Wall to Wall 2.0
Learning tools, tips, and resources
Technology Tools for Educators
Remind - This tech tool is amazing...and free! This site provides one more way to connect school and home by having parents and students sign up for text alerts without having phone numbers! It supports instant communication and collaboration, allows you to schedule reminders in advance, and keeps parents/students up-to-date with any last minute changes. Did I mention it's free?
Seesaw Learning Journals - Consider this a tool for creating online Thoughtful Logs. This web-based app can be used by any student- really, any student! It provides a platform for students to independently document what they are learning at school via text, photos, drawings, and more. Teachers are able to provide instant feedback and use this tool to review progress made over time (what's more, teachers can share what they want with parents). And, to make life easy for our little ones, they are able to use a QR code sign in- no logins, passwords, emails, etc. required.
Looking for more innovative resources and solutions to better your classroom practices? Check out Edutopia!
The Differentiated Classroom
What does it look like...First, you decide on the "core" assignment or project that reflects the minimum level of understanding you expect all students to achieve. Then, you develop negotiables that fuel learning and expand upon the "core" assignment or project.
The benefit...Learning menus offer students a way to make decisions about what they will do to meet the learning targets or demonstrate mastery.
A "restaurant-style" menu (see below) is one of the most popular formats.
- A list of assignments or projects
- Students must pick a predetermined number of activities.
Main Dish (Core)
- An assignment or project that all students complete
- Must reflect what you want all students to know, understand, and do.
Side Dishes (Negotiables)
- A list of assignments or projects
- Optional (to demonstrate advanced learning)
Note: Appetizers can be used as tools for learning (and integrate the building upon of other skills such as the use of vocabulary), and side dishes could be used as assessments of learning (requiring students to demonstrate the depth of their learning).
The Meemic Foundation
Are you looking for some funds to support a new program or classroom project? Why not apply for grant? A new application period opens up January 1 and goes until March 31, and applying is now quick and simple using the Foundation's online tool.
Reading Strategy/Intervention of the Month
The Error Word Drill is an effective strategy to build reading vocabulary. The procedure consists of the following steps:
- When a student misreads a word during a reading session, write down the error word and date on a separate log.
- At the end of the reading session, write out all the error words onto separate index cards.
- Review the index cards with the student (keep in mind the 5 second rule for deciding if the word is correct or not).
- When the student misses a word, pronounce the word for the student and have the student repeat the word. Then say, "What word?" and direct the student to repeat the word once more. Place the card with the missed word at the bottom of the deck.
- Error words are presented until all they have been read correctly.
- ALL word cards are then reshuffled and presented again. The drill continues until time runs out or the student has progressed through the deck without an error on two consecutive cards.
Note: If the student misreads more than 20 different words, use the first 20 from your list. If the student has misread fewer than 20 words, consult your log and select additional words to build the review list to 20 words.
Math Strategy/Intervention of the Month
Implementing a math journal provides students an opportunity to "think about their thinking" and record it in a way that makes sense to them. Students can write, draw, and calculate in their math journal to solve problems, work through math processes, and explain their steps.
The benefit...You could differentiate journal assignments for your students. For example, you could ask open-ended questions for some of your students while asking more concrete questions based on the skills others are working to improve. Additionally, math journals are one of the best ways to integrate writing into your math class.
Behavior Strategy/Intervention of the Month
This is a classwide intervention that can be used to increase the frequency of expected behaviors by creating suspense and surprise. Here are the steps:
- Identify behaviors you want your students to work on.
- Brainstorm potential rewards. Place individual prizes in sealed envelopes.
- Create a MM calendar and identify MM days (start with a higher percentage until you see results). Cover the calendar days with a post-it note.
- Set a limit for the number of behavior incidents for a particular time period (i.e., less than 10 blurts during whole group math lesson).
- If the students meet the goal, uncover the post-it and reveal the day.
- If it is a MM day, open an envelope and announce the prize.