Friday Link Up

Hello All!  I wanted to stop and take the time to share some of the great articles that I have read throughout the week.  Most of them are reading-related, but then again, some are just worth reading!  Enjoy!

Friday Link Up

 Buzz Worthy News: Twitter Fight Edition 21st July 2015

When We Read, We Recognize Words as Pictures and Hear Them Spoken Aloud from “Scientific American”

Quotes just because

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The Ultimate Guide to Books for Reluctant Readers Ages 14 to 15 by Karina Glaser

Which Literary Heroine Are You? Quiz

What is Your Reading Style?

A person’s reading style is as telling as any other personality trait.  If you’re like me, your reading style probably has changed as you have gone through different phases of your life.  In high school, I loved to read and I couldn’t get my hands on another book fast enough.  In college, I think that I got burnt out by all of the assigned reading, so I rarely had a book of my choosing.  In my twenties I spent all of my free time building my career and working on becoming a stronger teacher, so again, unless it was an assigned text, I didn’t have much time for reading.  Now that I feel that I have come into my own as a teacher, feeling more confident and efficient in my planning, I have the time to dive into that ever-growing stack of “to-read” books.

So that tells you how I read, but not what kind of a reader I am; what are my tastes in novels and how does that impact my personality.  It’s hard for me to pinpoint it, so I decided to go to the expert: the internet.  I found a quiz online that tells you what type of reader you are.  You can take it here!

Here are my results:

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I agree with the results for the most part, but I do take a bit of an offense at the 69% “Book Snob.”  It is true that I have stopped reading my fair share of novels when they have failed to capture my attention.  I have no problem with this because I feel as though I have so many books that I want to read that if one doesn’t work for me, I have plenty of others to look forward to.  Maybe that makes me a book snob.  I agree that I am not a “Fad Reader,” but if I heard good reviews about a book that is getting a lot of notoriety in either social media or from friends’ words-of-mouth, I will give it a try.  I rarely purchase a book without having read some type of review.

But no matter what type of reader you are, no matter how many titles you read or how quickly you read through them, the important part is to never quit.  See, there’s that 88% “Dedicated Reader” for ya!

Google Docs in the Classroom

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I’m trying to convince myself that it’s time to get to know Google Docs, and I’m using the excuse that it’s time to revamp my classroom.  I’m starting my 10th year of teaching this fall and it is time.  It’s easier to remain stagnant, but if humans were meant to stay the same their entire lives, I wouldn’t be buying regenerist serums by the gallon.

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Anyway, I have started fiddling around with how to make Google forms with my personal account.  I am going to be meeting weekly with my department members and I want to streamline the process as much as possible.  Here is the final product:

Meeting Minutes

I can open this form on my iPad during the meeting, fill it out, and then have the results accumulated in a spreadsheet for my convenience.  I also figure out how to have the results directly emailed to me for easy sharing with the individual teachers.

It was a little tricky getting used to the format and platform, and because I’m still working the kinks out, I won’t attempt to explain the process.  I’ll leave that to the experts.

It got me to thinking about how I can use Google Docs in the classroom.  I am completely envious of teachers who work in a 1:1 school or where technology is more consistently accessible.  What I do have control over is the use of my iPad in the classroom.  I can also provide Google Docs/Forms for students to use at home if they cannot access them on their smartphones or tablets.  So here is a list of uses that I intend to implement this year:

  • Behavior Logs
  • Individual/Group meetings with students
  • Surveys
  • Spot Checks
    • This has become the nomenclature at our school to replace the term “quiz.”  It will ensure me that students have read their assigned reading.  Through our PLN, we have decided that the first question must always be, “Did you complete the reading assignment?”  At first, we thought students would automatically respond, “yes,” but eventually as students became more comfortable, their honesty improved.  It helps the teacher know if there is a comprehension problem or if it’s Christmas treeing.
  • Lesson planning
  • Rubrics – I’m still new to this usage, but I definitely plan on getting better acquainted.

Question of the Day: If you use Google Docs/Forms in the classroom, what is your favorite method?  If you haven’t started, what is holding you back?