Friday, March 2, 2018

Tech Tools that Enhance

Don't you love seeing engaged and motivated learners? If I want to measure the effectiveness of my lessons, activities and practice...
engagement is my barometer. It also lets me know if this is a tool we want to keep.

I have been using an incredible tool for several years now. I doubt there are many educators out there who aren't aware of online library of books and videos, free for teachers. I love to learn how others are using this tool. But I also love sharing how I use it.

I have found it to be the perfect tool for small reading groups. I have instant access to books, can get each child on a book that I can choose by level, interest or other topic we are studying. Students love using Epic. Small reading groups with engaged learners will lead to better readers.

Students love to have Epic as a choice during independent reading as well. This tool is student friendly. They quickly learn how to search for books they choose. Students can also read together with ease. It is so frustrating to them when they can't find two books the same to read with. Every child has access to the same books. They also love to use the read to books for books above their level. All educators know it is important for students to have books read to them above their level to enhance comprehension and vocabulary. It is impossible to do that with every child...that is unless you have Epic!

In our classroom we love doing virtual field trips. One of our favorite tools for this is Learn Around the World . My students absolutely love the #geoshow! It certainly helps to prepare students for a virtual trip with some schema. I love Epic for this. I can go into Epic to plan with purpose. I can set up collections of books and videos based on the topic we will be  learning about with Brandon from Learn Around the World. I can make one collection for the whole class, or more differentiated collections based on reading levels. Students are then armed with information and questions, ready to make a great virtual trip even better! This same idea can be used for any research your doing or to enhance Science and Social Studies.

Speaking of virtual collaboration...Epic is the tool for connecting with other classrooms as well. Books clubs don't have to be in your classroom walls, nor do reading buddies! Collections can be shared with other educators as well. Make plans to connect and collaborate using a tool we ALL have access to.

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