elementary

Elevating Education: Effective Vocabulary Instruction

Let’s delve into a topic that lies at the heart of effective teaching: vocabulary instruction. We all understand its importance—it’s essential for comprehension, expression, and critical thinking. But how do we ensure our instruction isn’t just about exposure but truly facilitates understanding and retention? In this post, we’re taking a deep dive into the art and science of vocabulary teaching. We’ll explore evidence-based strategies, practical methodologies, and insights to enhance your instructional practices. Why Vocabulary Instruction? Teaching vocabulary is essential for fostering academic success and narrowing the pervasive vocabulary gap observed among students. Research indicates stark differences in vocabulary knowledge...

A Taste of DOT: Blog Posts from ECS Content Specialists

Our Content Specialists have created blog posts. Below is a short “tasting” of each blog article and you can click to read more! Enjoy the tasting. Elementary K-6 Closing the Gap: Reading Strategies for ALL Students | Anita Pratt The Science of Reading is gaining recognition and support from more and more educators across the country. Research is suggesting that our brains are not wired to learn to read the same way we learn to talk. We learn to talk by listening to others and following their lead, but reading has to be explicitly taught. Phonics has to be systematically...

Reading Response Choice Boards in Seesaw

Are you looking for new ways to reach students, especially those fast finishers / high-performers? Do you need ways to differentiate tasks without requiring a ton of extra time? Maybe you need something for your students to work on that is meaningful and not just a time-filler? Why not use a choice board!   Choice boards allow students to make choices in their learning, which amps up motivation and engagement.  When students are given a menu of options, they feel more in charge of their learning and often put forth more effort. As a teacher, I also like how I can...

Using Seesaw to Support the Four Language Domains: Writing Edition

Seesaw is an amazing place to include student writing. When thinking about writing lessons, we need to keep in mind that writing involves not only putting thoughts and ideas into words in written form, but also knowing & using the appropriate vocabulary, spelling, and grammar to convey meaning, knowing and using the appropriate form for the type of writing, and the difference between formal and informal writing. It also includes the skills of revising, editing, and publishing. 

Using Seesaw to Support the Four Language Domains: Reading Edition

The language domains, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, are the 4 ways that people can interact with language. Two of these skills, speaking and writing, are described as productive skills as we create language with each of these. The other two skills, listening and reading, are receptive skills because we use these skills to receive information from an outside source. In this post, we will focus on ways that you can practice the language domain of reading by using Seesaw.

The top three Epic features that I didn’t utilize when teaching and should have.

We talk about accessible learning in our department possibly daily. It comes up in almost every conversation we have. Despite this, the one thing we’ve never said about accessible learning is that it’s easy because frankly, it isn’t. Ensuring that all of your students, regardless of ability and language, have the same level of access to content is a huge challenge for a teacher. One free tool for teachers that can help to bridge that gap is Epic.  Epic is a freemium tool (keep an eye out for the “🔒Unlimited” books that are not available with the free account) that...

February is Digital Learning Month

Did you know that February is Digital Learning Month? We have some fun choice boards with helpful links and resources for you to use to help you become a Digital Learning Superstar! ⭐️✨ 🍎 Elkhart Teachers: Choose 5 of the options and send us your pictures to be entered into our giveaway! Just click on the image and it will open in a new tab so you can use the links. 👇🔗 Elementary Teachers Secondary Teachers Elementary Administrators Secondary Administrators

Keep Kids Begging to Learn: Using Blooket as a Formative Check

Need a fun way to do a quick formative assessment? Try out Blooket as a fun way to check what your students know in the moment! Blooket is a game-based, freemium program (meaning you can pay for premium, but the free version is still amazing) that keeps kids begging to play “one more round!”  How to start a Blooket: Create or Discover a Set When looking to start with Blooket, you first need to decide if you want to create your own set or discover a set that has already been created. I recommend taking a peek at already created...

Using Seesaw to Support the Four Language Domains: Speaking Edition

The language domains, listening, speaking, reading, and writing, are the 4 ways that people can interact with language. Two of these skills, speaking and writing, are described as productive skills as we create language with each of these. The other two skills, listening and reading, are receptive skills because we use these skills to receive information from an outside source.  In this post, we will focus on practicing the language domain of speaking and how Seesaw can help you meet this need.

Using Seesaw to Support the Four Language Domains: Listening Edition

At Elkhart Community Schools, we have a surprisingly large population of English Language Learners for a small midwest town. Because of this, we have to be very intentional about planning for and utilizing the four language domains to help boost understanding of the English language when providing content to students. In this post, we will focus on practicing the language domain of listening and how we can use Seesaw to help support this domain.

Save Time With Digital Teaching Slides for Quick Practices and Anytime Problems in Math Expressions

Do you remember hearing “Do The Blue” but don’t remember what it refers to? Quick Practices (K-6th), Daily Routines (K-2nd), and Anytime Problems (3rd-6th) are all parts of the  “Doing the Blue” section of lessons in Math Expressions. “Doing the Blue” are the main components of the lesson that should be taught. Quick Practices, Daily Routines, and Anytime Problems are an important part of the process and student learning in math.  These practices and routines focus on concepts and skills throughout the year that are needed for student mastery.  They build classroom belonging and develop student leaders, as well as...

Focused and Targeted Instruction Using NWEA Scores and IXL Skill Plans

One way to use NWEA data to drive instruction is to use skill plans within IXL. With IXL’s skill plans, students can turn their pinpointed NWEA results into skill plans to quickly grow their math knowledge. Skill plans are available for math, reading, and language assessments.  Creating a personalized MAP skill plan 🎉 Elkhart teachers, this step has already been completed for you for all students that completed NWEA within the testing window! Skip ahead to the bottom of this section to learn how to manually enter data for students that missed our testing window! If you are an IXL...

5 Amazing Seesaw Creative Tool Improvements

Seesaw has just released some amazing improvements that will make your teacher life so much easier! Students can’t delete teacher-created activity pages anymore Smarter pen vs move tool selection Accidental page reordering and creation fixed No more accidental unlocking Be sure your app (and your students’ app) is updated to fully enjoy these five new changes. Keep reading to learn more! Prevented Page Deletion by Students Before: Students could delete pages from Activity templates.  After: When responding to an Activity, students cannot delete pages that are part of the Activity template created by teachers. Tapping on the 3 dots will only...