Back to school season is quickly approaching. Many friends have asked me how I am doing since the first day back to school will be a HUGE change for me since I won’t be at my own school, in my own classroom this year. My answer so far has been that I am doing ok, that this career change is the right thing, and that I am excited about what lies ahead.
Except that as I participated in a brunch with Scholastic in their AMAZING Soho store (seriously, this is a must do on your next trip to New York City) and heard about their new Storia eReader and new eLearning resources I realized something very important.
I will no longer have the inside scoop on great resources that I can apply at home with Principessa. Gone are the days that a fabulous resource will be shared at a leadership committee meeting. Which ok, is possibly a bit of an over generalization since I still get emails from various organizations and associations. But somehow, this realization that I will now be left to my own devices to find great at home learning resources…created a momentary “uh-oh” feeling in my stomach.
The truth is that there are resources and technologies for at home learning everywhere. Some a good. Some are great. The choices can leave you feeling overwhelmed with how to start fostering learning at home. Fortunately for me, even if I am not in the classroom myself, I am always going to use my teacher eyes and training to evaluate resources. Always. So it is with great excitement that I share the eReading and eLearning resources that I learned about during our brunch.
First off, as a teacher, I was always a consumer of Scholastic News. Students loved them and they were a great integration of current events and reading strategies. Scholastic is taking their expertise one step further and creating a new site just for parents, launching this fall, that will offer tools and tips to inspire, support, and foster reading and learning in their children. It will include age by age finders to filer content based on your child’s age, daily tips, original videos with ideas, and more. There are even blogs with tips and ideas from moms and educational experts like Amy Mascott of Teach Mama
eLection – Election resources for kids
The 2012 election is a perfect way to engage children about current events and learning. The Scholastic Student Vote will start on August 15th. The vote has been held since the 1940 Presidential Election, and has in all but two contests, been the correct indicator for the outcome of the general election. Kids can vote online at www.scholastic.com/election or through paper ballots in the Scholastic Classroom Magazines. And??? If you have a child between the ages of 10-14 they can apply for the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps at www.scholastic.com/kidspress.
Storia is a new eReading resource by Scholastic that will motivate reluctant readers, act as a personal tutor, engage children with non fiction texts, and stimulate advanced readers. From beginning readers to more advanced readers that have transitioned to the stage of reading to learn, reading comprehension games and quizzes help promote higher level thinking and deeper understandings. One of my favorite features was that parents can check on their child’s progress with information like how many pages a child has read, how long they were reading, how many reading comprehension questions were answered (correctly or not), and even which books they looked up. Storia is now available on PC and iPad and is coming to other devices soon.
As a special bonus, if you would like to chat more about eReading and eLearning, Leticia Barr (aka Tech Savvy Mama) will take over the Scholastic Facebook page on Wednesday, August 15th from 2-3 p.m. EST to keep the conversation going!
So yes, I am ready to transition from being a mom that is also a teacher to a mom that uses her experience and background in teaching to help learning continue at home. Because learning does happen at home. All the time.
The question is…how do you help foster learning at home?
**ooh and I just heard that the Scholastic summer reading community broke the world record for summer reading minutes!! Scholastic would love to keep kids reading to see how much we can beat last year’s record by, so encourage your kids to keep reading and logging their minutes at scholastic.com/summer before August 31!
I was a guest of Scholastic during the brunch and given a gift card to purchase books in the store as a gift. No other compensation was received. All opinions are my own.