Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Talk, Read, Talk, Write with Tablets!

As told by Lillian Pope, Elementary School North, Third Grade

Our campus has spent time creating a culture of reading in all content areas. One approach we are trying to become really good at is Talk, Read, Talk, Write (TRTW). I can’t even begin to describe the impact this process has when it becomes a part of your instructional routine! The great thing is that Nancy Motley, the brain behind this method, will be here this summer to provide training on this gift to literacy instruction!

One of the steps in TRTW is Talk #2 which happens after the kids have read the text. The talk in this step is focused on processing the text and preparing the kids for the Write component. I have made a habit of providing questions and stems for students to use as a guide. I started talking with some coworkers and they mentioned the use of QR codes! The light bulb went off and I decided to create QR codes with the questions and stems that I wanted the students to use to help them process the text. Let me tell you that engagement is through the roof! What’s even better is that I've embedded some reminders in the QR codes that deal with management and motivation!

So here’s the best part, aside from my kiddos heightened ability to think through texts…all of my tablets already have a QR reader as one of the apps! They just came that way! Now you don’t have to be an expert on TRTW to use QR codes in the classroom. You don’t even have to know how to make your own codes. All you really need to be able to do is Google it! I have found so many sources for QR codes. We've used some to research Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson and even Dr. Seuss!

For more info on the Talk, Read, Talk, Write training, scan away!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tablets, Audio Recorder and Small Groups

As told by Kelly Koonce, Barbers Hill Elementary North, Third Grade

It is around this time of year that I begin to utilize stations more frequently in my classroom. With students working in stations around the room, they are more actively engaged and it allows me the freedom to work with individual students or small groups as needed. Although I love having the time with my small groups, I sometimes wished  I could still “teach” to the students who are participating in stations away from me. The Audio Recorder app lets me do just that!

With the audio recorder, I can record myself for a short period of time and send the recording out to my tablets for the students to listen to. I can record myself giving directions for a station so the students can have a reminder if needed or I can record an actual short lesson that the kids listen to and follow along with. I can also use this app to create my own books on “tape” for the students to read along with.  The versatility is great!

This app actually gives me the capability to be in two places at once!