Bloom's Questions

The fall weather has hit the Colorado Rockies with it red and golden Aspens, which makes for great fall hiking weather--which I love to do with my Italian Greyhounds. But home planning this weekend after playing last weekend.

A big thing on our teacher evaluation rubric's is asking high order thinking questions throughout the day. I've had a hard time doing this when my students are reading  fiction text because all of the question stems I have were all for non-fiction text. So, I created a document that I can use while planning that is just for fiction text.

Bloom's Fiction Question Stems

Apps for Analyzing

My first set of purchases include styluses and screen protectors for all the iPads. Why some apps that I have been playing with do way better with something smaller than a finger. The screen protectors have you seen you iPhone screen??? With kids why not.

Apps that fit into the "analyzing" stage improve the user's ability to differentiate between the relevant and irrelevant, determine relationships, and recognize the organization of content. Verbs commonly used to describe this phase include differentiating, discriminating, selecting, distinguishing, focusing, attributing, deconstructing, structuring, integrating, outlining, and parsing.

When locating these "analyzing" apps, consider the following questions
Does the app help the user...

1. Discriminate fact from hypothesis?
2. Distinguish the relevant from irrelevant?
3. Observe the structure?
4. Select important elements?
5. Determine biases?
6. Recognize intent?
7. Deconstruct content?
8. Understand the relationships?
9. Organize content?
10. Outline content?

Popplet: I use this for sequencing. It works by creating mind maps or brainstorming.

Strip Designer: I use for retelling. Students can create a comic strip illustrating the beginning, middle, and end.   This one is not free but my students love using it.

Doodle Buddy: I use for visualization. For my students, I have then create a picture based on the "Movie playing in their mind" from a page read or if a picture book based on the whole book. (When I do this--I don't show them pictures. They create the picture and then I reread the book showing them the pictures.)

Apps may not always be free; as my goal is to create a list of apps that can be used with Bloom's Taxonomy.  Has anyone had any luck with VGA cord?? I'm trying to figure out if it's worth the cost. If you have favorite apps--give them a shout out!! I'd love to hear about ones your students love using.

I also wanted to share a special education technology link with you. Click here to go to the web site. They have reviewed a ton of special education apps for just about everything you could possibly think of from autism to speech/language to basic skills to help work on IEP goals.

Blooming on a Budget

 Apps cost a small fortune when you have to pay to put them on each device. So, I have turned to an idea that Bloom's Taxonomy my be the best way buy them. I think that if the students are going to be using iPads that they need to do something only than play games. Yes, games have there place but I think iPads can do way more than that for us. 

Using Blooms Taxonomy in education is a highly effective way to scaffold learning for students. iPads bring a new opportunity to embed student learning through the use of technology. Blooms Taxonomy can help student show their learning in new ways. The pyramid is broken into Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating, and Creating.  My hope is that as I begin this journey, that I will find apps that meet my criteria of fitting into Blooms. Kathy Schrock has created a number of references that have helped me begin my pursuit for creating a list of Blooms on a budget (ie; FREE).

Edutopia has also created app listing for each category.  Diana Darrow including a brief definition and criteria as well.  Stop by can check out her blog. Have a Blog Hoppin' Wednesday!!

Year of the iPad

I'm so thrilled!! Last week I was given 8 iPads to be used for small group interventions. Our building technology committee, thought I would be the perfect person to lead this change into building our 21st Century skills for both students and staff.

I've always found ways to use technology in meaningful and in purposeful ways with students. I look for ways to use my computers for more than just games. I have added a couple of things I found on Pinterest, an acceptable  use policy for iPad and my policy (editable). (I'm know for having a pretty strict acceptable use policy.) I also added a video from Mike Fisher. He is a wealth of knowledge on how to embed technology in the classroom.

I looking forward to taking you on this journey with me this year as I work with staff and students to show them what they can do with technology in their classrooms. If anyone has any great apps that they love, please give me a shout!!

Video from Mike Fisher's ASCD Summer Boot Camp on iPads in Schools

Reading Interventions

I'm planing at home this weekend. My week was CRAZY. One of my groups is going to be starting off in LLI (Level Literacy Intervention). It's one of my favorite reading intervention programs is the Level Literacy Intervention by Irene C. Fountas & Gay Su Pinnell. It's a Tier 2 intervention but my students with IEPs have had great success with it. It's a tight 30 minute targeted reading program. Students read every day and are writing more than I've seen in guided reading. Plus students move--which is even better.  I've found as the group moves into the higher reading levels that I need to increase my focus on the comprehension depth of knowledge to continue to get the growth that they need to pass a DRA. I hope you had a great week and are having a relaxing weekend. What reading intervention do you use with your groups?

Math Fact Fluency

The last year or so, my school has been working on making sure students have their basic math facts down pat. Every teacher in the building has taking the responsibility  for their students to know those facts. The hope being in a year or two our students know them and teachers will not have to find time to teach the skill. In turn it will mean as this skill moves from a core instruction problem (because more than half the students don't have the skill) to one that only a few have that I can create intervention groups to teach the missing skills. This comes from Colorado State Standards and what other districts are telling teachers about when basic facts have to be mastered by. The building grade levels then planned forward what would make the most sense for students. I hope you have a great week as we enter beautiful September.

End of year fact fluency expectations.pdf

Unit Planning

Now, that groups are formed, I can begin planning. To start the year off, I'm pulling out a small group of 4th graders for math during the last half of the block. I need to create a differentiated math units. Easier said than done. But this summer I came across any other book written by Robyn R. Jackson "The Differentiation Workbook." Its been very helpful full in pulling apart my districts Curriculum Alignment Project (it's tells us what to teach when) but doesn't do much in the way of differentiation.

I've adopted pieces to meet my needs and have shared a couple. I'll share more as I work through my unit planning.

I start by determining what all students Need to Know and list them out. I then figure out what my criteria for mastery is and what my evidence is that they have it. The Needs to Know become the over arching lessons that I'll shoot for. This is where I what my group to be at the end of the month. These are the grade lesson standards that they will be tested on in the spring. I think with this unit--I will not be doing tons of modifications for students. But this forms makes it clear what the learning targets need to be.

I used the table below to draft plan my first two lessons. I used it as a place to put my learning target statements and instructional plan. One thing I do with all my lessons is a ticket out, so I see who got it and who didn't. This will help me plan which direction I need to go in the next day. I can also use them as part of my body of evidence that the student has mastered the target. 

I share more next week as I plan this unit out. Have a great weekend.

Award and a Freebie

Just a quick note on this long (much needed) relaxing weekend away with my family. I was surprised this past Friday to be awarded with being one of the Top 25 Special Education blogs by Teacher Certification Degrees. To thank my followers and fellow Blog Hoppers, I  have posted my latest High Frequency fluency game here for the next 72 hours for you. Up Against the Wall is a student favorite and great to send home to play with parents. I hope you have an great long weekend and a great first week in September.

Sorry this freebie is no longer available.

About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.

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