Software
Pixie Icon

Pixie

Software for student publishing and creativity.

Wixie Icon

Wixie

Online student publishing and creativity platform.

Frames Icon

Frames

Create animations, digital stories, and stop-motion.

Share Icon

Create web sites, epubs, and presentations.

Professional Learning
Services
Pixie Icon

Pixie

Software for student publishing and creativity.

Wixie Icon

Wixie

Online student publishing and creativity platform.

Frames Icon

Frames

Create animations, digital stories, and stop-motion.

Share Icon

Share

Create web sites, epubs, and presentations.

Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog
Tech4Learning Blog

Building Literacy Skills with Pixie

Posted by Joseph Machado on Mar 10, 2011 8:39:00 AM

Early literacy is such a complex topic involving many issues like whole language, phonics, development, natural environment, direct teaching, and intervention.  How does one create a balanced approach to early literacy instruction through purposeful, functional use and meaningful context within a print-rich environment?  I believe the key ingredient is engagement and Pixie the tool to help with strengthening these skills in a 21st century classroom.

Using the National Early Literacy Panel’s 2002 research findings I have come up with ways in which Pixie can support their vision of the elements of a successful reading program.

For Alphabetic Principle (phonics and phonemic awareness) students:
  • Use the the stamp tool to stamp letters and form new words
  • Create letter trading cards
  • Complete various activities in the activities folder – rhyming, beginning sounds, etc.
For Fluency students:
  • Record their voice practicing beginning sounds of words
  • Retell a story focusing on tone of voice
  • Graph words per minute on various passages
For Vocabulary students:
  • Create a digital dictionary with original illustrations showing the meaning of the word
  • Create and record an original rebus story
  • Create vocabulary trading cards
For Comprehension students:
  • Use graphic organizers in the activities folder to map out the elements of a story
  • Create a new book cover for a story they have read
  • Create a video summarizing the story supporting it with original illustrations
Read More

Topics: pixie, creativity, creativity software, engage, literacy, 21st century classroom, technology integration, fluency

Adolescent Literacy

Posted by Joseph Machado on Jan 10, 2011 2:00:00 PM

Recently I have found myself intrigued by the topic of adolescent literacy. It could be due to my former life as a reading specialist, at a middle school for a year, why I am revisiting this topic. Either way the findings are always interesting. The following sites have been keeping me up to date:

Doing What Works - research-based education practices by the US Department of Education.
AdLit.org - national multimedia project offering information and resources on the topic.

I definitely did not have any formal training in the field of literacy other than a handful of workshops here and there offered by the county office. My experience found me somewhat bored by the direct instruction approach. Knowing this format would show results I still was not convinced this would increase my students’ readability of academic language.

I found using Tech4learning software the hook I needed to get my students interested in wanting to do the mundane direct instruction approach. After all, motivation is a key factor when working with the middle school population. The first area of literacy I felt compelled to address was fluency. The program my district had adopted was Read Naturally. This program in itself motivated my students, but Pixie took it one step further.

After doing the required steps of the Read Naturally program I altered the final step by integrating Pixie. Students would take their final passage of the lesson from that day and record it in Pixie while accompanying it with an original illustration. The beauty of this was when administrators would walk in they would hear students using intonation and expression while reading. Not to mention a level of engagement they were not use to seeing in this type of class. A bonus to this practice was noticing students gain some comprehension skills by illustrating the passage. By years end the students walked away with a portfolio of their fluency passages and a reflection on how this process worked for them.
Read More

Topics: pixie, creativity, literacy, fluency, adolescence

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