by Tammy Ryan
Summer is the perfect time to collaborate with co-workers to hone important instructional techniques. Learn how Lynn and Cassie, two second grade co-teachers, created informal, internet professional development journeys to deepen instructional understandings on effective ways to bring robust vocabulary into their classroom environment.
First, Lynn and Cassie joined Delicious to collect and share vocabulary links found during their Internet journeys. For instance, they found and bookmarked Literacy Essentials and Reading Network (LEaRN). The site offers opportunities to read research on vocabulary, hear expert commentaries, and view movies on vocabulary instruction, such as Lisa Worthy demonstrating how she uses Text Talk to teach robust words. The teachers also discovered ways to create and use interactive word walls to nudge their students into producing targeted words.
Because Cassie and Lynn wanted to bring digital technologies into the classroom experience and use photographs to capture students engaged in hands-on activities that depict instructed words, they found, read, and discussed Digital Language Experience Approach located on Reading Online. Then to acquire funding to purchase digital cameras and printers, they completed a Best Buy Program Store Donation application.
During later sessions, Lynn contributed a lesson plan she found on ReadWriteThink titled Blast Off! Vocabulary Instruction Using a Virtual Moon Trip. It uses virtual field trips to authenticate word learning experiences. Cassie shared a site she discovered on Florida Center of Reading Research called FAIR Student Activities Search Tool. The site offers numerous grade-level vocabulary games and activities to nurture word learning during literacy stations. Also, the teachers used Pinterest to view photographs, charts, and ideas on creative ways to bring vocabulary experiences into the classroom environment.
Later in the summer after learning through Internet discovers, Lynn and Cassie used Google Docs to collaboratively compose plans meaningful to everyone’s word learning experiences the following year. In sharing these experiences, we hope you, too, create and learn from Internet Journeys this summer.
Tammy Ryan is from Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida.
This article is part of a series from the Technology in Literacy Education Special Interest Group (TILE-SIG).