Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Literacy Smarts

Literacy Smarts by Jennifer Harper and Brenda Stein Dzaldov as the perfect byline - Simple classroom strategies for using interactive whiteboards to engage students.  As I was reading this book, I kept thinking these authors are talking to me!  I've been hesitant.  I've thought my plate is full, I don't need another thing to do.  I've thought why do I need that when my chart paper and pen work just fine.  After reading this book, I can't believe I was so hesitant and the last teacher in my building to receive one and this was by choice.  I am very fortunate and work in a district where our PTO group has graciously donated the majority of our interactive whiteboards (aka - IWB)  I feel part of a "techie" club using IWB.  If you are at all in the same place as I am and/or was then you must read this from the authors..."If we begin with what we know traditionally works, we can use that knowledge base to enter the digital world, creating many interactive and engaging possibilities for our students.  This book is organized by these chapter topics; Rethinking Literacy, Using the Interactive Whiteboard, Collaborating, Communicating, Creating, The IWB as a Tool for Assessment, and Reaching All Students.  Each chapter is guiding and thorough using two subsections to help those of us new to using IWB; traditional - which talks about traditionally how the chapter title appears in the classroom and then we read about the IWB advantage.  This comparison really let me visualize how I can use this new tool in my classroom.  

I held off getting an IWB because I didn't understand how to use it or what it could really do.  I didn't want it to be just a big screen for viewing videoclips.  I know now I really didn't understand the purpose of this tool.  These quotes from the text have clarified my thinking.

-"It leads us into the future of learning - interpreting, managing, exploring, and expanding our students' thinking while enabling authentic learning."

-"With the interactive whiteboard, we can build a solid foundation in literacy skills and incorporate the texts, content, and pedagogy that engage and educate our students."

-"We conceptualize our students as creators, collaborators, and communicators who mediate their learning through interaction and multimodal text."

-"The principle goal of education is to create men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done. - Jean Piaget"

This book is filled with tips for getting starting and using the IWB successfully.  It also has so many ideas for enhancing our literacy instruction I think this book will be quite the guide for me this year. A big message I appreciated through their suggestions was collaboration.  Having students create was constantly suggested.  I also appreciated the suggestions for whole groups small group, and individuals.  If you have something you love using the IWB for, please leave a comment to help everyone.

I would like to thank Katie for recommending this book and writing a post about how she uses an IWB.

1 comment:

  1. Mandy,
    One more book I need to check out, but it looks like a good one. Thanks!