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Ingredients for Successful Technology Integration and Learning

1/3 Cup Standards-Based Task
1/4 Cup 21st Century Thinking
1/4 Cup Problem-Based or Project-Based Task
2 Tablespoons Choice
6 Tablespoons Purpose
3 Tablespoons Audience
1/3 Cup Authentic Assessment

Combine Standards-Based Task with 21st Century Skills. With mixer running, add Problem-Based or Project-Based Task. Add 2 Tablespoons student choice for technology that best suits their needs in order to complete the task.

Transfer to saucepan. Bring Problem-Based or Project-Based Task to boil. Over medium-high heat, slowly stir in Purpose. Choose a purpose that motivates your students. Blend in audience, stir frequently. Boil until mixture is smooth with an engaging task that is relevant for your students.

Serve in a manner that catches their attention before they even begin. You want them excited to try your dish.

Criteria for assessment should be made ahead of time.

This blog was inspired by Patrick Ledesma's article, "Student Choice: An Important Step for Meaningful Technology Integration."


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Close Read Complex Text, and Annotate with Tech--Part 1

Students need to be taught how to read complex texts. One of the strategies for learning how is close reading. It slows the reader down to notice and ponder more. It also connects meaning and builds systems of thought.

Text complexity with close reading

Complex text requires a close reading. So what makes a text complex? There are three "ingredients" to text complexity:

It's important to understand text complexity to build students' literacy skills. As they become more skilled, they will read more complex text on their own.

Introduction to close reading

Here's an overview of close reading:

What does close reading look like in the classroom?

Here are some examples of close reading at different grade levels and content areas (or components of it such as annotation):
9th-10th grade -- Thinking Notes: A Strategy to Encourage Close Reading by the Teaching Channel 10th grade, Close Reading with nonfiction6th grade, Teaching Annotation4th grade, Close Reading3rd grade l…

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Over the past year, our teachers periodically collect data with their teams on the types of questions/tasks they ask students. One teacher records teacher questions and the other records student responses on a shared Google Doc; then teams sort through their own data, plotting teacher questions by Bloom's Revised Taxonomy, and student responses to those questions/tasks with Webb's Depth of Knowledge (DOK). The 2012-2013 data showed we were not very different from other districts; therefore, our teamsset their own goals for higher-order thinking and depth of knowledge.

The data so far for the 2013-2014 school year shows questions asked of students are up and down the Bloom's ladder, equally distributed (with a little less in the c…

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Close reading is a strategy for reading complex text. In Part 1, the focus is how to do a close reading. The focus in Part 2 is how to annotate with iPads. The focal points of this post are the teacher steps in close reading; how to create text dependent questions for informational text in 6th-12th grades; annotating in Diigo; and creating writing activities to go with close reading.
Below are the teacher's steps for creating a close reading lesson. However, the student steps are in the poster shown on the right:

Teacher Step 1: Choose the text

Choose a short and difficult text to do a close reading on. It should be at the frustration reading level.

Some examples to choose from for informational text are short speeches (or excerpts from a speech); research; paragraphs or chapters from biographies, memoirs, or historical accounts to name a few.

Teacher Step 2: Planning

Plan and do what you expect your students to do.
Decide if they will annotate on a paper copy, with sticky notes, o…