Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Spelling & Vocabulary with AAASpell

Here's a web tool I am starting to explore. It looks to be valuable for students, teachers, and parents with a focus on spelling and vocabulary. It's called AAASpell. AAASpell is free and is not account dependent. Students can use it as a self-directed study tool

I see great potential in this free, web based spelling/vocabulary app. The folks at AAASpell have created pre-made lists of nearly 30 lessons for grades 1-8 in both spelling and vocabulary. For those looking to support word study or phonemic spelling patterns, many of the lists are already organized with these strategies in mind. Each of the pre-made lists has both spelling and vocabulary study exercises associated with it. There is even audio pronunciation for most, if not all the words.

You don't need an account to use this AAASpell, however with an account there are some powerful tools for focused data collection. Teachers can create classes and student accounts. Assignments can even be given to a whole class or to individuals within a class.

I can see this used as a tool for differentiation with kids who may need additional support with spelling and or vocabulary understanding. Assigning different or leveled spelling/vocabulary lists easily for individualized instruction. It's definitely worth some exploration.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In the End It's All about the Little Things...

Sometimes it's about dropping our intensity, anxiety, etc. over pacing guides, assessment, and academic growth. Sometimes its about the simpler things. Those things that make instruction accessible to all kids. Here are some tools from a brief lit review on instructional approaches to address problem behavior. Enjoy

Pre-Correction- pre-correction. With an instructional approach, the teacher proactively provides lessons on compliant behavior using demonstrations, explanations, positive and negative examples, and role plays (Colvin & Sugai,1988). 

De-Briefing- One strategy that is used following a negative consequence for a problem behavior is designed to prevent chronic non-compliance, is debriefing. This activity should provide feedback and planning at a time somewhat later than the initial response to the offense (Sugai & Colvin,1997). 

Behavior Rehearsal- Behavior rehearsal (Cartledge, 2005) or role-plays, are opportunities to practice and to be positively reinforced for complying with behavioral expectations. Pre-correction is an instructional strategy that is used in situations where non-compliance is likely, but before the non-compliance occurs.

Friendly Rapport- Walker and Walker (1991) include making an effort to establish a friendly rapport by speaking informally with students outside of class, for example, before or after school, or during the lunch break, as a means of preventingnon-compliance in class.   

Behavioral Momentum- Compliance also can be increased by using a sequence of commands that begin with several easy to follow directions that have a high probability of eliciting compliance (Belfiore, Basile, & Lee, 2008).

CICO- CICO involves rating how well a student has succeeded in meeting his or her behavioral goals during a class period and providing feedback and encouragement (Crone, Hawken, & Horner, 2010).

Opportunity to Respond- Non-compliance in the classroom can be reduced or prevented by matching the instructional demands and the opportunities to respond accurately to the students’ ability levels (Gunter & Conroy, 1998). 

Controlled Choice- An important way to defuse the anger and aggression that often accompany disobedience is to calmly offer choices rather than to engage in the direct confrontations we know as “power struggles” (Colvin, 1999).


Instructional Selectivity- Select high-interest of functional learning activities. Kids are far more motivated to learn when their instructional activities are linked to an area of high personal interest (Kern et. al., 2002).