Thursday, April 26, 2007

Literacy Strategies at the High School level

Here is a project that was developed in Maine for high school literacy. It is called the Region III Literacy Project.

This Literacy Project is part of the State Moodle were lots of great information is stored.

The purpose of the project grew out of a need for high school students to be reading at a Lexile level between 730-960, a college freshmen reading between 1100-1310, and a typical Lexile reading level for textbooks and manuals at the Technical Education Center between 1010-1210.

Once this purpose was defined Region III instructors began integrating literacy strategies into their lesson plans to ensure student comprehension of the required reading material. What are you using in your classroom to ensure student comprehension at the target Lexile standards?

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Thanks to Target for their efforts in Education

I've been meaning to write this blog post for a month. Since we just are coming off a vacation I figured I better just do it!

Target, announced a "first of many thanks to teachers for this year!" Taget thinks that teachers should feel appreciated all year round. Here goes!

Here is an easy way for our schools to realize funds from Target. Through the Take Charge of Education Target donates up to 1% of every purchase you make on your REDcard to the eligible K-12 school of your choice. This is one way you can benefit our schools.

Target has made a site with downloadable materials for teachers and students where diversity is celebrated.

Next September 2007, teachers can apply for Field Trip Grants for trips in our local community. Check out this link for more details.

Finally a contest for students Redesign your school! This contest, for students grades 9-12, began in March 2007 and the submissions are due June 30, 2007.  Students can win scholarships, prizes and the opportunity for their ideas to influence future schools' designs.

Checkout these ideas, all it takes is a little time.

Over and out!

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Juniors at Wells High logon to PrepMe

On April 12, 2007, all juniors in attendance at Wells High School were able to take part in an introduction to PrepMe. Here is the paragraph from's website from Feb. 1, 2007.

Today is a big day for both PrepMe and the State of Maine. We just announced that in conjunction with a philanthropist, we will be making $4.5 million per year in PrepMe test preparation available to Maine’s public high school juniors for the next three years. Maine took the bold step of replacing its state assessment test with the SAT because it believed that every student deserves to have access to a college education and with the partnership announced today, PrepMe hopes to play a substantial role in making college accessible to Maine’s students.

It is not often that a whole grade level in a state can take part of something so influential and important (besides the laptops). I was in the computer lab all day at WHS and explained a little bit about PrepMe, test taking strategies and how to take advantage of the services that PrepMe has offered. Ms. Jennifer Lacher-Starace and I worked with the staff and students to get them involved with this process. I have to say that the support that PrepMe has been comprehensive and very reactive. I've been able to communicate with their company with questions and support.

PrepMe is designed for students to take diagnostic tests and then have a series of practice sessions individualized for them in preparation for taking the SAT's May 5, 2007. Parents may also take part in this process by accessing their student's account and by observing the kinds of topics the students need to work on. Each student went home with a flyer about PrepMe and an email about the process. If you have any questions about this process visit PrepMe or ask you student or your student's English teacher or Ms. Lacher-Starace. You can always email coakes!
How could I forget the most important part? The students were very serious about this test. They liked getting their scores immediately, getting feedback on their answers and about knowing what they need to work on next. Thanks PrepME.

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Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Online gaming in virtual worlds!

 Join the Women of Web 2.0 at 9 PM Tuesday as we discuss  many webtools. This week, April 10, we are discussing the following.

The Horizon Report 2007 states that virtual worlds are going to be a significant trend on college campuses in the next 1-5 years but there are some educators already doing it.

The Guests
Beth Ritter-Guth is a pioneer who is teaching literature in Second Life (SL). (Shakespeare in SL, to "prim or not to prim?")  She has taught me so much and is very patient!  We have a lot to learn from her.

Dr. Allan Webb is the founder of  and has an amazing story to tell about how a difficult book became very teachable in a 3D environment.

This is not technology focused as both of our interviewees are teaching literature!  It will be exciting!

We have agendas for these shows.  I'm going to share a pared down version with you:

If any of the following interests you come along tonight. If you can't make it you can listen to the podcasts which will be posted by Thursday at

WOW2 April 10, 2007 Agenda: The Potential for Virtual Worlds in Teaching

First 5 minutes - our WOW's of the week (where we share the coolest new stuff we've found!)

I. Guest Intro
(Brief bio, what doing now, and how they first got into virtual worlds and what they do now in virtual worlds.)

II. The current uses of virtual worlds in teaching
Observations from those who are doing it.
Dr. Webb -- How he first started literary worlds and the improvements he saw.
Beth - How she first started using second life and she you uses it in the classroom now.

III. Where do you see this going?
Beth - What do you think can be done in SL or other worlds that will help teaching? Are you seeing things happen in SL that will change things?
Dr. Webb - Where do you see sites like virtual worlds going in the future?
Beth's response

IV. Current Trends and Reports and your Reactions -
The Horizon Report 2007 listed virtual worlds and massive multiplayer gaming as becoming important parts of the college educational experience in the next 1-5 years? Do you agree with the time frame? Do you think college profs will agree or disagree with this?

A new report has emerged questioning the validity of software in helping achievement... do you think this has the potential to also stymie the growth of virtual worlds and give ammunition to the incredulous?

V. Safety
SL and Teenagers -- What can we do to safely use this tool. Beth, let's start with you, we want the audience to understand the issues about bringing K-12 into SL and the limitations.
Dr. Webb - are there safety issues in virtual worlds?

Over and Out! Cheryl

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