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August Facebook Live Videos

 Posted by on September 14, 2017  Content Recommendations  Comments Off on August Facebook Live Videos
Sep 142017

facebookIf you haven’t joined us yet, set a reminder on your calendar for this Wednesday at 7:15 pm CST to join us for our next Facebook Live Video!  Every week, I go live on Facebook for 5 – 10 minutes to share specific digital content that may be helpful in your classroom.  Past video topics are hyperlinked below:

Discover two interesting alternatives to common math manipulatives

Learn an easy way to differentiate your instruction using digital content

Discover my favorite free online graphing activity

5 Digital Getting to Know You Activities for Back to School Fun!

5 sites that make science come to life!

Take your students time travelingwith five must see Social Studies simulations

3 virtual manipulatives that help students visualize addition concepts

Free StarrMatica Content

 Posted by on September 12, 2017  Content Additions  Comments Off on Free StarrMatica Content
Sep 122017

If you are not a StarrMatica member, or if you have educator friends who would like to benefit from our content, you should know about our new website that includes a sampling of our K-6 reading and math content for free.  We created this site to allow all teachers and students to benefit from our content even if their school is not able to subscribe.  You can check out the new site here:  free.starrmatica.com

The K-2 content is ready now and the 3-6 content will be added in October.  Please share it with your educator friends and parents!


StarrMatica Awarded USDA SBIR Phase I Grant

 Posted by on September 7, 2017  Behind the Scenes of StarrMatica  Comments Off on StarrMatica Awarded USDA SBIR Phase I Grant
Sep 072017

science girlStarrMatica has been awarded a USDA SBIR Phase I Grant to develop and research a software platform that houses customizable K-5 digital science informational texts.

One of the cornerstones of a quality education is the ability to read and comprehend informational texts.  School and career success depends on our ability to comprehend informational texts.  Yet, nearly 44 million American adults cannot extract a single piece of information when they read an informational text if background knowledge is required.  The results of the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show that nearly 2/3 of American fourth-graders can only read at or below a proficient level, and when examined further, researchers found that on the 2009 NAEP test, fourth-grade students scored worse on informational texts than on literary passages—with students eligible for free lunch scoring the worst on informational texts.  Because beginning readers are exposed to primarily literary texts, when students enter fourth grade and begin to read more content area informational texts, they have difficulty with comprehension. Comprehending informational texts requires a different set of strategies and skills than they have previously developed.

Knowing this research, the writers of the Common Core have asked teachers to spend 50% of their ELA instructional time with informational texts; however, teachers often don’t have enough informational text resources in their classrooms to meet this requirement.  Being former teachers, we saw this problem and wanted to help.

StarrMatica’s grant will fund the creation of a platform that houses K-5 science informational texts to meet thbook-2022464_640e Next Generation Science Standards.  Teachers will have the ability to customize each text to teach specific text structures, print features, graphic aids, comprehension skills, and Common Core ELA standards at multiple Lexile reading levels.  These customization options will allow teachers to differentiate comprehension instruction to meet the needs of all students and to support a variety of instructional objectives.  The System will be designed to both teach and assess comprehension skills and will be tied to a classroom-management system that records student data.

StarrMatica’s Customizable Informational Text System is expected to 1) allow K-5 teachers to more easily integrate informational texts into their science instruction, 2) make it easier to customize those texts and the accompanying reading comprehension instruction for students with different learning needs, and 3) integrate Common Core-aligned ELA instruction with NGSS-aligned science instruction.

The prototype will be ready for testing in early January and the full product is expected to be ready in 2019.  If you would like more information about this project or to be included as one of the prototype test classrooms, please contact us!

K-2 ELA Manipulatives

 Posted by on September 5, 2017  Content Recommendations, Reading Resources  Comments Off on K-2 ELA Manipulatives
Sep 052017

Here are five pieces of digital content a teacher might choose from StarrMatica’s library to use ELA manipulatives to help students develop concepts and demonstrate their understanding.

sept1Foam Phonemes

Shoot letters and word parts into the air.  Then, create words in the sky with what you have chosen.


sept2CVC Maker

Switch word beginnings and endings to create words.



sept3Writing Repeater

Write letters and words with this writing repeater.  Then, play back what you have written.


sept4Flip Book

Create a flip book to demonstrate your knowledge of cause and effect, fact and opinion, summarizing, or sequencing.


sept5Letter and Number Formation

Learn how to write letters and numbers by watching and following examples.

How do you use ELA manipulatives in your classroom?