Kass Bates’ Blog

         Member of the Texas Discovery Education Leadership Council

Archive for Minshew News

September 30, 2013

Discovery Resources Explored

Filed under: Texas,TX @ 5:46 pm

Hooked on Discovery!

Today I had the opportunity to share Discovery Resources with all of the Secondary Media Resource Specialists in my district.  While most of them have been aware of Discovery as a great source for videos supporting our various curriculums they had no idea of the depth and breadth of the available resources. We also explored the Science Techbook, which brought oooh’s, and aaah’s as we navigated the model lessons, interactive glossary, and teacher resources. Finally we spent some time creating classes, and experimenting with the student side of Discovery including the wonderful board builder. They left excited and anxious to share with teachers on their respective campuses. I am excited that some of my district peers are now DEN STARS!


February 24, 2013

Self-confessed Blogging Lurker

Filed under: Texas,TX @ 12:14 pm

O.K. I am coming clean. I am a blogging lurker. I love to read blogs to see what others are posting, thinking, and sharing. I reflect on these entires and I know what I read influences my professional practice. I use what I read to add technology tools and creative applications to my toolbox. I pass along great sites, new web applications, and even the ideas of others to my teachers. But that is where I stop. I rarely comment on others’ blogs and even more rarely post my own thinking where others can access it. So I am challenging myself right here where it can be read, maybe talked about, or best of all begin a challenge for others like me. Starting today I going to require myself to comment on someone else’s blog at least twice a week. Not a hefty start but something I know I will do now that I have made it public.

Recently I listened to the archive of Sue Waters on ETMOOC. Sue is the support manager for edubloggers. She said reading and commenting is as important in blogging as the writing part. I get the reading part, now I am going to jump on board with the commenting part. And I challenge you to join me! Come on, all you Discovery Ed blog lurkers, start commenting!!!

September 27, 2011

Free at Last!

Filed under: Minshew News,TX @ 12:15 pm

This year our district strategically abandoned the Accelerated Reader program after over a decade of use. For many who have been using it systematically with students it has taken quit an adjustment. For me I see it as an amazing opportunity to help children become excited about reading for the pleasure, interest, and sheer joy it can bring.

Now students can select any book they wish because they want to read it, not because it is on their level. While I do see tremendous benefit from children “practicing” reading on a level that is within their independent range, and I know practice is what we all need to improve our skills with all new learning, I see choice as a great motivator. Now that child who has an interest or passion for a subject, genre, or author can attempt to read content that is above his/her instructional level and tackle it because he/she is motivated to do so. Isn’t that what is happening in so many online learning communities? People are following their passions and becoming self-motivated learners. Why should learning to read be any different?

Reading for understanding remains at the heart of the reading process. Educators are still responsible for monitoring, suggesting, guiding, and above all teaching reading. We still must guide children to books that will strengthen them as readers. We still must help children figure out how to find a “just right” book they will comprehend. We still must help children analyze, and discuss what they read. We still must help children learn how to read for a variety of purposes. Above all we must still model the amazing wonders reading provides.

But here’s to the liberation of reading by choice! Keep those pages turning no matter in a book or a device.

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