Guided Reading Program- Raz Plus

By Digital Resources, General, Internation Schools, Literacy, Reading and Writing, Reading Program, Writing Program No Comments

Recently, I read in the local newspaper in Mumbai, that the latest key education trends to watch out for in 2019 are:

  1. The growth of integrated learning solutions: that is integrating technology with teaching content
  2. Adoption of formative assessment solutions: we know that the assessment of rote learning is not going to help our present generation of students
  3. Learning through regional languages: using bilingual mode of teaching and learning
  4. Increased demand for professional development for all educators: having a growth mindset and learning the craft of teaching and learning with new and updated teaching-learning strategies the and pedagogy.

Recently, I learned that many International schools are looking at adopting reading and writing programs and are moving away from the textbook. Some are adopting a dual program – text book + a reading program. This in my perspective, is a great opportunity for teachers to build on their craft of teaching English.

Learning A-Z is a great resource, well known in the International circuit and is used in over 140 countries, thus validating and supporting accreditation in schools. The research and awards received by the program, shows that the content is vetted both qualitatively and quantitatively  leveraging good reading and writing practices, thus moving away from ROTE LEARNING to develop DEEP LITERACY SKILLS  for critical thinking.

In my opinion, Learning A-Z  supports all of the above. It teaches teachers how to teach reading and writing involving skills and  strategies of the 21st century like analyzing character, analyzing plots, analyzing settings, understanding author’s purpose of entertainment, information, and persuasion, cause & effect, identifying points of view, making inferences and drawing conferences, problem solution, understanding different genres, sequence of events and more. All resources books are available in a blended format – both print and digital.

This program offers students direct and explicit instruction on key comprehension skills with the Comprehension Skill Packs. Each lesson plan follows the teaching, practice, and apply an instructional approach to support students as they build meaning from texts.  It includes guided reading books (leveled), worksheets, professional development lesson plans, visual devices, graphic organizers and all the necessary documents for teaching – thus saving lots of google search time.

A blended program that offers the students an opportunity to read at their reading level, complete a quiz on their device. The results of the quiz can help teachers identify areas of teaching and support student learning.

The Writing A-Z  delivers online writing lessons, resources, and tools to meet the needs of every student, at every learning level for Elementary and Middle School Years.

  • Lessons and resources to teach writing
  • Interactive online writing tools for students
  • Online reporting to track progress and growth

You can get your free trial here for 14 days and also download their samples and check them out. I am sure this program will benefit your students and enhance your teaching practice.

360 Degree Videos to Curate

By Digital Resources, General, Media Literacy, Media Literacy & Information Literacy, Virtual Reality No Comments

There is a tsunami of information available in the world. As librarians, our key role is finding and matching the right information with the right reader or inquirer. This is becoming increasingly important and an added asset to the education system today. Teachers are using differentiated instructions to help students learn, communicate, create through collaboration and critical thinking. We as librarians are partnering with teachers to help students become successful. Therefore, our role as curators of information, supporters of information – seekers. (Teachers & Students) This compels us to learn about new content that will serve the needs of our clients.

Librarians are curators, we curate lists of titles for teachers, students, and parents. We are constantly reading and learning about new books, eBooks, eZines, articles and videos to help teachers deliver their lessons effectively and help students learn and enjoy the gift of reading literature.

Presently, librarians curate list of titles embedded with youtube videos and teaching materials to help students.  Recently, librarians are including 360-degree videos. According to Wikipedia, “360-degree videos also known as immersive videos or spherical videosare video recordings where a view in every direction is recorded at the same time, shot using an omnidirectional camera or a collection of cameras. During playback on normal flat display, the viewer has control of the viewing direction like a panorama. It can also be played on displays or projectors”.

Here are some examples for you to check out Ancient Egypt Temple, National Geographic 360 degree Videos, virtual 360 degrees tours from Nasa, Explore India 

Add these to your list when you curate resources for your teachers or students or simply evoke a discussion with your students about Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, show them one of the above resources and ask them how they could use these tools in education, how could they use them in the world, what are the benefits and drawbacks of this kind of resource? How are these videos made? Could you make one? These will make your class interesting, and engaging, nudging students to think and wonder.

Other resources for you:

5-Minute Film Festival: Teaching With 360-Degree Videos: Check out these immersive 360-degree videos you can use in your classroom—no special equipment needed.

Other 360 Degree Channels on Youtube

A blog post on the benefits of 360 virtual reality videos in education

And, how to find the best educational videos