
  • Set your child's social media accounts to private, so unknown users cannot view their information.
  • Turn off location sharing settings in apps.
  • Disable in-app purchases.
  • Block "chat" features in video games like Minecraft (or find a child friendly server)
  • When purchasing free apps that have ads, check the ads that are showing up before allowing your child to use the app.
  • Talk to your children about who they are talking to online- anyone can pretend to be someone else on the internet.
  • Pay attention to your child's mood when they are using their devices. Talk to your child and watch for signs of cyberbullying.
Following these tips should help you keep your child safe online. (Common Sense Media 2016)

For more tips and tools for keeping your children safe online, check out the following resources:

Read Across America

Schools across the country just celebrated Theodor Geisel's birthday during Read Across America Week. Students at PASD joined the celebration by reading and listening to Dr. Seuss books on the iPads. We used QR code technology to easily access SafeShare videos of Theodor Geisel's wonderful books. You can access the books at home with your child now, too- using any smartphone or tablet, download a free QR scanner app, then scan the Dr. Seuss QR Codes to get started! If you are using a laptop, use the following web address: (case-sensitive).

You can also access the videos by scanning the QR code beside the Cat in the Hat. Happy Reading!

Literacy News

Be a Reading Role Model

Being a good reading role model is a great way to help children become better readers. shares several ways parents and teachers can set an example of

a reader for kids.

* Surround yourself with reading material (books, magazines, etc.)

* Draw attention to things you have learned from reading

* Visit the library together

* Talk about what you’re reading

* Read for fun – show that reading isn’t always work

* Bring something to read with you when you go places

Reading Aloud to Children

- Kelly Kline and Rosemary Sargent (Forge Road Reading Specialists)

We read to children for all the same reasons we talk with children:

* to reassure

* to entertain

* to bond

* to inform or explain

* to arouse curiosity

* to inspire

But in reading aloud we also –

* condition the child’s brain to associate reading with pleasure

* create background knowledge

* build vocabulary

* provide a reading model

* develop listening comprehension

* help to develop longer attention spans

It is also important to know that children can listen to books two or more years/grades beyond their reading level.

Scholastic Book Wizard

Scholastic Book Wizard website allows people to search for books that are similar to a specific title. This is great for kids that like a particular series or book. You can also get lists of books that are at certain grade, reading, and interest levels or on a specific topic. Take a look!
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Holiday Reading Bingo

680 elementary students completed holiday reading bingo cards during the winter break! Thanks to all who participated. We hope you had fun reading and writing!

Summer 2016 Enrichment Options

We are excited to offer several summer enrichment options for elementary students! Various options will be available for any elementary student interested in participating. For all activities competed, students will be given raffle tickets to be entered in a drawing to win small prizes. All students who participate will be recognized in the fall. A flyer with more information will be sent home in April.