Sunday, April 5, 2009

Online Assignment #2-Megan Ackerman

After doing some research and review on literature and website searches, I couldn’t help feeling slightly overwhelmed by the vast resources that are offered for teachers and narrow the sources that would be most meaningful to implement in my professional growth plan. However, I was also excited to get my hands on some new material to help me improve on incorporating more of cultural diversity, technology, and effective assessments in my classroom.

To help with innovative reading assessments in my classroom, a colleague of mine recommended a book called, With Assessment First, written by Deborah White. Deborah White has dedicated her professional life to teaching for more than thirty years and is a reading specialist and Reading Recovery teacher. The book focuses on effective ways to move reading assessment and instruction forward. It takes on a different kind of assessment approach. The book explains ways to connect short, focused assessments, so that reading instruction is meaningful and powerful to all readers. It shows ways to determine approximate reading levels and identify strategies students may be using. White looks closely at the five key areas readers usually need support on, which are phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. I am excited about delving more into With Assessment First,, because it also provides teachers with a planning chart for each focus area and a variety of activities to facilitate reading instruction. As I read more of the book, I plan on experimenting with some of the reading activities along with using the reproducible forms for giving assessments.

It has been frustrating finding creative ways to implement technology into my classroom, until I discovered the website, ( It has a vast amount of resources on technology integration along with incorporating literacy, writing, social studies, and cultural diversity lessons in the classroom. The website’s mission is to help encourage literacy appreciation. It has quality products and services that educate and motivate children in understanding the world around them. The site has many activities to help students become more familiar with our history and cultural heritage. It has a variety of lessons that teach students about living in a democratic society with basic liberties and responsibilities. Most importantly, it helps students understand the value of having rights and freedom for all people. While I was searching the website, I stumbled on “Celebrate Constitution Day.” The site had several useful articles my students could use to do research, such as, “We the People: The Preamble,” “Bill of Rights,” or “Constitutional Expert: Caroline Kennedy.” Towards the end of the webpage, I discovered some fun activities. I laughed when I saw “Interview Ben Franklin.” I just had to check it out. As soon as I clicked on the site, I had a virtual interview with Franklin. I couldn’t get my eyes off his yellow teeth! After the interview, I was invited to write an actual article I could print out. It was a fun learning experience. I know my fourth graders would love this website.

Lastly, another helpful website I found was I have already used this website to start collecting efficient writing assessments and rubrics to incorporate in my writing curriculum for next year. I have had trouble finding creative writing projects and this website has an abundant list of writing ideas and projects! What I like about this site is that it also offers lesson plans, along with duplicates, to help teachers teach writing strategies.


Juli Rangel said...

Dear Megan,

Thanks for the two great websites! The Scholastic website has been sitting right under my nose for too long. I log on to Scholastic monthly for classroom book orders! I had no idea scholastic had assembled such a variety of teaching resources. I look forward to exploring the site more deeply soon. Also, the “Read, Think, Write” website is amazing. Every lesson topic that I clicked on had the following detailed sections: Overview, From Theory to Practice, Student Objectives, Instructional Plans and Activities, Student Assessments/Reflections and how the lesson(s) tied in to the National Standards. Wow! Thanks for the great leads!
Juli Rangel

Anonymous said...

I think the site is