Tuesday, November 29, 2016


By Brenda Maurao, Assistant Principal at Miller Elementary School

This fall, Miller students and staff had the opportunity to participate in a global program that brings students around the globe together to discuss a common book. During a six week period, from October 3 through November 11,  classroom teachers read aloud to students and engaged in discussions through a variety of online platforms about a common book.  

Teachers selected between two books to read to students during the Global Read Aloud:  Pax by Sara Pennypacker or The BFG by Roald Dahl.

The idea of the Global Read Aloud is for students to make connections with people around the world based on the shared love of reading. During and after reading the book together in class, students  engaged in online discussions with other students using a platform such as Edmodo, Google Hangouts, Twitter or Skype. Pinterest and Facebook were great resources for teachers, too.   Each teacher participated at a pace and format that meshed with regular classroom activities.  

Fifth graders who read Pax ended the Global Read Aloud with a SKYPE presentation and question/answer session (highlighted in the tweet below)!
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Informal discussions have begun as Miller teachers begin reflecting on this year’s experience with the Global Read Aloud.  We look forward to submitting possible book titles for next year, along with having school-wide discussions to plan the event next year.  Here are the reflections of fifth grade teachers Ashley DeRoy and Sara Peters: Video Interview with Ashley DeRoy and Sara Peters

For more information on The Global Read Aloud, please click on the presentation below!  

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Technology Is Helping to Meet the Needs of All Students at RAMS

The one to one Chromebook program at Adams Middle School has enabled students to customize their device to meet their own needs. In some cases, this is directed toward personal preferences, but students also frequently install apps and extensions that allow the Chromebook to more closely match up with their learning needs. Mrs. Ondrasek's students recently explored three of these apps Read & Write for Google, Google Docs voice typing, and Readability.

ExtensionRead & Write for Google is a Chrome text to speech extension that allows a student to quickly have documents and websites read to them using a customizable voice. A premium version of the extension, which is free for teachers, also produces picture and visual dictionaries and highlighting tools.

Image result for google docs voice typingGoogle Docs voice typing is a built-in speech to text capability in Google Docs. Because the school Chromebooks have a built-in microphone, students are able to type using their own voice. This is an excellent choice for students who are struggling with typing or prefer to compose aloud.

Finally, the Readability extension removes all the clutter from web pages, which tends to be an issue in particular when visit news websites such as CNN. The extension also enlarges and brightens text for easier reading.