Saturday, December 31, 2011

5 basics for using Facebook in the classroom

Providing opportunities for constructed response is embedded in the facebook format.  Here is a way to use the motivation involved with the facebook format.

There are five fundamentals that educators need to know when incorporating Facebook into classroom lessons, says Linda Fogg-Phillips, Facebook's adviser on education. Among them, teachers should be sure to use the site's privacy settings to control the information they share, realizing that some information, such as name, city and "likes," is never private, she writes. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/SchoolBook blog (12/22) LinkedInFacebook

Monday, December 26, 2011

Voice Thread Offers Opportunities Across the Curriculum!

In the recent ASCD article, Tech for Teachers - Digital Storytelling Meets a Variety of Instructional Needs, author Jason T. Bedell, presents a argument for using voice thread in all content areas.  His ideas are cutting edge - allowing for deeper comprehension, individual, group, whole class instruction - and more importantly, differentiation.  Here are a few quotes from his article.

"However, there are some tools and techniques that transcend grade level and content areas. Digital storytelling is one of them.
Although this may not be obvious at first, stories pervade every content area. They are easiest to see in language arts, where stories and later novels are common resources. However, social studies could be seen as the stories of people's lives through history and within different cultures. Math could be seen as the story of numbers: how to make sense of them and how they fit into our lives. And biology tells the stories of changes in animal and plant life over time, whether measured in the life of one organism or in aeons for whole species.

What's in a Digital Story?
A digital story is any story told through a digital medium and for which text is not the only means of presenting the information. Often digital stories include pictures, film clips, artwork, music, or narration.

VoiceThread is one of the best tools for digital storytelling available.
Students use pictures, audio, and annotation to tell their VoiceThread stories. "

For the complete article, go to ASCD volume 7, December 22, 2011.
Voice Thread is free.  Take a look and see how easy it is to use and how it will help your students:}
Here are further resources for learning to use Voice Thread.

Power point presentation on the use of the application
School blog and uses
 Brief and concise use by educators with links for specific, useful information

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Use this link (or the link at the bottom of this e-mail) to access this month's writing and notebook lesson of the month:

This whole winter, we will be celebrating  Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) at WritingFix and at our Lesson of the Month Ning.  The Common Core State Standards has a WAC component to it that we hope all teachers see an obvious value in strengthening in their schools and own personal practices; when students write more about math, science, and history content, they are more likely to learn about those content areas at a deeper level.  At WritingFix, we really aim to design the WAC lessons to be ones that students will truly enjoy writing for, because writing about math, science, history, and other content areas doesn't have to only produce dry, uninteresting samples of writing from your kids. 

Our two posted lessons this December focus on Writing Across the Curriculum with history and with science content.  We hope you enjoy them.  Don't forget that the NNWP also sponsors NumberFix, which features meaningful writing ideas and lessons for math class!

Enjoy this crazy month with your children before Winter Break begins.  Keep teaching writing from both your heart and your head! 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lessons beyond writing are found as students pen personal letters

Letters are often a easy way for students to write - similar in voice and format to notes and texting!  This article is well worth the read:}

Former teacher and instructional coach Elena Aguilar describes a project in which students practice writing by penning personal letters that may never be read to relatives or other important people in their lives. 

In addition to helping struggling writers, the letters give students an outlet for unexpressed feelings, and when shared with classmates, allow new communities to be formed among students who have more in common than they had realized. Aguilar's blog