Saturday, December 10, 2011

ipad Blog-QRI

Every year teachers are to perform 2 QRI's (Qualitative Reading Inventory) on students; once in the fall and another in the spring. A QRI provides diagnostic information  on how students identify and decode words as well as text comprehension. The QRI was designed to provide a variety of different opportunities to observe a student's reading behavior. There are 3 components to completing a QRI; word list, assessment of prior knowledge, and comprehension of reading passages. In order to successfully assess a students reading each component must be performed. This week I completed 5 QRI's and the results thus far has been amazing. Every one of the students that I tested have improved in recalling words, fluency and comprehension of text. I would like to presume that the usage of K12 Reading Practice Lite had some impact on improving my students reading. The repetition of allowing students to read short stories daily improved their fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. Thus far my students have increased their reading by 1 - 3 levels. One of my lowest students who began as a Pre-Primer (kindergarten level)  is now reading on a 2nd grade level. Even though he is still reading below grade level he has made much growth. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

iPad Blog-Week 7

This week my students were able to integrate reading with math. They used the skills that was learned in math this week on median, mode and range to find their reading average. My students were very impressed with using their numbers to locate each average. Some of them saw where they have made great leaps and jumps and others saw where they need to make improvement. Every student made goals to where they would want to be and as a class we have decided to look at averages over the next few weeks. I am still excited about their engagement and excitement with reading or trying different things to help improve their reading. The whole goal of this activity was to help my students understand data and how it can be used to set goals, show a trend in reading achievement.

Friday, November 11, 2011

iPad Blog-Week 6

Another week has passed and my students are still working hard. I am enthused that they are still engaged and making improvements in their reading. After seeing the results of their reading benchmarks I conclude that the app that I am using to help improve their reading fluency has produced positive results. Many of my below level readers have made progress in their reading. Even though they are not reading on grade level, gradually improvement are being made. Reading fluency is not the only thing increasing but self-esteem and self-confidence as well. As students make progress in reading, they gain self-confidence and begin to experience the joy of learning. This improved self-esteem often carries over to improved academics and behavior. They are no longer ashamed to read aloud in class, their participation has sparked and when reading tries to decode words by themselves or asks for help. My goal is to continue to utilize the app to uplift and help my students reach success. I do predict that my students will continue to grow both academically and personally.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

iPad Blog-Week 5

I am so impressed with the improvement my students are making in their fluency with reading. To be honest I was a little skeptical in the beginning because I did not know if this application would really be successful but
as I researched ways to help student reading and comprehension I learned that “Fluency provides a bridge between word recognition and comprehension.” so I continued with the study to see if it would really improve their reading skills. As time progresses so have some of my students fluency. I now have 5 students who have skipped 2 reading levels on the application that is presently being used. The amount of words that are read with no miscues or errors is amazing. When comparing the amount of words read by my students to the required expectations, my students are making great progress due to the fact that I have (4) K-1 grade readers, (12) 2nd grade readers and (4) 3rd grade readers.                                                                            "Typical” first graders read 60 wpm.
“Typical” second graders read 70 wpm.
“Typical” third graders read 80 wpm.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Quiz, Survey, Benchmark Schedule and Strategies using Voiki and Quia

I have created an Inference Quiz and a Math Survey using both Voki and Quia. I used the Voki to create a personalized speaking avatar that will read the questions on the quiz along with a personal voice recording of myself to remind both students and parents about the upcoming 1st Quarter Benchmark. Using Quia and Voiki is a great way to motivate and improve my students' reading and listening skills in an engaging and innovative way. The Voki recordings will allow students and parents to listen to recording as many times as they like.

Friday, October 21, 2011

iPad Blog-Week4

This week was quite interesting due to my students having to take the Math Benchmark, finding time in time in the schedule to work with my students and bringing the iPad back into the classroom after being stolen. Thankfully it was returned in solid condition. As soon as my students noticed that the iPad was back in my possession the questions were set in motion. I tried to disregard some of the comments by just exclaiming that we were very fortunate to have it back but I will be very reluctant and careful about leaving the classroom unlocked. At first my students were a little nervous about using the iPad but after a few moments it was like the weeks before. I think that we all were able to let out guards down just a little in order to have fun using it once again. As the week progressed my uneasiness slacked off a bit. My students were just as eager as day one to read with me. I can see how much some of them have improved over the small course of time. In math class we discussed line graphs so I am now going to integrate that in with using the iPad so that my students can log their own progress to see how their reading fluency has changed over time.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Benchmark Schedule and Test Taking Strategies

I used the Voki as a recording to help remind both students and parents about the upcoming 1st Quarter Benchmark. I also used it as a tool to review math and reading test-taking strategies. The Voki recording will allow students and parents to listen to recording as many times as they like.

Math Survey

I have created a Math Survey using Quia. This survey will be used to determine which students' and/or skills will need to be be taught through small group instruction or remediation. This survey will also allow me to pair students that has mastered a skill with a student that has yet mastered the skill. Many students become embarrassed if they do not understand classwork, this survey will take the embarrassment away the because the information is only between the students and the teacher.

