I typically write about the ways I use ScootPad in my GT (gifted/talented) classroom in Denver Public Schools. But I also use ScootPad with my kids at home. I’m lucky I can take some of the tips and shortcuts I learn at school and take advantage of them with my own children. One of these tips was a strategy I learned from a little boy in my GT program who is very bright, but a weak speller. As a result, he continuously scored poorly on the reading practices, because he would misspell many of his answers. He came up with the brilliant idea to use his Chromebook and look up the spelling of the words he needed. As a friend once told me, “teachers are wonderful thieves: stealing each other’s great ideas for their own classrooms.” How right she was… but not just teachers; parents as well!
So I taught my own little guy how to look up words he did not know how to spell on his computer as he was working. He took to it quickly! And more than simply helping him get the right answer, it’s also expanding his vocabulary and his understanding of homonyms! Recently, while doing a reading practice, he asked me, “I am looking up the word blue, but there are too many ways to do it. What kind of blue does it want? I think there is the color blue… but then there is b-l-e-w. Is that blew also? And this one is b-l-u-e but it says it means to be sad. Is that another kind of blue?”
What a great opportunity to talk about homonyms, spelling, vocabulary, and word meaning. And people say online learning will hinder meaningful conversations between parents and kids!
What conversations about learning has ScootPad opened for you and your kids?
Dr. Michelle Anthony