Monthly Archives: July 2020

Still More about using a doc cam (not webcam!) in distance learning: Dr. Sam helps a young student write a book during a distance learning lesson by Dr. Sam Bommarito

Still More about using a doc cam (not webcam!) in distance learning: Dr. Sam helps a young student write a book during a distance learning lesson

by Dr. Sam Bommarito

My entry last week about webcams was very well received. It was even picked up on Twitter’s weekly list of things to read. Wow!  This week I’m going to talk about how to use a webcam to help children make their own books. A quick review of the difference between a webcam and a doccam:

Webcam-

The one I use is a Logitech Webcam, and it is a plug and play device. When installed, it automatically takes the place of your built-in webcam.

Doccam-

As you watch the video- notice what the doccam lets me do. This device lets you project live pictures while you are using your webcam. I use it on all my Zoom lessons. It is a game-changer for my distance learning.

What the video will talk about:

  1. Having children write their own books as part of their distance learning program. We will do this using a very old but very effective teaching method called Language Experience
  2. Language Experience & how it works, especially with older students reading well below grade level
  3. The software: Microsoft Publisher (any software that enables you to make an 8-page double fold booklet will work)
  4. Tricks of the trade part one: Creating a picture of the character for the book using publisher.
  5. Tricks of the trade part two- Using entries from the online writers notebook to make the text entries for their new book. * Then I demonstrate how to let the student pick pictures from the web to go with the entries.
  6. Alternate forms of publication for the stories the student creates.

So- You will find the link to my video blog below. After you open the share folder, click on the video, and start watching.  Stay tuned- I’m having some friends show me how to set up a YouTube channel and load my videos into them. Once that happens, I’ll also put a link to my YouTube Channel into this entry.

NEW HEAD SHOT

Clarifications about things from the video:  I ask my students to read from self-selected books in their home library for 20 minutes a night on all school nights. This is in addition to 5-7 minutes of “practicing to perform” a book of their choice.  In the video, it is not clear how often they are asked to read. The students get a copy of the books via porch pick up by the parents. I meet with each student once a week. The practice to perform mentioned in the video is an application of an idea by Dr. Tim Rasinki. Students practice reading a short piece aloud. Then they perform the piece for the teacher. That performance usually comes at the start of each new video lesson, meaning that each student does a weekly performance.  The student can read the book as I follow along with my copy OR I can show them my copy on the doc camera and have them read from my share screen. 

(Note: The video is 18 minutes long. But if you watch the first 8 minutes, you will get most of what you need to know about the use of the doc camera).

Enjoy!

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1LCdGSEw7NyffOyPlAjuP-BB1ksY-yNEO?usp=sharing

In the coming weeks, I’ll be blogging about favorite software programs and I’ll conduct interviews with various literacy friends about their literacy projects and books. In the meantime, be safe and be well.

Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka the video guy)

Copyright 2020 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

P.S. If you found the blog through Facebook or Twitter, please consider following the blog to make sure you won’t miss it.  Use the “follow” entry on the sidebar of the blog.

To see a more sophisticated version of an online writing journal go to this link from Pernille Ripp:

https://pernillesripp.com/2020/07/23/a-work-in-progress-digital-notebooks-for-reading-identity-development/?fbclid=IwAR3D_c90Rik6kSSMzKKf2k8lwYpPYDDSNZ2CoGKhbpGKM9MLLtH74KIOEBc

More about using a doc cam (not webcam!) in distance learning: Dr. Sam’s first video blog by Dr. Sam Bommarito

More about using a doc cam (not webcam!) in distance learning: Dr. Sam’s first video blog

by Dr. Sam Bommarito

 

Since my last entry about  webcam’s LINK, I’ve been talking to many of my literacy friends and early childhood friends about what a powerful tool a webcam can be for distance learning. They were all extremely interested.  A couple of basic terms:

My webcam-

As you watch the video- notice I have it on a stand so I can adjust it. The stand is actually designed to hold a phone, but the webcam easily goes right on it.  The particular one I use is a Logitech Webcam and it is a plug and play device. When installed, it automatically takes the place of your built-in webcam.

