Monday, July 26, 2010

Official Timeline for The Little Prince

To keep engagement and excitement level high we have decided that the book should be read within a 4-week period.  So the start date will be September 20th with a finish date of October 15th.  Please do not feel rushed by this; remember this is supposed to be a great experience and not anything stressful.  Therefore follow along as best as you can and share as much as you feel like.

Week 1:  Sept. 20th -24th
Read chapters 1 through 7

Week 2: Sept. 27th - Oct. 1st
Read chapters 8 through 14

Week 3:  Oct. 4th - Oct 8th
Read chapters 15 - 21

Week 4:  Oct. 11th - Oct. 15th
Finish the book

I will be uploading video from my classroom of my read aloud as well as our post discussion.  My students will blog about their perspective on the book on our kidblog, as well as post on our wikispaces page.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Global Read Aloud Project

The book has been selected and the start date set, now all we do is wait and the anticipation is making me excited!  So as you prepare for this project please add to our lesson guide that I have started.  I know about some technology that may be incorporated into the project but I bet there is a lot of other ideas out there.  So please share your thoughts with the world, just as I have been.

The final question I have been pondering is length of the project; would we prefer it to wrap up at the end of October?  That would mean we give ourselves 6 weeks to read the book, since we start September 20th, so about 4 chapters a week - not impossible if you think about it.  What are your thoughts?  Does the end of October sound like a doable finish date?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Shared Lesson Resource

I have started work on a lesson resource for all of us to add to as we read the book and prepare for our discussion.  This document is meant for sharing so please add your ideas to it; after all, I am by no means an expert on discussion questions.  Please add any ideas you have for incorporating technology into the lesson and ideas of how you can connect with people.

As I continue to re-read chapters and get inspired, I will add more ideas - I hope you will as well.

This is a google document, please let me know if you have any problems accessing or adding to it.

Here is the link:  Little Prince Shared Resource

Friday, July 16, 2010

Our updated hashtag for twitter

Thanks to Yutaka, an alert member of our group, the old hashtag (#grap) used on Twitter has been scrapped since it would include many other hashtags as well.  Lisa @teachingwithsoul came to the rescue when she suggested the new hashtag #glread10.  So if you are on twitter talking about the project please use this tag instead. 

A timeline and shared resource/idea folder will soon be published, keep your eyes open.

To Drink or Not to Drink?

There was a moment of recognition and blossoming love in my house last night as I sat down and reread The Little Prince.  I must admit that I am very partial to this book and incredibly excited that it has been picked as a the first ever global read aloud.  My father writes musicals and as a child ,the first musical he ever created was based around this book.  I therefore feel that I grew up with this book and that every time I reread it, a new lesson is given to me.  This is the magic I cannot wait to share with my students and students around the world.

As I reread it though, I got to Chapter XII in which the prince goes to the planet inhabited by the drunkard.  Immediately I was on alert; would this be appropriate for my 4th grade students to hear.  The chapter is very short, only 2 pages, and not essential to the whole story.  However, after more thought I realized that my students have been exposed to much worse language than that and that it is not depicting drinking as something good but instead as a way for adults to become even more inexplicable and confusing to children.  So I will be leaving this part in as I read the story aloud; after all many children do not understand either, why we as adults surround ourselves with alcohol sometimes.  However, you may feel different.  You know your school, your kids and yourself.  So if you do not feel comfortable with the chapter, skip it.  Just don't let it ruin the experience of the book.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

And the Winner is...

The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

After our discussion yesterday, I agree with the comments that this book is a universally appealing and accessible book that many different age levels can read and discuss.

So now the planning begins; I will continue to share resources but please make this a forum to share your ideas. How do you plan on using this book in your room and more importantly how will you share and connect?

The chapters are deliciously short so I think we will be able to do 2 or 3 chapters a week, what do you think? There are 27 altogether.

I am very excited as we choose this first global read aloud book.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Votes are In...

The poll has closed with more than 60 votes given. The top 3 is an eclectic mix but exciting; Coraline, The Little Prince, and Sideways Stories.

