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Mar 152014
 

This month, we added to our growing collection of picture book guides.  50 new guides were added to StarrMatica this month for free online non-fiction texts.  With the Common Core’s heavy focus on non-fiction, these guides provide  treasure trove of resources to increase your students’ experience and confidence with non-fiction texts. If you aren’t familiar, picture book guides help you to easily use our picture book resources by providing a ready to-go lesson plan developed by a fellow teacher. Content guides for picture books include digital connections, launching activities, example questions, enrichment ideas, answer keys, and standards correlations. You can → read more

Mar 082014
 
Teacher Feature:  Ms. Marica Myrie and Ms. Kadijah Jeanty

Meet Ms. Marica Myrie, Math Intervention Specialist, and Ms. Khadijah Jeanty, Reading Intervention Specialist, at Samuel Huntington P.S. 40 in Jamaica, New York.  Here is how they use StarrMatica in their own words:  Samuel Huntington P.S. 40 is in the process of a technological reform. In order to meet the needs of the Common Core our principal has begun transforming our 100 year old building into a state of the art “tech hub”.   Currently we house Promethean Boards in all of our 2nd through 5th grade classes.  In addition, students have access to our new Apple Lab equipped with twenty-four → read more

Mar 062014
 

This is the first in a series of posts dedicated to helping teachers understand specific changes the Common Core requires them to make in their instruction and sharing how StarrMatica’s content can help facilitate that transition. One of the major shifts in ELA (and to some extent Math) is the requirement for students to write extended responses.  Rather than just answering multiple choice questions about a text, students will be asked to construct written responses so they can demonstrate not only a deeper understanding of a text but also their abilities to apply the higher order thinking skills of synthesizing, → read more

Feb 262014
 
Digital Content for Common Core Standard K.OA.A.3

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students. Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from our → read more

Feb 202014
 
Digital Content for Common Core Standard 5.NBT.7

One of the most common questions we are asked is how our library of digital content supports the Common Core.  The easy answer is that our entire library has been aligned to the Common Core standards, so teachers can find resources related to each standard.  The more complex answer is that there are many pieces of content that can be used in flexible ways to support each individual standard, and it is up to teachers to choose the content that best supports their lesson and their students. Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from our → read more

Feb 132014
 
Keyboarding Digital Content

As we work with media specialists and technology integration specialists in schools across the country, one of the most common requests we receive is for recommendations for online typing programs.  Growing up, StarrMatica’s CEO, Emily Starr, spent her weekends in the typing classroom, and eventually the computer lab, of her business education teaching mother.  Emily learned to type at an early age and believes that typing is an essential life skill no matter what a student’s chosen career path may be. In recognition of its importance in an increasingly technological society, it often falls to elementary educators to begin to → read more

Feb 102014
 

Meet Jill Joos.  She teaches at Newark Charter School in Newark, Delaware.  Jill teaches the core subjects (ELA, math, science, and social studies) to 24 third graders of varied abilities. She has an interactive whiteboard in her classroom and two student computers that are used every day for many subject areas.  She also has access to a mobile laptop cart that she checks out at least once a month. Her students go to a computer lab once a week for technology instruction given by one of their specialists. This is Jill’s 4th year using StarrMatica– mostly for math and reading instruction. Here is → read more

Feb 052014
 
Leading Students to Draw Conclusions

How many times have you taught a concept, only to have to re-teach it the next day because your students don’t remember what you taught the day before?  As teachers we know that engaged students learn more than passive students, so we need to construct learning experiences in ways that lead students to discover a concept by drawing their own conclusions rather than directly teaching them the concept.  Here are a few ways a directly taught concept can be modified with digital content to encourage students to draw their own conclusions. Directly Taught Concept:  The more times an experiment is → read more

Jan 302014
 

This month, we added to our growing collection of picture book guides.  50 new guides were added to StarrMatica this month including classics such as: Make Way for Ducklings, The Polar Express, Officer Buckle, and If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. The list now reaches over 100!  But wait, there’s more!  40 of the guides include free online versions! If you aren’t familiar, picture book guides help you to easily use our picture book resources by providing a ready to-go lesson plan developed by a fellow teacher. Content guides for picture books include digital connections, launching activities, example questions, → read more

Jan 212014
 
Animoto Book Trailers

Animoto is an online tool that allows you to upload photos, enter text, and choose a style for the program to transform into a professional looking video.  The free version allows you to create a 30 second video, but that is still a long enough time frame for many classroom projects.  One of my favorite ideas is to use Animoto to create a book trailer.   Just like a movie trailer, a book trailer is designed to get someone interested in reading the book.  You could create a trailer to interest your students in a book or to entice them to → read more