My doccam-

As you watch the video- notice what the doccam looks like. This device lets you project live pictures while you are using your webcam. I use it on all my Zoom lessons. It is a game-changer for my distance learning. I will discuss that in the video.

Advice for when you shop for your webcam or doccam- I did not try to hide the brands I am using. However, I know that there are many great products out there for both the doccam and the webcam. I highly recommend looking for ones with HD and instant display. Read the specs to make sure the one you choose has both of those features (these days most do- back in the day many doccams had small delays in showing the picture!). I think getting the add-on webcam is worth it. The add on webcam makes it easy to set up and adjust for Zoom et. al. and you can move it to take free shots when you want to. However, the doccam is the star of this show and there will be lots of ideas about how to use it in the video.

What the video will talk about:

  1. How it’s set up- VERY easy, all the devices are plug and play.
  2. How to use it at the start of the lesson to let your student know what will be happening in the lesson. I do that on this video
  3. How it can be used with younger learners in a prereading activity.
  4. How it can be used with word ladders, making and breaking, and Elkonin boxes. I will give some tips on how I use the doc cam in my word-work.
  5. How the doc cam can be used with all the different kinds of books I work with during my online tutoring. These include predictable text, decodable text, language experience books (the kids write themselves), and trade books.
  6. How the doc cam can be incorporated into Zoom Videos. Zoom videos are a game-changer in themselves. You can run a PowerPoint while using the Zoom share screen and folks will hear you talking and see the little live screen with you as you talk.

 

So- here is the link to my first video blog. After you open the share folder, click on the video, and start watching.

(Note: the video is 15 minutes long. But if you watch the first 8 minutes, you will get all you need to know about the doc camera. That is up to where I talk about Making and Breaking.  The rest gives you more details about all the different kinds of literacy activities supported by the webcam (items 5-6 on the things the Video talks about).

Enjoy!

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Jhu1-R-j34up2EDICwAX_u0hpHlEtNUJ?usp=sharing

HEAD SHOT FOR DOC CAM VIDEO

In the coming weeks, I’ll be blogging about favorite software programs and I’ll conduct interviews with various literacy friends about their various literacy projects and books. In the meantime, be safe and be well.

Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka the video guy)

Links to the materials mentioned in the blog.

KEEP BOOKS LINK

LEARNING A-Z (Headsprout) https: LINK- is a turn-key program. Headsprout teaches the students the letter-sound correspondence and how to use those to put together words. Periodically it presents the student with decodable books to do online. The pdfs of these books can be downloaded and run off. That is how I got the ones shown in the video. Like all the Learning A-Z programs, Headsprout has an excellent reporting system. When used in conjunction with Raz Kids you can find out a great deal about what each child is doing. When I do my individual distance learning lessons with my children, parents are normally sitting in and helping.  I periodically share the reports for Headsprout and Raz Kids. These can be printed out and I then simply show them the reports using the doccam.  As you can tell I do love & use the doccam.

Eric Litwin’s website LINK (find out about his new book!)

Getting by with a little help from my friends, part one: Recommended resources from the web By Dr. Sam Bommarito

Getting by with a little help from my friends, part one: Recommended resources from the web By Dr. Sam Bommarito

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, there has been an explosion of information about distance learning and how to do it. It is very likely that distance learning and the use of resources from the internet will play an essential role in the coming school year. Accordingly, I am adding resource pages to the blog. They will provide a permanent home for useful resources you can find on the web.  This is the first of what will be several entries that I will be making from time to time on the resources I will be putting on those pages. This week I will focus on web pages. I hope you will find some of these are resources you can use to help you help your kids.  I will add the page later this week

FAVORITE WEB PAGES:

Dr. Tim Rasinski is the guru of Fluency. He believes that the teaching of reading is both science and art. I have blogged often about his work, LINK1, LINK2. Over the past summer, he has posted daily, giving access to some of his word ladders and his other word work materials. His twitter handle is @TimRasinski1. Here is a link to his website:  http://timrasinski.com/

Tim R

When you are on his website, be sure to uses the resources dropdown to look over the many free teacher resources he has there.  You can download pdfs from some of his presentations. He also has some older versions of his word ladders. Newer versions of his word ladders can be found on his blog- and there is a tab for that as well.

