Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Oh "Appy" Day: Christmas Edition -- Christmas Book Apps

I'm excited to bring you some more great Christmas apps for Oh "Appy" Day: Tech on Tuesday!  This week's apps are actually all books.  They are everyone beloved favorites.  Each book ranges from $1.99-$5.99.  Click the pictures below to link directly to each app in the App Store.

The Berenstain Bears Christmas Tree is about the hunt for the perfect Christmas tree.  The bears soon realize that the trees are home for forest animals.  Will the Bears show compassion for the forest animals by saving the trees?

A Charlie Brown Christmas
This book is a Christmas classic!    Help the Peanuts gang find the true meaning of Christmas.  This book is full of interactive features, such as playing Linus' piano, finger painting, and caroling with the Peanut's gang.  If you love the Charlie Brown Christmas movie, you are sure to love this interactive book!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Another classic!  We all know the Grinch's heart changes from bitter and grouchy to a big heart full of love for the Whos.  Follow along while the narrator reads this edition or record your own narration!

Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
Help Rudolf use his big red nose to help save Christmas.  The app uses authentic video clips from the original movie, as well as, other interactive features such as recording your own narration.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Reading in the Resource Room: Version 2014

Reading resource has changed for me this year.  Change just comes with the territory!  Last year my resource reading students had different needs than the kids I have in resource this year.  If you've been reading my blog very long you know that I used a Daily 5 approach in the resource room.  I used Reading A-Z to help guide my lesson plans and most of my resources came from there.  While I still use Reading A-Z and RAZ-Kids, I have had to switch up the structure of the way I teach reading.

This year I have 2 distinct groups of readers in my resource reading group.
1.  Low basic reading skills.  A younger group of students (grades 1-3) working below grade level on identifying letters, sounds, blends, and sight words.
2.  An older group of kids (grades 3-5) that are near grade level, but have difficulty with decoding and comprehension.

I have both groups at the same time.  This is a total of 7 students.

Up until this point, I have been working with the older kid group most of the period using Corrective Reading while the younger students work to complete independent work (box) tasks.  This was working for me.  (PS-I have direct instruction time earlier in the day, so the younger kids are also getting direct instruction, just at a different time of day).

As I was saying, this was working for me, until...cue new student.  New student fits in skill wise with the younger students, but age and grade wise she is an older student.  Insert restructuring of the time...

*Sidebar*  I have not started this new plan yet.  New student came this week and MAP testing began this week, schedules for me and the students has been turned upside down.  So, this blog has been two things for me...one...a way to plan all of the thoughts racing through my mind and two...cathartic, because I needed some time to write this down, develop new resources and get ready for my new plan!  Okay, back to the task at hand. :)

I will now have three groups:
1.  2 students -- working on basic reading skills
2.  2 students -- Basic Reading Skills and Comprehension
3.  3 students -- "Advanced" Basic Reading Skills (is that a thing?) :) and Comprehension

Students rotate in 15 minute intervals through out the 45 minute period.  I will use 3 different evidence based practices or strategies during this time to teach reading.
1.  Direct Instruction: Corrective Reading, Time Delay
2.  Technology Based Instruction
3.  Structured Work Task System

Here is an example of my lesson plan for a week.  It is basically the same every week, but I have left space to fill in extra information, such as the lesson we are on in our program or to write down a special activity or game.  This is my visual and it keeps me organized!  The initials under each group label are the initials of the students in that group.  I changed all of the initials, these are not my real students :)

Now to keep the kids on track; they will have the schedules below to follow as well as a visual timer on the interactive white board.  I use www.online-stopwatch.com for my timer.

Schedule for Group 3:  This schedule will be programmed with the Lesson the student will expect to be on at direct instruction time, a goal for how many activities to complete on Lexia or number of quizzes to take on RAZ-Kids, and the work box task schedule programmed on their card.  (More to come on work box/structured independent work stations in a later post)

Schedule for Group 2:  This schedule is set up the same way as the one above, but these student will need more support visually and less words.  I programmed this schedule with the pictures of the apps so the students can know what to look for on the iPads.

Schedule for Group 1:  This group needs the most support and they are not working out of the SRA kit yet. I am using time delay with this group to teach letter sounds, blending and beginning sight words.  This schedule uses the most visual support paired with words.

So, now to give it all a try in the classroom.  I can't wait to get started and update all of you on how this works out and bring back pictures of this in action!
Let me know what you think in the comments.  I would love to have your input on this plan and tell me if you can see any problems that may need to be worked out before I begin!

PS...If you would like these visual schedules, I have updated my Guided Reading in the Resource Classroom on TPT to include my schedule and the student schedules as well.  The student schedules are made just like I have above and another set that just has an iPad or computer icon and not specific programs to help fit the needs in your classroom.

Click the image to purchase and download!  If you've already purchased this product, please return to TPT to download the revisions!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Oh "Appy" Day: Tech on Tuesday -- Christmas Edition

This month's Oh "Appy" Day is being brought to you by the jolly, ol' elf himself!  Each Tuesday this month I will be sharing the Christmas Edition of some my favorite holiday apps for kids.  This week's apps are fun for kids (and adults)!  Take a look at some of my favorite Christmas games!

Starting us off this month, we all know that is time for everyone's favorite elf to begin making his appearance in homes around the globe.  Our elf, Rocky, returned on Monday morning. :)
Here is an official Elf on the Shelf app:

This  is a FREE app!  Have a great time with a snowball fight with other elves!  This is sure to excite your little ones!
For more information click the link:  Elf on the Shelf App

My kids love any of the Toca apps and this one is one of their favorites!  Another free app!  You can style Santa or a Christmas tree for their big holiday debut.  Everybody needs a little cut, color and shave...even Santa Claus!
Toca Hair Salon-Christmas Gift

Christmas Fun - All in One Holiday Spirit
This app contains fun holiday songs, games, and interactive activities!  This is a one stop Christmas game shop and the best part is that it is also FREE!

I hope you find that these apps bring a little Christmas cheer to you and your students!

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Currently

December's Currently with Farley is here!  The best part is that I am actually do it on December 1!  What?! It's a Christmas miracle!

Listening:  The kids are in the living room with me watching the Disney Channel.  It's not my pick of shows to watch, but I guess it is better than Spongebob!

Loving:  We have had our Christmas trees up for about 2 weeks now.  I absolutely love this time of year and sitting in the dark and just admiring the Christmas tree.  So beautiful!

Thinking:  I have a lot on my mind.  School, Christmas shopping, a packed holiday schedule,  a sick kiddo, several meetings before Christmas break...it's hard to shut my mind down right now.

Wanting:  You know that peaceful feeling of sitting and looking at the Christmas tree I mentioned earlier?  Now would be a good time for that!

Needing:  I need to get the move on with some Christmas shopping!  Nothing like waiting around!

Giving:  Just because we all need a laugh this time of year ;)