Open Court

You asked for it… so by popular demand we will host a section about your Language Arts Program Open Court.  I have had the privilege of seeing all the creative and exciting ways you have enhanced your programs.  Now is your chance to share with each other.

How are you integrating unitedstreaming into your current reading program?  What clips are particularly good? Are you creating play lists that can be shared with your site and district?  What are websites that support the Open Court Curriculum?

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  1. Marie Belt said:

    My site is Dorothy Grant Elementary in Fontana. I am the Title 1 teacher, and I provide support to teachers with Language Arts curriculum issues.
    Currently, our teachers are using United Streaming clips in a variety of ways. Many teachers use clips to introduce stories or themes, in order to give students background knowledge on unfamiliar topics or concepts. Teachers are also creating powerpoint presentations and utilizing clips to help students think about themes and key concepts more deeply. Teachers are beginning to create personal playlists which are often shared on our “O” drive. This “O” drive allows the teachers at our site to share videos, lessons, etc. Some have begun to share their playlists at the district level.
    Everyone is at a different level of expertise, but all are trying to stretch!!!! It is very exciting to see how much everyone has learned already, and how willing people are to help one another!

  2. Sarah Johangiry said:

    Hello,
    My name is Sarah and I teach at Dorothy Grant in Fontana. I currently teach second grade. I can’t beleieve how much technology I am using this year, and it has made teaching Open Court so much more interesting and fun. Over the past year, the second grade team has put so much work into creating power points that incorporate unitedstreaming videos and clips to use with our LCD players in the classroom. The children like the interaction with the presentation, rather than just sitting and writing only in a workbook. An example might be a grammar lesson on pronouns. The children are introduced to the concept with a powerpoint presentation that includes a downloaded video on pronouns from Unitedstreaming, whole group practice on the white board (the children can actualy get up and go to the board to write), and independent practice in their workbooks. It is great!! It has made a big difference in helping the children understand the concept. I am just learning how to create these type of presentations. I recently created my first power point presentation on the butterfly cycle. I will use it as a science connection extension for a story in Unit 2. It took me about two hours total to create the presentation, but I am sure that I will get better at it. I am looking forward to creating a presentation for my class using Inspiration. Overall, being able to share the projects that my team has created and creating new ones is helping me teach more effectively and helping my students grasp difficult concepts. I would love to hear how others are using Unitedstreaming in their classrooms.

  3. Sarah Johangiry said:

    OOPS!! I forgot to share what I used to put my butterfly power point together. First, I downloaded some great butterfly images from Unitedstreaming. I just used key words like monarc butterfly pupa or butterfly cycle to find the images and video clips I needed. I found some great pictures and videos that I downloaded into a file on my desktop. I couldn’t find any great pictures of a butterfly egg, so I went to enchantedlearning.com, and I found a great image of an egg to download. I also found some great text on the enchanted learning website. So, I cut and pasted the text into my power point. I ended up doing a nonlinear power point, so I hyperlinked the movies to the images. Finally, I used a microphone to record my voice reading the text. I really only needed Unitedstreaming and Enchanted Learning to do my project. If you know of any great websites, please share!!
    Sarah

  4. cynthia dunn said:

    Hello, I’m Cynthia and I teach third grade at Dorothy Grant in Fontana.I didn’t grow up with technology and I’ve been intimidated by it, but I’ve had a “technology experience” and I’m “totally converted.” Last year I used videos other third grade teachers had downloaded to our school’s public drive. That was a good beginning, but I wanted to know how to incorporate the videoes into a powerpoint presentation. Jannita came to our school and did a workshop on adding hyperlinks to powerpoint presentations. Since we were just getting ready to start Open Court Unit 2,”City Wildlife” that seemed like a good place to start. Each third grade teacher chose a story from the unit and got started. I chose Make Way for Ducklings, because Robert McCloskey is one of my favorite children’s authors and I’m originally from New England. I started by rereading the story and looking at the weekly lesson planner. I noticed the comprehension skill addressed was fantasy and reality.
    The story is about a family of mallard ducks. Now it was time to play. I went to United streaming and typed in key words:ducks, mallard, waterfowl, and wetlands. I created a city wildlife playlist and added any video that had to do with ducks or their habitat. Boston Public Gardens was mentioned as the setting for the story. I made another playlist entitled Boston and added images and video clips to that list. I also found a video of Make Way for Ducklings and downloaded that to my desktop. After previewing the items on my playlist, I saved the images/clips I thought I might use in folders on my desk top.
    After all that fun, I was ready to create my masterpiece. I built background knowlege by creating a slide with a focus question-Where do ducks really like to make their home? I hyperlinked the video clip ducks and wetlands to a picture of a duck I’d added to this slide. Next I showed pictures of various places in the city and added they question where would be a good home for ducks in the city. I plan to pause on this slide and use it as a springboard for discussion. As none of the places would provide an appropriate home, the next slide shows an image with mother duck and ducklings by the water’s edge. At this point I hyperlinked a video of Boston Commons to the picture. I didn’t want the entire clip so I was able to fastforward 1min.10sec. into the video and just show the park.
    It’s my plan, after doing the first read of the story, to teach the comprehension skill. To help students know the difference between the two traits I created a slide with a bulleted list giving characteristics of realistic fiction and added a picture of a real duck. The following slide listed the characteristics of fantasy. In the final slide I embedded the video Make Way for Ducklings with the caption to identify what was real and what was fantasy. This video gives students one more exposure to the story plus gives them a chance to practice their comprehension skills. I’ll be using this powerpoint next week and I can’t wait to see if it’s as effective as I think it will be.

