February 5, 2016
Digital Tools for Inclusivity
As we know, increasing student engagement, especially in literacy, is our primary goal for the year. We are measuring this through a variety of authentic tools, including instructional walks, student surveys and interim assessments. One way to increase engagement is through the integration of technology within instruction.
In the current edition of Literacy Today (International Literacy Association), Detra Price-Dennis and Sarah Schlessinger highlight technology that "invites all members of the classroom to participate". These resources can allow for collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking to take place within teacher instruction & student work. Here are three categories of tools to consider:
Tools for collaborative learning (to learn from and with each other):
Google Docs: Students work on the same document and comment on each other's work.
Padlet: Students add images, video, text, links, etc. simultaneously to this digital corkboard.
Voicethread: Create presentations with a team and add narration to the multimedia.
Coggle: Make mind maps online with the teacher and peers.
Glogster: Create digital posters that can include text, video, audio, photos, and video.
iMovie: This video-editing iPad app allows students to create movies or book trailers.
Storybird: A story-writing site that gives students access to professional illustrations.
Educreations: Students can draw and narrate on a topic of their choice. (image below)
Read&Write: Use this set of tools for speech-to-text, text-to-speech, and word prediction.
Newsela: A database of current news articles written at a range of reading levels.
Readability: This app removes the web ads and images for an easier reading experience.
Nearpod: A platform that allows teachers to input content for students to interact with.
- How can I naturalize the use of digital tools?
- Is this tool necessary and beneficial?
- How does this tool help to develop fluency and analytical skills?
- How does this tool position my students as producers of knowledge?
They also end their piece by noting that "apps cannot do all the work. Good teaching is always key." If you do try out one of these tools out or would like some support setting it up within your classroom instruction, let me know!
Copyright-Free Digital Images
The state's Quality Education Initiative has over 11,000 copyright-free digital images available to students and teachers. Click here to access the database. These images were taken and catalogued by Wisconsin educators and students. They might be useful for your future projects and instructional planning.
Boys and Girls Club Mentor
Katie Getzloff has been working with fifteen of our students that attend Boys and Girls Club before and/or after school. You may recognize her; she is a former Howe student herself! If Katie is working with one of your students, she will be stopping by in the near future to ask how she can support him or her at the club and here.
PBIS Data Wall
Updated graphs of office discipline referrals are posted in the office copy room. The image above is our average referrals per day from the past three years. As you can see, the rate of referrals are down compared to last year. These results may be attributed to positive reinforcement, common language among staff, and highly engaging instruction!