Tag: reading

Book Love



Book Love by Penny Kittle shares stories on how readers develop depth, stamina and passion. Though written with adolescents in mind, the message is absolutely appropriate for elementary age. She states that the path to difficult reading begins with books that students enjoy. To build capacity for reading requires practice and lots of it to build stamina. This reminds me of exercise. Anyone who’s tried distance running can attest to the need of gradually increasing exercise over time. Building stamina to get over that hill and then add another hill the following week takes energy and committed focus.

Kittle does a great job of offering strategies integrated into the day to achieve the desired effect – passion for reading.  A great read for those who are interested in supporting the reading process.

Access Raz-Kids Through iPad

razkidsSome news that I’ve been waiting for from Learning A-Z, which will offer increased flexibility – Raz-Kids has launched their app for ipad!  Students can now access our Raz-Kids accounts from the ipad.  You should use a headset [the speaker jack from your headset goes into the jack on the top of the ipad].  The recordings can be done with the ipad mic, rather than the mic attached to the headset.  However, consider using the program in a quiet spot as sound will travel. Our test run produced very good results.  What was interesting – it was still easier for teachers to manage activities and report documentation through the computer.   More information on the program can be found on our site – click here.

If you are interested in accessing Raz-Kids, please email our Learning Technologies team.   If you have previous experience with Raz-Kids and would like to be a part of our journey in supporting students in Tier 1-2, please apply here.

Communicating – the Art of Presentation

Consider the many times you present an idea, or tell a story.



Haiku Deck on the iPad, takes the art of presenting to a whole new level.  Take an idea or a message; synthesize it to a few words that represent the deep understandings.   Haiku Deck will use the words to locate images from Creative Commons that match the concept you are trying to say.  Or you can choose to insert your own pictures, photos, and charts.   Sharing the result can be via a projector or capture the image and send it somewhere (camera roll, email…)

How would I use this? 

What intrigues me is the coordinated way that a few well chosen terms can connect with very specific images to communicate a powerful idea.  If you’ve always used PowerPoint as your ‘go to’, consider making your presentations or messages stand out with this app. Use it to engage in Literature Circle responses, poetry, writing workshop,  social studies history segment, news promotion or poster creations.  Provide time for students to grapple with their ideas. Discussion will result in deeper themes and word phrases, which in turn generate other images.   I made this one – where do you imagine the conversation will lead?


How would you use Haiku Deck? Please consider sharing your ideas.

App Support in Reading

Apps come and apps go.  All of them serve a purpose.  It is the teacher who makes “magic” happen through the lesson experiences.  Our iDevices Blog is where you will see an ongoing vetted list of apps. (Click  Apps Collection list)  Please add to the list if you run across an app that you love.

Here’s one you may find useful:

Reading text online is just as challenging as reading a book if your students struggle with reading.  Try Voice Dream Reader Lite.  This handy app reads online webpages, documents, pdf, text, powerpoint, ebooks, Pocket, using text- to -speech technology.  Words are highlighted as they are spoken making this a great app for your readers who have difficulties.  Articles identified are stored locally so you can read them anytime, making this very useful when you are offline.   [Adding additional voices are part of the paid app.]

Sharing Books…Modeling Strategies…


Sometimes locating just the right book to share or use as a piece of mentor text appears impossible to find.  Or have you ever wanted to expand opportunities for your students to read at home?

We now have access to TumbleBooks and TumbleBookCloud.  [See links under District Links.]  These online resources provide a fabulous array of e-texts for all readers (read-along, picture books, puzzles…).  TumbleBookCloud aimed at older readers offer full ebooks, graphic novels,  videos, as well as audiobooks.  Both sections include fiction and non-fiction.  Just imagine what can happen…  Happy reading…

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