Literacy and Technology News

February 2016


Expand Your "Listen to Reading" Library

Earlier this year, I wrote a newsletter article about creating QR codes for "listen to reading". The QR codes are an excellent way to convert the audio files for the books you already have in your library. But, what if you are looking to increase your "listen to reading" library? Tumbleboks is the answer! Tumblebooks is an online collection of read-along eBooks, National Geographic videos, books for language learners, non-fiction books, and lessons for teachers. As students listen/read each story, the words are highlighted as they are being read aloud. Each book also includes a short comprehension quiz that students can take to assess themselves.

Tumblebooks subscriptions range in cost from $600-$800, but can be accessed for free through the Bloomsburg Public Library. Tumblebooks Cloud junior (for upper elementary students) can be access through the James V. Brown Library. A shortcut can also be added to the iPad for quick and easy access. Please send me an email if you want some assistance putting this on your classroom iPads.

Green Screening with "Doink"

- Jess Miller

Ever wonder how the broadcast meteorologists on TV get those weather maps behind them? They use green screen technology! Your students can use the same technology (with the Doink App) to create videos demonstrating their understanding of various concepts. Creating a green screen is as simple as hanging green butcher paper up on the wall, or using puppets and a green-painted pizza box. Don't have time to create the green screens? I have them already! Here are some ways you can use Doink and a green screen with your students:
  • Research presentations (animals, biographies, places)
  • Book reports
  • Story retelling
  • Character traits
  • Retelling from a specific character's point of view
  • Persuasive writing commercials
  • Informative writing presentations
  • Narrative writing- plays
  • Holiday projects (news reporters)- President's Day, Groundhog Day, Earth Day
  • Math problem tutorials

Make sure you check out the Pizza Box Green Screen and the "Doink" video below. Please contact me if you'd like me to come into your classroom and do a few lessons with the green screen!

Easy-to-Use Green Screen by DoInk App Enables Creation of Green Screen Effects on iPhone and iPad

January Technology Stars

Alex Bartlett

Alex is a 5th grade teacher at Forge Road Elementary. Alex is always looking for ways to make learning fun for her students. Recently, her students learned how to use S'more to create digital book report flyers. The students had to create a flyer on their specific book group book. It had to include a short summary, character reviews, opinion piece, and and editorial. Check out the S'more project rubric/example here. Alex, great job enhancing "traditional" assignments with technology to increase student learning and creativity!

Kelly Strada

Kelly is a 3rd grade teacher at Lingle Avenue Elementary. Before coming to Palmyra, Kelly taught 1st grade in North Carolina. Kelly has definitely "taken the bull by the horns" when it comes to technology this year. Her students are now documenting their learning with the Seesaw app, completing reading group assignments with Google Classroom, and creating educational videos with Doceri. Recently, they even used the green screen and the Doink App to retell their weekly Journey's story. Kelly, I know your students love using technology in the classroom- keep up the good work!


Get the Story on S.T.O.R.Y.

- Lindsey Walters

Help your students understand a text's plot in grades K-5! Students can use the S.T.O.R.Y. mnemonic device and graphic symbols for:

-primary fiction story retelling

-summary writing

-understanding "the gist" of their first read

-coding and annotating text

Read the full blog entry and discover how you can implement this strategy right away! ​

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Lancaster/Lebanon Reading Council Presents Debbie Diller!

Lancaster/Lebanon Reading Council is bringing Debbie Diller to Lancaster on February 11th! She is author and national consultant from Houston, Texas. Her work has to do with realistic ways to meet the literacy needs of all students. She focuses on helping teachers provide meaningful independent practice for children and how to effectively teach small groups in reading.

Date: February 11th, 2016

Time: 5:00-8:00

Location: Eden Resort Inn - 222 Eden Road - Lancaster

Cost: $25 for LLRC Members/$30 for Non-Members

Interested in attending? Please see the flyer below for more information.

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PSSA Released Items

PDE has new released items for 2015-2016 on their website. All new released items for math, ELA, and science have been downloaded and added to Google Drive.

The ELA released items have three of the same passages and question sets from last year's released items and one new passage and question set.

Feel free to take a look - anyone can assess using this link to Google Drive. You may want to add it to your drive to you have them when you need them! You can also find the new released items on PDE's website.

Read Across America Day

Read Across America Day is coming up! The National Education Association’s Read Across America celebration is scheduled for March 2nd. This special day promotes reading, especially among children and young adults, across the country as well as honoring

the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Take a look at NEA’s website for ideas and resources to help plan your celebration!



Phillies Reading Program

The Philadelphia Phillies are sponsoring a reading program for students in kindergarten-8th grade. The program encourages students to read 15 minutes daily. Participating classrooms could win a visit from the Phillie Phanatic.

Email or click here for more information or to sign up.

Hershey Bears Roaring to Read Program

The Hershey Bears are offering a reading incentive program for students in kindergarten-5th grade. Students receive a complementary ticket to a Hershey Bears game when they meet their reading goal. More information can be found here.

Harrisburg Senators Hit the Books Program

Harrisburg Senators are offering a hit the books program this year. Interested teachers will receive bookmarks for their students. Students are asked to read four books and fill in their bookmarks. The completed bookmarks can be used as a voucher for one of the designated Hit the Books night at the Ballpark. The bookmark also grants access to a pre-game ceremony on the field as well. More information can be found here!

Ideas Needed!

Ideas needed! Do you have a strategy or activity that you would be willing to share? Send an email to Abbie, KK, or Jess and we will include it in the newsletter!


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* 2/5: Journeys Benchmark #3 data due (Grades 3-5)

* 2/5: Informational Writing scores due to Data Blender (Grade 3)

* 2/5: Opinion Writing scores due to Data Blender (Grade 4)

* 2/15: Informational Writing scores due to Data Blender (Grade 2)

* 2/26: DRA (Independent and Instructional scores due to Data Blender (Grades 1-5)

* 2/27: Letter ID (K)

* 3/1: Informative Writing scores due to Data Blender (K/Grade 1)

* 3/8-3/18: Study Island Reading and Math (Grades 3-5)

* 4/1: Journeys Benchmark #4 data due (Grades 3-5)

* 4/1: Opinion Writing scores due to Data Blender (Grade 3)

* 4/11-4/15: ELA PSSA (Grades 3-8)

* 4/15: Opinion Writing scores due to Data Blender (Grades 1-2)

* 4/18-4/22: Math PSSA (Grades 3-8)