  5. Kerri Campbell said:

    Hi! I’m Kerri Campbell and I teach Kindergarten at Grant Elementary in Fontana. In order to enhance the Open Court Curriculum at my grade level, I have been downloading united streaming video clips into power point presentations to introduce and review unit themes. So far, there are some great clips from the following videos for Unit 1, School: Going to School is Your Job, Minding Your Manners at School and We Can Work Together. For Open Court’s Unit 2 theme, Shadows, there are some additional clips from the video, Science Facts and Fun; What’s in a Shadow, and an exciting shadow story called Here Comes the Cat!. I have been creating the presentations and downloading them to the “O” drive to share with the rest of my grade level team.

  6. Jeanne Morris said:

    I have seen Sarah’s Butterfly Powerpoint and it’s great! The thing I like is that it is basicly one slide that is hyperlinked to additional information and pictures/movie clips. I love the way the kids can access the presentation on their own during workshop as a review activity. It reminds me of a web page that they can explore and return to the home page with just a click of a button. It allows students to review the concepts at their own pace and using their own intrests.

    The best part is that Sarah has placed the science activity on the “0” drive. That way all the second grade team can take advantage of Sarah’s creative way presenting material from Open Court. (Not to mention taking advantage of all her hard work.)
    Now my class can enjoy learning about the Butterfly life cycle. Thanks Sarah!

    Jeanne Morris
    Second Grade
    Dorthy Grant Elementary
    Fontana School District

    P.S. What are you working on next?

  7. Mary Matthews said:

    Hi,
    My name is Mary and I am an Early Childhood (Special Education Preschool)teacher at Dorothy Grant Elementary in Fontana. I work with moderate to severely disabled students, ages 3-5 years. In the past I have created my own curriculum for the students, but this year the District’s Early Childhood program began using preschool Open Court curriculum. This curriculum needs modification to be accesible to this population and I needed help making these changes. My students need short lessons (3-5 minutes max) presented in a variety of modalities. When I learned about how the other teachers were using united streaming to make their curriculum more accessible to their students I jumped at the chance to learn more.

    My first united streaming lesson was for Unit 2, Families Everywhere. I went onto the united streaming site and looked under kindergarten (they do not have any pre-school clips labeled) and did a search for families. I found clips that were short pieces of a longer story and hyperlinked them into a powerpoint presentation. My entire presentation had 3 slides and was simple. I showed it to my students on my personal laptop, but did not realize that I had not loaded the video clips with the presentation. My students were very eager to participate in the lesson, but without the interactive aspect of the videos, there wasn’t much for them to see. I am still learning how to work out the kinks and use this technology to help my students. I hope that this early exposure will help them later on when they have the chance to use computer technology independently and also help them to maintain an enthusiastic attitude toward learning.

  8. wardgs said:

    Hello,

    My name is Greg Ward and I teach 1st grade at Oak Park School. I have used several of the United Streaming videos in class with my students,and they love them! I was able to find several clips for Unit 4 “Our Neighborhood At Work”. I was able to find short 1-2 minute clips of firefighters or police officers that were quite helpful to build background knowledge. It was useful for my ELL students to help prepare them for the reading lesson. I have downloaded the clips as a file and use them in my class. I have not placed them on Oak Park’s “O” drive, but plan to. I plan on placing the clips in theme folders. I have found the opportunity to integrate technology in the classroom to be quite helpful for my students.

  9. Bev Matheson said:

    My name is Bev and I am also a kindergarten teacher at Dorothy Grant in Fontana. Unitedstreaming has provided us countless resources in the teaching of Open Court. Some clips I have used most often are Phonics in Context:ABC Animals. There is a clip for each letter in the alphabet. These clips are entertaining and engaging and provide another opportunity for students to practice their letters and sounds. Two great websites we use along with these video clips are http://www.literacycenter.com and http://www.starfall.com. At the beginning of the year we work as a whole group on these websites using a smartboard to allow students to come up to the board and manipulate the activities like they would on a computer.As students become comfortable with the websites, we then let them work on individual computers during workshops or lab time to develop their letter/sound knowledge. Starfall is definitly the most popular website at our school among kindergarteners.

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