Tech Matters

Technology tips and teaching strategies aligned with PowerUp WHAT WORKS.
Sep
10
2014

Technology Tools for Learning Logs

Both teachers and students can find value in using Learning Logs. For a student, it is a way to keep a record of what he or she is doing and learning in terms of knowledge and skills—right then, as the learning occurs. It is especially helpful for... More...
Sep
3
2014

Modeling to Teach Math

As a mathematics coach at an elementary school, I met with teachers at the end of last year to set professional development goals for this year. They all agreed, “Let’s focus on modeling.”  Striving to meet the needs of their students in relation to... More...
Aug
28
2014

Listen to this Story

Lately, when I’ve been the passenger during a long car ride, I’ve been listening to The Moth Radio Hour (www.themoth.org), where “true stories are told live.” I love hearing the excitement in a storyteller’s voice as I follow the arc of a story. I... More...
Aug
20
2014

Teach-ing Syl-la-bles: A Video Playlist

Syllabication is a core decoding skill, and as such, a basic foundational reading skill. As explained in The English Language Arts Common Core State Standards, foundational skills are not an end in and of themselves, but rather, a core component of... More...
Aug
14
2014

The Changing Face of Research Project Reports

An educational rite of passage is for students, somewhere from the upper elementary grades through high school, to carry out one or more research projects and present/report out their findings.  Recognize this familiar scene: A student is... More...
Jul
30
2014

Let the Ideas Flow: Prewriting and Tech Tools

Prewriting frees the inner writer. Commonly considered the first step in the writing process (prewriting, drafting, and reviewing), it is that “protected” time for generating ideas without the pressure of producing a draft right away. The University... More...
Jul
24
2014

Semantic Mapping: A Tool for All Reasons

As a teacher, literacy specialist, and consultant, I always found semantic maps (also called graphic organizers or webs) to be a hot discussion topic. Teachers found endless uses. Some used graphic organizers for vocabulary—to help students perceive... More...
Jul
15
2014

Struggling Readers, Self-Questioning, and Digital Text

Many struggling readers are passive rather than active readers. They have difficulty interacting with and making personal meaning of the ideas in the text. One evidence-based strategy that helps students’ reading comprehension is self-questioning.... More...
Jul
8
2014

Using Word Clouds for Summarizing

The goal of summarizing a larger selection of text (e.g., an article, story, or chapter) is to distill the gist, key ideas, or main points. A summary, according to Webster’s, is the “general idea in brief form.” It is reducing the larger work into... More...
Jun
26
2014

Back to the Future: Using the Dictionary

In the “olden days,” when my children went to school, they carried a pocket dictionary in their backpacks, referred to the BIG dictionary we had at home, or pulled out from the back of their desk the school-issued hard-cover dictionary. They were... More...