Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Technology Tuesday (5th edition)

I promised myself when I started Technology Tuesday that I wouldn't stress myself out if I skipped a few Tuesdays.  I just didn't really want to commit to one more deadline.  This is supposed to be fun, ya know?  I met that goal...skipped several Tuesdays.

Our literacy centers each week focus on the spelling words and the word family of the week.  The whole class practices those, but I also have time for each student to do individualized word work built into my plans for each week. 

I've been using my mini iPads for individualized word work with my students.  First, I use the Ganske Developmental Spelling Inventory to determine the type of word work that I want each student to focus on.  The categories I have for word work include:  short vowels, blends, digraphs, long vowels and basic sight words.  At the beginning of the year, I might also have a few students working on beginning and ending consonants.  

Once I know which skill each student needs to work on,  I make a chart to keep on a clipboard.  The chart is kept in our iPad "home" (the place we keep the iPads when we are not using them), so the children can find their own name and look up which category they are supposed to choose games from on the iPad.  Most of the students don't have to check the chart, but it helps them stay independent since they rotate the iPads while I am working with small groups for reading. Our rule is that each student plays 2 games with a partner from the same category, before they pass it to another student.

Here are our favorite short vowel apps.

ABC Phonics Make a Word Free

ABC Phonics Short Vowel Words Lite

ABC Reading Magic 1 Short Vowel Words Deluxe

ABC Spelling Magic

ABC Phonics Word Family Free

CVC Sorts 1

Spelling 3 Letter Words by Good Neighbor Press

Do you have favorite short vowel apps?  
I'd love to explore some new apps with my students.

A few are free and a few I purchased.  The ones I purchased were worth the few dollars I spent.  Over the next couple weeks, I'll be posting our favorite apps from other word work categories.

It's -13 degrees, with a windchill of -35,  here in Michigan and we are snow day #2.  Yesterday, I enjoyed a lazy day.  Today, I'm hoping to be productive and get some things done.  Oh, how I love to cross things off my list...
  Stay warm everyone!


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I love my students to use technology and this is very helpful. I can't wait to get back to school to download this apps. Do the students do the ipad centers everyday?


  2. Reading Makes Your Child Smarter

    Reading is known to have numerous benefits. It increases your world knowledge, enhances your vocabulary, and works to improve your reading comprehension abilities.

    But did you know that reading can actually make you smarter?

    In fact, reading not only can make a child smarter, the very act of reading can even help to compensate for modest levels of cognitive ability in children by building their vocabulary and general knowledge! This is a finding reported by researchers Cunningham and Stanovich in a report titled "What Reading Does For the Mind".

    The simple fact here is that reading can make your child smarter, and that learning to read early on is directly linked to later success in life.

    1) Did you know that your child's vocabulary at 3 years old predicts his or her grade one reading success? [1]

    2) Did you know that vocabulary and reading ability in first grade strongly predicts grade 11 outcomes? [2]

    3) Did you know that your child's reading skill in grade 3 directly influences high school graduation? Studies have found that children who cannot read proficiently by grade 3 are four times more likely to leave school without a diploma than proficient readers! [3]

    >> Give your child the best possible head start. Teach your child to read today. Click here to learn how.

    But how do you teach a young child to read, and isn't that the job of the school and teachers?

    You can't be more wrong...

    With the right tools, knowledge, and techniques, teaching young children to read can be a simple and effective process. I'd like to introduce you to a fantastic reading program called Children Learning Reading, a super effective method for teaching children to read - even children as young as just 2 or 3 years old.

    The creators of this program have used it to teach their four children to read before age 3, and by reading, I mean real, phonetic reading.

    I can understand if you find that hard to believe... In fact, I had a difficult time believing it myself as well... that is, until I saw the videos they posted documenting the reading progress of the their children - not to mention all the videos other parents have sent in showcasing their children's reading progress after using the Children Learning Program. After learning more about their methods and techniques, it became clear how it's possible to teach young children to read effectively.

    It is truly within your ability to teach your child to read in a relatively short period of time spending just 10 to 15 minutes each day.

    >> Click here now to watch the videos and start teaching your child to read.

    1. Vocabulary Development and Instruction: A Prerequisite for School Learning
    Andrew Biemiller, University of Toronto

    2. Early reading acquisition and its relation to reading experience and ability 10 years later.
    Cunningham AE, Stanovich KE.

    3. Double Jeopardy How Third-Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation
    Donald J. Hernandez, Hunter College and the Graduate Center,