Inference Quiz

I have created an Inference Quiz using both Voki and Quia. I used the Voki to create a personalized speaking avatar that will read the questions on the quiz that was made using Quiz. This is a great way to motivate and improve my students' reading and listening skills in an engaging and innovative way.

iPad Blog-Week 3

Unfortunately I was not able to use the iPad with my students this week due to theft however next week I will be able to start back up again. The incident was very stressful on me and my students were very disappointed maybe their spirits will brighten once they see that it was returned.

Friday, October 7, 2011

iPad Blog-Week2

Another week has past by and my students are still amazed with the opportunity of working with the iPad. Their excitement about reading makes me excited. I actually thought that their interest would have declined but instead I was proven wrong. I am noticing that majority of them are yearning to make improvement in reading. Some of my students able to move forward and onto another story or level due to reading improvement. I am so enthused with how much they are participating and actively engaged in learning.

Friday, September 30, 2011

iPad Blog-Week 1

In the beginning I chose a Math application that allowed students to improve their multiplication skills however the application gave them answers as they were trying to solve the problems. After much thought, I chose to work with the K12 Timed Reading Practice Lite application with my students. I selected this program for the reason that all of my students reading levels are below grade level. I decided to utilize the application as a Reading Running Record. A running record is a way to assess a student's reading progress by systematically evaluating a student's oral reading and identifying error patterns. I am hoping that this tool will help increase my students’ fluency in reading. 

As soon as I explained that we would be using the iPad, my students became ecstatic. The smiles on their faces lit up the classroom. Every day I allow students to read a story on the iPad that is on their reading level.  As they are reading I am listening and monitoring how they are reading. I am recording the amount of miscues that occur. If students are able to read over 100 wmp with a small amount of errors they may move to another level. If students read less than 100 wpm or have more than 7 errors then they will read a different story on the same level. I really enjoy using this application because it records how many words are read per minute and contains several books for each level.  Each day my students wait patiently for their turn to read. As they read I watch them press the button to continue and once it’s over they ask if there is time to read another story. To them reading has now become fun.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

iPad Usage in the Classroom

At first, personally I was very skeptical about using the iPad with my students and inside of my classroom for many reasons; such as what if it gets broken, how can it be done, and how beneficial will it be but most of all I was scared to try something foreign and new. My outlook on the usage of the iPad started to change once I saw my students’ facial expressions and their eagerness to working with this new technology tool. After doing much research, I have found that there are many ways to use the iPad within the classroom such as: loading the iPad with eBooks and then select and assign reading groups, improve student reading fluency and comprehension, improve mathematical skills through repetition, allow students to take quizzes, practice and tutorial of mathematical skills, and have students to listen to read-aloud  books to help with decoding and phonics. Using the iPad within the classroom is very beneficial, it gives students an opportunity to play through learning, helps personalize instruction, address a variety of learning styles, and creates an engaging learning environment. Getting started is not that hard to do. The steps are easy as 1-2-3: 1) download iTunes onto the iPad, 2) create an account 3) download apps that are beneficial to your students. Now the hard part is on you, you now must implement and follow through with the usage of the iPad. If you dedicate a few minutes a day, sit back and watch your students become engaged in learning.

Monday, September 12, 2011

EVASS: Is It Benefiting Our Schools?

EVAAS (Education Value-Added Assessment System) is a software program designed for NC school districts for grades K-12. EVAAS provides school districts with diagnostic reports indicating the effectiveness of a school. It allows users to look at data produces reports to predict student success, achievement growth or reveal patterns in subgroup performance.

Lately there has been some controversy surrounding the usage of EVAAS. Some pros for using the EVAAS program is that it follows students through all NC schools. It offers a collection of student progress and data for up to five years from all subjects. Formulated data is used to help predict each student's future academic achievement and allow schools to identify and customize a plan for students who are at risk for under achievement. By identifying which students are at risk, teachers and administrators can be proactive by ensuring that every student has the chance to succeed. On the other hand many critics have reported that EVAAS:
  • Does not take into account a student’s background
  • Has been used as a punishment
  • Has not been sufficiently assessed in peer-reviewed scholarly journals
  • Is confusing for many teachers
  • Encourages teaching to the test
Another reason that EVAAS has gotten negative feedback is that principals say that it is not a fair assessment tool for either principals or teachers. If student scores are bad, principals can be dismissed, demoted or reassigned. If a student earns exactly the score that EVAAS predicts, then the student achieved no growth that year. Scores below or above the predicted score determines whether the student achieved positive or negative growth. EVAAS also calculates the predicted score for all students assigned to an individual teacher. If that teacher’s students score exactly the predicted average, then EVAAS considers the teacher to have had no effect on the students

EVAAS compares all teachers in North Carolina to every other teacher in the state. To this disadvantage, some teachers will always be at or below average depending on the nature of the students’ socioeconomic status and academic achievement. Using EVAAS data alone separately from observations, artifacts and other effective tools is inequitable. Despite the criticism, the use of EVAAS is being used throughout schools and districts.