Archive for the ‘- Teaching Strategy Guides’ Category

Penmail for Parent-Teacher Communication

Penmail (voicemail created & shared via Smartpen) is an effective and efficient way to improve school – home communications. It requires very little training and yet it very inexpensively and easily allows teachers and parents to exchange short messages without requiring internetor phone access. It can also help break down language & literacy barriers. Penmail (Smartpen + voicemail) can easily be recorded by a teacher with a Smartpen on a page in a student’s Livescribe notebook and sent home with a student where a parent or parents can listen to it and potentially respond with their own penmail. If parents need to hear the penmail in a language other than one spoken by the teacher then the teacher can simply hand the notebook and Smartpen to someone who can translate the message.

Dr. Andrew Van Schaack shares much more about penmail (research, methods, etc) in the “Livescribe Teaching Strategy Guide: Effective Implementation of Pulse Smartpen in K-12 Education”. This guide is available from your Livescribe K-12 Educational Representative along with face to face on web-based training.

The video below shares the power and simplicity of pencasting. Both videos are captioned with the YouTube version’s captions translatable to over 50 languages.

YouTube version of video (new window): version (new window):
Download the Screencast mp4 captioned version here (13 MB): Livescribe Education Parent-Teacher Communications.mp4 Plays with QuickTime on Mac and Windows

Recording and Sharing In-Class Observations

Dr. Andrew Van Schaack, a professor at Vanderbilt University and Senior Science Advisor to Livescribe, has written a Teaching Strategy Guide (TSG) for the Livescribe Smartpen. This guide is available through Educational Representatives along with professional development.

Livescribe has made 4 chapters of the TSG available at no cost along with videos that share the main ideas in them.  The full TSG is available along with professional development from a Livescribe Educational Representative.

Below the video is a link to the pdf version of the Teaching Strategy Guide that goes along with the video.

YouTube version of video with translatable captions (new window): version (new window) – with link to downloadable version of video:

Sample Teaching Strategy Guide #3:  Teacher_Guide_3_In-Class_Observations.pdf

Livescribe – Reading – Part 2 – Fluency and Running Records

Reading – Part 2 – How to create a fluency test (running record)

This is the second of three suggestions plus a description of the unique abilities of the Livescribe Smartpen from Dr. Andy Van Schaack, Vanderbilit University.

The video below provides a description and demonstration of a reading fluency exercise (the exercise starts at about 2:15).

YouTube version of video (new window): version (new window):

Steps:  Taken from the free Teaching Strategy Guide “Monitoring Student Progress: using Daily Fluency Records to Monitor Student Progress“  This is part of the much larger Livescribe’s Teaching Strategy Guide available along with professional development from a Livescribe Educational Representative.

  1. Put some Livescribe paper (from an 8 1/2″ x 11″ notebook) into a photocopier or printer and then print a page from a reading book onto it.
  2. Tap the Record button and ask the student to begin reading.
  3. Circle any errors that they make.
  4. When the Smartpen indicates that they have read for 60 seconds, draw a vertical line after the last word they spoke, call stop, and then tap the Stop button.
  5. Add up the number of words they read and subtract the number of words they read incorrectly. This is their score.
  6. You can track their reading speed over time to chart their progress.
  7. Teachers can also save the reading sheets and analyze progress over time. They can also share readings as audio (mp3 or iPod format) with parents or students privately.

Here is a link that provides more information about individual and paired fluency exercises as well as scholarly references that provide empirical support for this approach:

Research Support

  1. An excellent paper that provides research support AND specific strategies to implement a repeated reading program:
  2. Dr. Andrew Van Schaack’s “Livescribe K–12 Research Support” includes a section on Reading Fluency and running records.

Unique abilities of the Livescribe Smartpen

The Livescribe smartpen is unique in its abilities *out of the box* to support read-along activities by varying the speed of the model reader.  This has been the weakness of previous read-along programs in the past.  Either the narrator was too fast, and the novice reader could not keep up, or the narrator was too slow, and the intermediate or advanced reader was held back, making the exercise pointless.