Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Having established a clear, concise, and obtainable GAME plan for integrating technology into the content areas enabled me to make considerable progress toward my goal of developing digital-age learning experiences in the content areas. I was especially motivated by one of the Stories From Practice in our resources last week. Janice, a second grade teacher, shares, “if I sit around and wait to purchase the latest and greatest technology system, I’m not going to get anything accomplished. I need to use everything I have to its fullest extent” (Cennamo, Ross, & Ertmer, 2010 p.87). That was exactly what I needed to do, use what I have more effectively. To provide as much time with digital tools as possible, I located another computer for my classroom, now I have four networked computers with Internet access. Additionally, I secured another day where I can take my students to the computer lab.

Next, I located resources for Internet activities related directly to our reading content for each week. For independent self-selected reading, my students read fiction novels all day long with Scholastic Reading Counts. Therefore I concentrate reading instruction on nonfiction genre with Scholastic News Magazine for Kids. Unfortunately like many teachers, I’m so busy trying to get through the content standards, I never explored the teacher’s edition that accompanies each issue for resources and lessons on integrating technology. What I discovered was an incredible source for ideas, lessons, and resources for real-life, critical thinking learning experiences right at my fingertips. For example, in our latest issue, Volcanoes Erupt, students explore how volcanoes form, why they erupt, and why the Ring of Fire is such a hot spot. In the resources section, there is a website to access classroom activities on plate tectonics. There is also a website where students can gain more information on volcanoes.

In this particular issue, there was also an article about the migration of whooping cranes and large decline in numbers last year. The teacher’s edition referenced a website for tracking the fall migration of the eastern whooping crane flock as an extension activity.

I now have the flexibility to offer individual, partner and small group computer time in the classroom in addition to two to three class periods a week in the computer lab. I have also found an amazing source for integrating technology into our weekly reading content. I am so excited to get started.


Cennamo, K., Ross, J., & Ertmer, P. (2010). Technology integration for meaningful classroom use: A standards-based approach. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Scholastic News Edition 4, Oct. 19, 2009, Vol. 72 No. 5


  1. Donnel,

    I have also used Scholastic News Magazines in the past. I think the magazines are a great reading source for our kids. I like that there are articles that truly relate to our students. The articles also relate to real-world activities. I have never used the on-line version of the magazine. Thank you for sharing the link. I will definitely use that web site in the future.

    I love your comment about using what you have more effectively. I think that is so true in almost everything that we do. I have glanced at the teacher’s edition that came with the Scholastic News Magazine, but like you, I didn’t utilize that resource. That is a goal that I can work on. Finding time to locate and use the resources that I have access to will save me time and make me a much more effective teacher.


  2. Hi Donnel,

    Very interesting blog entry. A suggestion I have for you, in order to enhance your goal of developing digital-age learning experiences in the content areas is to utilized the Smartboard so you can model effective digital literacies as a class, and then your students can apply those skills when they have individual computer time.

    It sounds like you have a good start by utilizing the resources you have. That's excellent advice for any teacher.

    Good luck on achieving your goals.