Dr. Tim Shanahan is an advocate for a research-based approach to reading. I’ve said that I don’t always agree with his positions but that I do always learn from them. Most folks on the internet know him best for his op-ed posts from his blog and on twitter. His twitter handle is @ReadingShanahan. However, I think everyone should also be aware that his web page also contains a treasure trove of materials and resources that can help teachers.

Tim S

Here is the link to his webpage: https://shanahanonliteracy.com/

You can find op-ed and informational pieces on many topics by going to the blog tab. Many people may not be away of the extensive collection of materials you can find under his resources tab. Please do visit those and explore this section. You will find a well-organized extensive collection of materials. Of particular interest in our current situation is his section of free reading materials for children and teens. You have to scroll down a bit on the resources tab to get to it, but as you can see, there are many useful materials once you get there.

FREE MATERIALS

Dr. Molly Ness has caught the attention of many people due to her work to end book deserts. A book desert is a zip code where children have almost no access to books at home. Dr. Ness has a podcast where she talks to folks about how they address this problem.  Here is the link: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/end-book-deserts/id1471803313

Dr. Ness just published an article in Parents magazine, here is a link:

https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/reading/im-a-mom-and-a-literacy-specialist-heres-how-to-read-to-your-kids/?fbclid=IwAR2S45O4mb0ftb2pdXwWLkPHg56-PWp0XI6cT-Ja-WUkvbF4ZyVYzwF2pow

Dr. Ness’s website is another one of those with many resources, especially resources that both parents and teachers can use. I send the link to her website to all my parents at the start of each school year:

https://www.drmollyness.com/

Dr. Molly Ness

As you can see from the screen capture, there are tabs for Students and Families and for Schools. One of the really good things about her advice for families is that she gives it from the twin perspectives of reading expert and mom. My families have found her to be a great resource for practical ideas about how to support their kids in literacy. That is especially valuable in our current situation. Molly’s twitter handle is @drmollyness.

Jennifer Serravallo is best known as the author of many useful books for teachers. Her twitter handle is @JSerravello. I have interviewed her several times as part of my work with The Missouri Reader, LINK.  I will talk about her books in future posts. Right now, I want to tell you about her Facebook page The Reading and Writing Strategies Community. Just type that phrase into your Facebook search for pages and you’ll find this page. The page focuses on posts about her two books on reading and writing strategies. It now has almost 40,000 followers. I have called the page the world’s biggest faculty lounge. Teachers come to it on a daily basis to find out the nuts and bolts of how to teach those strategies. If you ever have questions about how to teach those or what materials to use when teaching them just visit this page. You will get immediate and in-depth answers from the many practicing teachers who come to this page. From time to time Jennifer posts on this page and runs activities like her Summer Camp groups in Reading and Writing.

RR Sera

These are just a few of the sites I will be adding to the page about websites. If you have other sites that you use often, please tell me about them in the comments section this week. The website page is a growing living document, and I will always be looking for new things to add to it. In addition to visiting the web pages, it would be a great idea to follow each of the folks I’ve talked about on twitter. Here is a summary of their twitter handles: @drmollyness, @ReadingShanahan, @JSerravello and @TimRasinski1.

Next week I will continue this topic by adding a page of useful resources for distance learning, especially read alouds and other activities that folks like Eric Litwin and David Harrison have put on the net and software by companies like Learning A-Z,  makers of Raz Kids, and resources provided by Lauri and Evan Robb. Be sure to catch Learning A-Z’s  upcoming webinar on Equity and Access. Dr. Tim Rasinski will be one of the speakers along with Dr. Jilliam Joe
Senior Director of Learning Insights and Research LEAP Innovations. It is a free event

 https://www.accelevents.com/e/LearningAZCONNECT.

