Writing Workshop Take Two

The readers & writers workshop model presented a slight challenge in the area of integrating technology. Luckily we have creative teachers that take on challenges to push themselves to become better facilitators to the students they teach. One such teacher that has been able to marry the two is Frank Machinello who teaches first grade.  Mr. Machinello is another fan of Educreations iOS application. Not only has he been able to capture digital stories that his students have created, they have also taught other students how to document their own learning. Some of the topics that his students have covered include author study, mentor text, peer sharing, editing & revising, and writing stories with illustrations. Mr. Machinello has taken this a step further and uses Twitter as a means to get an global, authentic audience and to make learning at SIS transparent.

During professional learning month, Mr. Machinello was asked to present tangible examples of the readers & writers workshop model and ways technology can enhance it. Please click on the image below to see his notes on his presentation.


Educreations App ICon

Capture an Education Creation

Educreations is one of many iOS applications that allows students to capture their learning through technology. One of our recent professional learning session was leveraging Educreation with math and science.  Kurt Callahan  headed this presentation with practical examples of how his students demonstrate their learning through this redefining application. The image below will link you to Kurt’s keynotes, you may also find useful links for your EAL students as well.


Educreations App ICon



Breaking Down the Walls, Little by Little

Nicki Ruthai presented Kidblog.org on our second day of professional learning here at SIS. She has been using Kidblog in her classroom for several years and has found it to be a powerful tool for her students. Here is what she as to say about it.

“I use Kidblog to show case learning in my classroom and as an ePortfolio. What is special about Kidblog is how I am able to connect with other classrooms around the world. It so happens a lot of the schools that I have connected my class with are actually executing some of same exact units and concepts.

“This didn’t happen over night, I used Twitter as well as the hashtag #comments4kids to have students from other schools comment on my learners’ work. My students are actively engaged in their blogs and are always excited to read and view the number of comments they have on their posts. It’s a process, whatever platform you are using, Macbook Pro, PC, or mobile device it is important to set precedents when blogging. I also taught my students how to comment on other students work, whether in my class or another school around the world. I really feel it can be used at all grade levels, it really has made each of my students work personal and authentic. ”

If you have any questions about KidBlog.org, feel free to connect with Nicki Ruthai or just visit her Kidblog or class twitter account to view the powers at hand.


Where is my Device

What happens if my iPad is lost or stolen?

Who to inform:

Student: Teacher, administrator, and parent.

Teacher: eSupport staff or eLearning staff.

Our own system may also be able to track your lost device, otherwise follow the instruction below.

Immediately go to iCloud dot com

1. Sign-in to your iCloud using your Apple ID & password.

a. Select “Find My iPhone.”

12. Map of your bound Apple ID devices will appear.


3. Select on the button that indicates device.

Select the device that is lost from the list below if you have more than one bound device.


4. Three options are given to choose from.

Depending on the severity of the missed placed device, you have three options to choose.


5. For recovery select lost device.

a. If your device has a passcode, enter the code and proceed on to the following. Then cross your finger and hope for the best.

b. If you know where your device may be select play sound.

c. If you know for sure that it will not be recovered, select erase device.




Blogging for Transparency

It’s amazing how our lower elementary grade levels here at SIS are making their literacy come to life. Really, it’s such a simple tool, but its effectiveness is beyond anything else and to some extent it has redefined the readers & writers workshop model. By clicking on the image below, a short clip will reveal how many families and friends are contributing to our student’s literacy units here at SIS.

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Mini's You Say

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It has been nearly three weeks since the third grade teachers at SIS received five iPad Minis to use in their classroom. Here is what students and their instructors are saying about the iPad Minis:

Mrs. Wildings students: 

“I like the iPad because it is smaller and I can take them anywhere” ~ Ory (Student)

“I like the iPad mini because it is faster and has more apps.” ~ William (Student)

“I like the iPad mini because it is easier to hold than a full iPad and the MacBooks are so heavy to carry.”  Lukas (Student)

“We like Bluster because it makes word work fun!” William (Student)

“I really like Educreations because then we can make videos about what we have studied lately. We can post them on kid log and people can comment on them.” Ory (Student)

“I like Educreations because we can post on kid log and show what we learned.” William (Student)

Here is Mrs. Ruthai’s class website, it covers the first couple of days using the iPad Minis in their classroom.

Mr Callahan: The iPad mini has proven to be the perfect size for portable learning in my classroom. The size of the screen allows students to easily take pictures, audio or video recordings, and type with both thumbs while standing. This portability has made the use of apps such as Educreations, a strong tool for students to share, and document their knowledge. For Word Crafting, the students are able to use Spelling City and Bluster to practice word patterns. For reading, students used Educreations to explain how nonfiction text features make them better readers. For writing, students have been working on informational pieces, which will be typed up using Book Creator to make an interactive ebook. These will contain photos, videos and audio to enrich their nonfiction text. Finally for math, students have been able to apply their knowledge of symmetry by playing games like Reflekt, or demonstrate their understanding of polygons by using Geoboard.

Ms. Carino: During literacy centers, one of the activities the students do is scan a QR code to get a website called Wallwisher. In this application students build a wall with facts, take a picture related to that fact, and post it on twitter. Using an app called Educreations, students reflect on their learning by having to teach a lesson using video and writing features in the application. The students also use Kidblog during literacy hour to post blog entries for others to comment on their writing. Student have received positive comments from their parents and family from all over the world. Finally Math, students discover new ways to practice their facts by playing different games such as Monster Sushi or Beat the Computer.