Now the discussions starts; which book should be the first book shared as a read aloud? Keep in mind that this book needs to be accessible outside of the US, so translated into as many languages as possible, it also needs to appeal to a large audience, not just my 4th grade as an example.

I am leaning away from "Wayside Stories" even though I love the book, it simply is not translated into many other languages. This is your chance to add your opinion, if you do not add your voice then the ultimate decision falls on the ones who do. Please join the discussion and spread the word.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

So great idea but how will this really work?

All details are far from ironed out but the ideas are becoming more solid in my head, so here is some additional information that may help as you think about your participation and whether you want to share the idea of this project.

This is what Week 1 will look like in my room:
• 1st chapter is read aloud by teacher, depending on the length of chapter this may be over 1 or 2 days.
• Once chapter has been shared, I will then lead a prediction discussion; What do the students think this story is about? They will be asked to do a wallwisher on their predictions to be placed on the GRAP blog.
• We will then discuss their thoughts on the action of the first chapter and the characters introduced. This will be videotaped and placed on the GRAP blog as well for others to comment on.
• Depending on volunteers I may try to do this as a Skype call with another classroom to start the true connecting/sharing.
• For other chapters I will try these ideas instead: Have students
o Blog their predictions on the set up comments section for Chapter 1 on GRAP blog (will be up by then as a separate page)
o Write their thoughts about the first chapter and what happened on globalreadaloud.wikispaces.com site and encourage others to change/add their voice.
o Retell the story in 60 sec or less using Voki.com and sharing with other classrooms.
o Discuss the story with another classroom using Skype

There are so many possibilities for sharing/connecting but I do not want people to feel overwhelmed or like it is too much work. The idea behind this project is to connect and share! That can be a 5 min Skype call, or a longer student written reflection. You can connect with one classroom or with many; it is really up to you.

My classroom will be the test bunny so I will videotape all read alouds as well as student reflections. I will be open to as much collaboration as people will want.

Attention all possible Skype Users...

Please fill out the Skype form if you are thinking of using Skype during the project.  That way we can try to establish connections before the start of the project.

Google Form for sign up info

Here is the link to the original Google Form that was created for me to gather contact information.  You may add your email address if you would like to be updated via email rather than through RSS Feed or blog.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Picture Book Vs Chapter Book

The question has been raised whether a picture book would do for the GRA Project?  My initial answer is no since the concept is to share this experience over several weeks, rather than just a single day.  However, this is not just my project so please add your voice to the debate in the comments below.  Thanks!

Monday, July 5, 2010

We should Read Aloud...

Disagree with the initial choices?  Here is your chance to add your voice. 


Here is how it will go:
Inspired by Jeff Howe #1b1t
  • Right now - nominate the book you would like to read aloud.
  • Next - We select the shared read aloud.  The book has to be of general interest, appeal to a large age group of students, be appropriate, hopefully translated into other languages and be freely available.
  • Then - We determine the start date and start reading aloud, blogging, tweeting, skyping, wiki'ing and sharing.


So What is This?

I have been thinking about the read aloud.  Every day I read a part of a book aloud to my students, usually a book that they would not pick themselves to read and then we discuss what is happening.  Sometimes the book is tied in with curriculum, often times not.  My favorite author happens to be Neil Gaiman, both for children and adult books and so when I saw that his book, American Gods, had been chosen as the first One Book, One Twitter book club (#1b1t) I was excited.  What a great concept; read a chapter a week and then discuss it via Twitter.  That made me think; why not do that with a read aloud book and connect classrooms across the world?

So here is what I propose:  Choose a book, pick a start date,  and read a chapter aloud a week.
You choose how your students share either via a blog, a wiki, VoiceThread, Skype or other ideas.  The hashtag for this on Twitter will be #GRAP so join in the conversation.

We strive to make connections on a global scale and so the intimacy of a book can do just that for us. 

If you would like to be added to this project, either follow the project here or fill out the  
Google Form for the Global Read Aloud 

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