Thursday, December 31, 2009

Reading Fluency Does Not Equate To Reading For Comprehension

Reading Fluency Does Not Equate To Reading For Comprehension

These two paragraphs below are from a Reading Study that is linked to this Blog. I think it talks to what we are seeing with some of our schools scores in the state of Michigan.  It talks about how fluency is important to comprehension but it is only a steeping stone to comprehension, it say in the second paragraph third sentence page 21 of the study,  " The students who seem to slip by teachers are the ones who read fluently, but do not comprehend what is read." This is exactly what Dr. Mike Schmoker talked about at the Student 5 success conference in Lansing. He said, After we teach them to read fluently some where around 2 grade we need to start working on short one to two page articles on reading for understanding and having group discussions on what they have just read. This can be brought into any core areas as Science, History, Math, besides just ELA classes. After that we then need to get them to then be able to write about what they have read. so with this we could help to take care of two of ares where many  School need Improvement.

(from Page 21 of study)
While fluency is one of the five components of reading, there is controversy over the amount of attention that should be given to it. Some experts think that a lack of fluency has a greater impact on younger readers’ comprehension than those who are more experienced readers. Others believe it is necessary for all readers to be fluent to comprehend.

Experts do agree that fluency does impact comprehension at some level. Teachers should assess whether the lack of fluency is disrupting comprehension before spending a great deal of time working on it. The students who seem to slip by teachers are the ones who read fluently, but do not comprehend what is read. Words such as “quick”, “with expression”, “good phrasing”, or “reads in a meaningful way” are usually used to describe what listeners notice about fluent reading. Fluency is enhanced through repeated readings of familiar text. It is also important that the activities that engage students in rereading familiar text are enjoyable. In his book What Really Matters for Struggling Readers (2001), Richard Allington suggests several ways to engage students in rereading activities to improve fluency.


Dr. Mike Schmoker summarizing what we need to-do to help improve are schools

This link is to a short video by Dr. Mike Schmoker summarizing what we need to-do to help improve are schools. It talks about the power standards, best teaching practices and Professional Learning Communities (PLC). it is short only about 9 Minutes long.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Can you read this, if so you are only in 55% of the group (how the brain reads words)

This below paragraph is to demonstrate how the brain works to decipher the following text. So no I did not have many typographical errors, well this time any way :). 

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it dseno't mtaetr in waht oerdr the ltteres in a wrod are, the olny iproamtnt tihng is taht the frsit and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Olny 55% of plepoe taht try to raed tihs can raed tihs.

Say Goodbye to Interactive Whiteboards

Here is an interesting article in the School Planning & Management December 2009 issue. It suggests that wireless tablets and other alternatives are coming out that will make the Whiteboards at $1500 plus a technology of the past. Ouch, if you have bought into the white board movement. Also at the REMC projector shootout we look at a whiteboards from Steel Case the name eludes me right now of the product. But if you have one it has no electronics in the board and is a plain white board except that they said it has silkscreen dots on the surface. If you have one of these units please contact me, as I think there is some more to this and I would like you to try some thing with this board for me. I promise it will not hurt. this article in the magizine is not online yet but if your school gets this magazine you will find it there on "Lucky Number page 13". I will post a link to the article when it comes online at my Blogspot site.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Stem and Leaf Plots

This video will show you how to create a simple stem and leaf plot. The stem and leaf plot is a simple way to create a plot and analyze data without the use of a computer.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Yong Zhao "Catching Up or Leading the Way"

Link to recorded Webinar:

Yong Zhao is University Distinguished Professor at the College of Education, Michigan State University, where he also serves as the founding director of the Center for Teaching and Technology, executive director of the Confucius Institute, as well as the US-China Center for Research on Educational Excellence. He is a fellow of the International Academy for Education. His research interests include computer gaming and education, diffusion of innovations, teacher adoption of technology, computer-assisted language learning, and globalization and education. Zhao has extensive international experiences. He has consulted with government and educational agencies.
Yong Zhao has been leading the development of Zon, the world’s first MMORPG for learning Chinese language and culture. It provides an immersive environment for learning Chinese through interactions with both pre-programmed content and other players, including live tutors from China.
Yong will also discuss his newly released book: Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization

Powerful Design Patterns for 21st Century School Facilities

Link to recorded Webinar:

Having renovated or constructed nine new school facilities since its inception in 2000, the nationally acclaimed High Tech High network of schools in San Diego, CA, has put much thought into the kinds of physical environments that best support a project-and inquiry-based approach to teaching and learning. Architect and educator David Stephen is one of the founders of HTH, and served both as the curriculum coordinator for the flagship school, and the Director of Design for six of its buildings. Now consulting nationally with schools and districts on the creation of project-based curricula and school facilities, David has helped to guide the design process for over 20 dynamic and technology-rich school facilities. This webinar will focus on the programmatic underpinnings of High Tech High, and the key spaces and design patterns that have evolved with regard to the creation of its flexible and vibrant learning environments.

Additional information and resources can be found at:,, and

Tim Presiado – New Technology Network

The session will explore the key elements of New Technology Network approach that helps schools fundamentally rethink teaching and learning, empowering students to become the creators, leaders, and producers of tomorrow. This approach focuses on the development of a culture that empowers students and teachers; uses Project Based Learning (PBL) as an instructional approach to engage students in authentic academic content; and utilizes an integrated technology platform to support student learning and teacher development. The presenter will share data, a sample PBL unit, and explore the student and teacher experience at a New Tech Network School.
Link to Recorded Webinar:

Monday, December 21, 2009

21 Things for the 21st Century Project

21 Things for the 21st Century Project Based on the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers.

Do you want to know more about how to use technology in an effective way to educate students. This website is a way for you to get some professional development. Also you can get college credit towards a master degree if you work with some of the major university in the state of Michigan.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Is technology making a diffrence in student learning?

Why do you as an educator feel that all this good technology out their has not had a greater impact in the classroom then it has. Lack of support, Lack of training, Lack of time. What are some of the reason that you see this trend happening.
Dr. Schmoker is a supporter of the work by Jim Collins “Good to Great” Jim talks to the his research that showed that Good to Great Companies where not made by the use of Technology. He suggest that it only allows companies to do things quick and they would have made it to the same place of greatness without it. Dr. Schmoker in his keynote in Lansing took it one step further and made claim that technology has no impact on student learning. I think this is taking it a little to far. I do believe that technology has had an effect on student learning. For one if you get a student engaged in learning with the use of technology, then it has had some impact on learning. In fact at his lecture he was using these tool to more effectively communicate to the group, a Video Projection unit, a Document Camera like an Elmo, and a microphone. Also during the event they used turnpoint clickers to take some quick sample surveys. This is a great example of good use of technology. It is a great way to have an impact on student learning. In some of the sessions they took pretest and post test to check for understanding of the training with these units. If you had to you could have done this with paper and pencil but it would of taken much longer to find the results. This way the instructors could retouch on content that talked about and may have been misunderstood on.
So what is you opinion on this leave me a comment or email me at

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Qutoe by Pablo Picasso

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ~Pablo Picasso

I think is an interesting quote, I think this talks to the fact that we need to make sure that we don't kill that creative spark in kids as we work with them in learning.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Learning to Change Changing to Learn

Learning to Change Changing to Learn Advancing K-12 Technology Leadership, Consortium for School Networking(COSN) Video

How we need to change learning.

How we need to change learning.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Quote by Conrad Hilton

"Achievement seems to be connected
with action. Successful men and
women keep moving. They make
mistakes, but they don't quit."
- Conrad Hilton