The Missouri Reader Vol. 41, Issue 1 - Page 41


Lit Look

can use to create their own autobiography or use create them to tell about a person or event they have studied. Using Read Write Think to create a three dimensional shape that students can hold and display makes the bio cube activity a wonderful example of redefining a written autobiography.

We focus on reading, but we integrate reading with writing in our building, so many of our reading and writing lessons go hand-in-hand. For work on grammar, our teaching team loves the site NoRedInk. On this site, the task of grammar lessons and assessments are modified into a digital platform that provides a lesson, scaffolds with support for those struggling to understand concepts and grades the assignments for the teacher. With NoRedInk, teachers can choose to provide students with a digital lesson or an assessment that can be used in conjunction with face-to-face lessons in the classroom. Students share their interests with NoRedInk, so there is a great personalized element to the students’ grammar practice, which works to keep even the most unmotivated student on task and working toward mastery. NoRedInk’s adaptive technology supports the student, providing tutorials for struggling learners, and adjusting the practice scenarios as the student becomes more successful. As students work toward mastery, NoRedInk allows students to be as hands-on as possible with their work, “students drag in commas, click words to capitalize them, throw out unwanted punctuation, and edit parts of sentences directly whenever possible” (NoRedInk Corp., 2017) in an effort to allow students the opportunity to play with language as they learn to write.

Changing your plans, your classes, and your mindset can be a difficult task to tackle when you’re just getting into the business of personal technology within your school. Expectations must be managed when you begin working with technology, as with any new endeavor. Using a tool like the SAMR Model to assist in enhancing lessons and activities makes the transition from old to new more manageable. After all, was there not a time when we thought dry erase boards were never going to catch on? Blackboards and chalk have become rare, now we have the common Blackboard educational platform, bringing students from all places together using technology.

Alex Robbins is a second year, fifth-grade teacher at Westport Elementary School in Springfield, Missouri. She serves as a Blended Learning Mentor for grades 3-5 in her building and has been afforded the opportunity to be exposed to many great technology

tools and implementation tips during her time as a mentor

Apps, Apps and more Apps

“Having access to technology in today’s classroom is a must. With the movement of STEM implementation across curriculum, high stakes test that are 100% computer based, and the constant search for ways to keep our students engaged, staying up to date with what apps are available is key.” Jaime Zaitz


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