Frankie's recalling of the 'rock girls' and how they easily transitioned from one tool to the next, whether it was digital or not was simply amazing...something I dream of. Ahhhhh...
Frankie's discussion about the Book Trailer assignment was very interesting. It was looking back and reflecting on her assignments that helped her to make necessary changes and have more successful Book Trailers. I find sometimes that is the best way for me to learn as a teacher! I dive in and try something out, then I can reflect and make changes. (When I say dive in, I do spend time planning first. LOL)
Thoughts on Authenticity
Questions about authenticity come up whether lessons are digital or more traditional. As I teach my students the skills they need to use Google Drive Apps I must balance the need for an authentic literacy experience with the need to teach my students HOW to use these tools. When I introduced Google Draw I found it necessary to let my third graders just play with the app for a period, similar to letting students play with math manipulatives before using them as a math tool.
Creating authentic literacy lessons that really help my students grow as readers and writers is a challenge, no matter the tool, digital or otherwise. (I had a moment, actually several, where I thought, "These people already have the traditional reading workshop down! What the heck! Where have I been?") But seriously, I am a work in progress when it comes to finding ways for students to respond personally and thoughtfully to text. I do think digital tools help make it more authentic.
We are picky about the books we bring into the classroom library so we must be picky about the digital text and tools we introduce too. This is one of my favorite quotes from the book so far!
My district recently purchased a subscription to an online program that provides leveled texts for students to read online. I think teachers can also print out some books too. Students have their own accounts and can take reading quizzes as well. I have to be honest and say that this program disturbs me just a bit. Is it the quizzes? Probably? Is it the leveled texts? Maybe. As I've said before I have limited access to computers so I haven't used the program yet. Is this really authentic reading? How can I use this program in an authentic manner? I would love to hear your opinion.
Thoughts on Digital Tools
Bev Gallagher's poetry experience reminded me that I have used Audioboom with my personal iPad even though I don't have wireless in my classroom....so I need to explore this tool more.
Cryslyn reminded me that I need to use digital tools more often to build background for my third graders. I have begun, but there is so much more I can be doing. I show videos to introduce lessons but I think it might be important to start modeling how to listen and take notes when using video. This part is very exciting! We do not have a science or social studies text so this seems like a perfect place to add more digital text and video.
Judy Johnson's lesson on critical thinking and evaluating websites was fabulous and hilarious! Where was she when I needed her this last winter? My one foray into research using Google was unsuccessful to say the least. I really didn't even know how to narrow down my lessons. I wanted them to know that all websites were not created equal, but how to do that with third graders? I finally gave up. Judy has given me some new ideas to think about.
Franki talked about curating collections of digital media for students. I have used Padlet to collect websites and videos for a unit on the Water Cycle. I want to explore Symbaloo now! I think this idea could be a great way to use my limited computer access.
I also loved how Scott Jones uses Padlet for Read Alouds. I think Padlet could be a great tool for me to expand upon. It's important to choose tools that have wide uses especially when technology is limited in the classroom.
SHARED READING: I do it a lot. In fact this is the main way my students see digital text. This weeks reading reinforced how powerful shared reading can be for my students. I got so many ideas for modeling how to read digital text. I also realized that I needed to start modeling how to understand all types of digital media.
Franki is amazing. How she created her unit on communities was amazing... so much depth.
Connections - putting it all together and sharing it. Isn't that the final part of reading? But so many students don't understand that. Most only learn that when you are done reading you take a test. Just connecting a few times outside the classroom can open so many new doors for students. I have begun making connections outside the classroom as a whole class community. I would love to find more ways to do this.
So much to think about with this week's reading!