Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Subtext in your Classroom or Library


"Subtext is a free iPad app that allows classroom groups to exchange ideas in the pages of digital texts.  You can also layer in enrichment materials, assignments and quizzes - opening up almost limitless opportunities to engage students and foster analysis and writing skills."   I see so much potential with this app!  See what teachers say here and I will walk you through how easy it is to get ePub documents on Subtext. 

I collaborated with 5th grade teachers on a series of great tools for students to respond to the book Wonder, by R.J. Palacio.  I want to make some cross-curricular connections by bringing the disease that August had; as well as, bringing in some math and social studies.  The first thing I had to do was build my library with some articles.  You can see my library below.  

You will also have to set up your class groups.  Subtext works with Edmodo, so if you have Edmodo, it will populate your groups for you.  When you create a group, you are given a code that students will need to access their Subtext group.

When you first get subtext, it will ask you to save a link to your bookmarks bar so that you can easily convert articles.  

Next, begin searching for articles you like on the web.  I loved this article.

 When you find an article that you like click the "Save to Subtext" link and you should see this....

 When you click the Save to Subtext, you will see this next prompt asking if you want to save to one, two, or all of your groups.

Then, when you go to your library, you will see your article in ePub format.

Then you have an option to create questions for discussion.  You are given options for True or False, Multiple Choice, Polling, or Paragraph responses.  I chose a poll to bring in some math statistics.

 After a group has been given instructions to read an article, they would choose the discussion link to respond to the literature.

I found this tutorial - so I am going to include it here....

 Can you see the possibilities of this platform?  My mind hasn't stopped spinning since I have come across it.  Please share your ideas for using Subtext in your library or classroom by leaving a comment below!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hosting a Dia De Los Muertos Literacy Event

It has been a while since I have hosted a Family Literacy Night for a school.  The TLI Literacy Coach and I have been working to plan a Dia De Los Muertos Literacy Night on November 7th.  Because McAllen ISD is a 1:1 device district, I am trying to make what I can paper free.

Questions I had to ask myself to get started:

1.  What is your purpose for the event?

My principal and I decided that we combine our Literacy Night with the Dia De Los Muertos activities I was doing in the library.  We want parents to come out not only to share literacy tips and ideas on how they can help their child at home, but to make sure that they are signed up on our District's Zipp Slip and see where they are at if their child doesn't have their iPad yet.

2.  Are all of your teachers invested? This task shouldn't be difficult if you give your teachers ideas for activities and share literacy pamphlets with them. There are a lot of different things out there for students to do while teachers are sharing with parents.  I made some foldable activities, book marks, mask making, word searches, and much more to help spark the teacher's interest.

3.  Do you have a committee helping you?  I met with the TLI Literacy Coach and the lead person from every grade level so that they could give input on the event.

4.  How will you get parents to come to your Literacy Night? There will be free hotdogs (1 per person) for the first 200 people that show up.  Food always brings in families.

5.  How will you promote your event?  Virtual Newsletter that goes out to parents, Library Home Page, and Displays with QR codes. 

This is the Library Display
Display by the front office with QR Code (Visualead) to Download the Event App (YAPP)

6.  Do you need sponsors - Our PTO is buying all of the hotdogs and I am reaching out to local businesses for loteria prizes.

7.  What special things do you have set up?  I have a book fair that will be going on, a fabulous local author that will share local legends and folklore from his books, and I have the high school mariachi group performing Day of the Dead songs.

Literacy Events should be fun and informative for everyone involved.  I am looking forward to all of Field's K-5 students having a great time!  Please share some of your literacy event ideas in the comments below!