Monday, October 24, 2016

This week--Literacy Night at Warner

Hello, parents and others,

I've been working apace on several projects, in addition of course to delivering technology-centered classes for all our K-4 children.

Last week, the 4th graders started their first PowerPoints, beginning with a stock template called "All About Me." The children opened a folder on their lab computer desktop called "LANSchool files" which contains the template, then started by typing the byline on the first page, then discovered the "Save As" command to save their creation in the same folder with their own name as its filename. They then continued to enter several facts on two slides, then saved it again. This week, we'll be opening Paint and creating cartoon self-portraits that we can use in the developing document.

Kindergartners counted birthday candles and matched them with numerals at abcya.com's "Kindergarten Counting."

1st and 2nd graders worked on abcya.com's "Learning Coins" activity, in part because we identified the need for more coin literacy during testing this past month, while 3rd graders chose any reading activity at Starfall.com's "Learn to Read" or "I'm Reading." Allowing and encouraging scaffolded choice both empowers students and allows for differentiated instruction/support.

Speaking of literacy, please bring your Halloween-costumed child(ren) to our first ever Literacy Night, Thursday from 6pm to 7:30pm hear at Warner, beginning in the Auditorium. Parents will have the opportunity to investigate our plans for improving reading levels this year at every grade level.

In the computer lab, Ms. Sadler and I have combined our two small groups to make one group of 15, and we have been experiencing reading-specific games at Funbrain.com. for the approximately 45 minute block, students do one long block of those games, choosing and playing, then we take a whole class movement break at gonoodle.com and then go deep with audio-visual book readings by Screen Actors Guild actors and children at storytime.com. It's uncanny the way the room hushes as children become literally immersed in these readings, supported by closed-captioning so that they can read along. In the works for all children at Warner, a school-wide pilot of ReadingPlus, which I actually won last summer at the ISTE conference. See http://iste.com/conference for more information on that conference, and http://readingplus.com for more on this fantastic opportunity to make great strides in our children's reading proficiency.

It's all at http://tizmos.com/scottmerrick/Reading .