Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tech Tools for Literacy

This weekend I caught up with some of my journal reading.  It is amazing how many wonderful ideas are out there, and like every teacher, I  never have enough time to try everything I want to try.   So I was happy to find a podcast between Franki Sibberson, a literacy expert I follow regulary, and first-grade teacher Kathy Cassidy.  Kathy talked about her own classroom and the tech tools she uses with her literacy program.  Here is her top ten. 




Class Wiki


My Story Maker





 Are you already using several of these, or do you have your own top ten?

Kathy’s site can be found at:  It has examples of student work and lots of ideas. 

Hope you find something you can use!


Writing Across the Ozarks

As we wind down our school year, I want to let you know about a great opportunity for teachers in the Ozarks.  It is the Ozark Writing Project.  Listen as Marla explains what the Ozark Writing Project is and how you can get involved.

The Ozark Writing Project  Click on my photo to get started with the discussion, and then click on Marla to listen to information about the Ozark Writing Project.  Be sure to add your own comment–we would love to hear from you.

Have a great summer!

Nonfiction Writing in Second Grade

Our second graders have been very busy working on nonfiction writing.  Be sure to take a look at the pop-up books Mrs. McKan’s students have displayed for our Read the Wall writing.   As you read each of the books, take a minute to comment on how the student stayed on topic with facts only, how the student organized the chapters, and how well the student uses conventions.  Thanks, second graders for some wonderful books!

Here is a proud second grader displaying all her hard work. 

Explaining her Pop-up Book

Westward Expansion TeelTec Style

This week our fourth grade students in Mrs. Teel’s tech class used Photo Story 3 to wind-up their study of westward expansion in the United States.  During the unit, students became the various characters of an imaginary trip westward.  As they participated in the various scenarios, the students wrote in character in their journals.

The journals became the starting point of the Photo Story project.  From there, the students worked collaborately to decide which journal entries would be selected, and how they would be sequenced.  Pictures were taken of the students dressed in their pioneer clothes with their westward expansion “families”   Artistically, students had to choose which effect would make the pictures look like they were taken during the westward expansion era of our country.

Mrs. Teel is planning on using this Photo Story video as a way to introduce westward exapansion to her students next year.  Thanks, Mrs. Teel, for a great idea for using Photo Story!

Take a look at what our fourth graders can do!

Westward Expansion from betty teel on Vimeo.

The Fun Continues with Read Across America

This week has been a very busy week at Willard South.  Teachers and students celebrated Dr. Seuss’s birthday, dressed as their favortie storybook characters, and continued to work on their Glogs and Storybirds. 

Mrs. Washington’s class finished their glog reports on the continents.  Mrs. McKan’s class created How-To Glogs, and Mrs. Harden’s class used the netbooks to create their penguin glogs.  And . . . that is just a sampling of the work that is taking place at Willard South.  What a great time to celebrate reading with Read Across America!

Take a look at Mrs. Harden’s penguin glogs.

The Collaboration Continues with Skype

A few weeks ago I featured the descriptive writing of the fourth graders in Mrs. Arnall’s class.  Since that time, Mrs. Arnall has been collaborating with her partner teacher for the Monster Exchange Project.  Listen as Lindsey explains how the project worked.

Spotlight on Descriptive Writing

This week our focus is on descriptive writing.  Mrs. Arnall’s 4th graders just completed a cooperative  project with a school in New Hampshire.  The project is called the Monster Exchange and has been around for a few years now.

What is the Monster Exchange?  The website describes it as:

Monster Exchange is designed to encourage the development of reading and writing skills while integrating Internet technology into the classroom curriculum. Classrooms from a variety of schools worldwide are paired together; the students in each classroom are split into groups, each of which designs an original picture of a monster. The students must then write a description of the monster. The partnered classes then exchange their descriptions via e-mail and the Internet. These students are then challenged to use reading comprehension skills to read the descriptions and translate them into a monster picture. The true challenge involves creating a redrawn picture as close to the original picture as possible without looking at the original and using only the written description of the monster. 

“The written descriptions, original monster pictures, and redrawn monster pictures are scanned and uploaded to the Internet using the browser-based Monster Gallery Builder. The Monster Gallery Builder is entirely form-based and does not require the teacher or student to know any HTML code.”

“The Monster Galleries are then published, and feedback is provided via e-mail.”

Take a look at what Lindsey’s 4th graders did with descriptive writing for the Monster Exhange. 

 Monster Exchange