Connect

 

In future posts, I’ll also be talking about favorite professional books and favorite blogs to follow and I hope to do some interviews with folks about books they have written. Eventually, I plan to add pages about the full range of resources offered by two literacy organizations I belong to, the International Literacy Association and the National Council of Teachers of English. I’ll be interspersing these posts about resources with my future op-ed and informational pieces. In the meantime, Happy Reading and Writing!

Dr Sam Bommarito (aka, the blog guy, building his blog resources one page at a time)

Copyright 2020 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

P.S. If you found the blog through Facebook or Twitter, please consider following the blog to make sure you won’t miss it.  Use the “follow” entry on the sidebar of the blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

St. Louis Black Authors Believe Project: Making History as they launch the pilot episode of their literacy-based TV Show By Dr. Sam Bommarito

St. Louis Black Authors Believe Project: Making History as they launch the pilot episode of their literacy-based TV Show

by Dr. Sam Bommarito

I’ve written before about the Believe project LINK TO BLOG. Stories about the project have appeared on a number of local TV stations in St. Louis LINK TO NEWS COVERAGE.  With the help of grants from the Salvation Army, the Nine Network of Public TV in St. Louis, the Scholastic Book Club and other sponsors St. Louis Black Authors have set up four reading rooms in the St. Louis region, with plans in the works to set up even more. Each room is stocked with “stories written for you and me,” which include books written by the members of the St. Louis Black Authors Association. Murals by local black artists decorate the rooms. The décor is inviting and informal, with comfortable chairs. They are safe havens where children can come to read and immerse themselves in culturally relevant books.  Recently, Julius Anthony, the president and founder of St. Louis Black Authors and his group took things to the next level. They have produced four pilot episodes for a TV program. Each episode features a different children’s book by one of the St. Louis Black Authors. The announcement for that project appears below.

BEST BELIEVE POSTING

The first episode premiered on Friday, July 3rd. It featured the book Rock What You Got by Aja LaStar Owens. Below is a screen capture of the episode which is available on YouTube. It is a lively well-done show designed to be the first in a series of remote summer programs. The series is open to the public.

THE VIDEO

Here is the link to this first show, it’s about 20 minutes long and I REALLY recommend you watch it. I think you will be inspired. I know I was! –  LINK.

The first episode was featured on a webinar conducted by Lindsey Newton who, among other things, hosts a show on the Channel Nine PBS station in St. Louis. That show features weekly read alouds of various children’s books. Here is a screen capture of Julius’ remarks about that show:

THE LAUNCH

It is important to note that the first episode of the series was filmed on location at the very first  Believe site that Julius and his group created. That site is located in the Ferguson Community Center in Ferguson Missouri.  By the way, the name of the project, The Believe Project, is based on a poem Julius wrote entitled Believe.  Future episodes of the program will appear on the Missouri Historical Society’s YouTube channel and on Channel 9’s YouTube channel beginning on July 6th.  Julius has plans to create additional episodes of the TV show.  If you want to find out more about the wonderful work Julius and his group is doing in St. Louis (and beyond!) here is a link to their website LINK. There you can look at books written by the 16 authors in the St. Louis Black Authors group and get more information on how to stream the first four episodes of this new project. Turn the Page St. Louis is arranging for 170 children in the St. Louis region to get copies of the books from this series. In my future blogs, you will be hearing more about the literacy work Turn the Page and other St. Louis regional organizations are doing in the St. Louis metro area. Stay Tuned!

So…, have a safe 4th of July weekend. Happy Reading and Writing.

Dr. Sam Bommarito (aka A true Believer in the St. Louis Black Authors and their work)

Copyright 2020 by Dr. Sam Bommarito. Views/interpretations expressed here are solely the view of this author and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other person or organization.

PS If you found the blog through Facebook or Twitter, please consider following the blog to make sure you will not miss it.  Use the “follow” entry on the sidebar of the blog.