In what ways do you now authentically and effectively use digital texts and tools in your classroom?

I always feel that there is always more than can be done to use digital text and tools in the classroom. As a leader of the use of technology (not an expert, but a leader) I am always working to incorporate the use of digital text and tools. I work hard to help teachers see the relevancy, despite the occasional inconvenience and creative tricks of the trade that we sometimes need. Personally, I try to embed different types of media in order to get students to understand the foundational elements of comprehension. If I can connect a student to a skill or task using the Interent and it can be carried over to text, then I’m all over it.

In my Reader/Writer Workshop class, we are using Kyleen Beers and Robert Probst’s Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading (Heinemann, 2012) to teach skill development and improve comprehension. Alone, using traditional texts, I do not feel my struggling readers would buy into the format of looking for Signposts (Contrasts/Contradictions, Aha Moments, Again and Again, Tough Questions, Words of the Wiser, and Memory Moment). I have been using clips from to show students examples of the pivitol moments that lead to deeper understanding. After the mini-lesson with the video clip, I move to use an excerpt to reinforce the skill within text. Students do not have visuals or other cues (music, facial expressions). However, it is very difficult to pick mood out of traditional text. This way, I scaffold the instruction for students to progress into application to other text formats.

I use Pinterest to search out how other educators have used the strategy instruction in their classrooms. This has proven to be an invaluable resource when seeing what has worked with others and how it is presented in a visual format. I can read blogs about strategy instruction, but I find myself moving more toward the multimodal collection of sharing.