Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Professional Development - Closing the Achievement Gap

The Southeast Education Alliance for Professional Development sponsored a wonderful presentation today in Wilimington, NC.  The title of the presentation was "Practical Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap," with Larry I. Bell, National Education Consultant. 

I was simply blown away by his energy and really practical strategies.  After about the first hour, my mind began to focus on how I was going to use one of his main tools in my classroom.  I have been using Moodle in my classroom for almost two years now.  My students like Moodle activities like Hot Potatoes J Matching but they get tired of it.  I have struggled with creating reading activities that engage my students.  Mr. Bell has a reading strategy he calls "UNRAAVEL". 

Let me try to outline how I plan to initially implement this in a Moodle lesson.  I am not sure how it will work, but I will be blogging about it soon.  The first step is to find an appropriate reading passage.  This could be a challenge.  Let's say for now that I have an original story about a science concept.  More than likely, I will use materials from Wikipedia, or our textbook, it I can acquire permission from the textbook publishers.  Since I am not opening the class outside my classroom, I  am banking on traditional fair-use protection of copyrights.  Our Moodle site, WCS WebCampus

is password protected.  Anyway,  Moodle has a module called a lesson.  In the first part of the , students will first see the reading passage.  Next, they will have to complete a series of edits to the reading passage.  Finally, they will answer a multiple choice question about that passage. 

I am just in the initial thinking stage about this process, but I think it will work.

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