Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Veteran Shares Why They Joined GRA Again

My 4th grade class participated in the first Global Read Aloud during the fall of 2010 to help my 4th graders expand their world.

We read The Little Prince along with the other classes.  We first posted comments to our Kidblog. We connected on Twitter and TodaysMeet with a classroom in Canada.  My students were thrilled to learn about this other country, even though the city  these other students were in was not that far away.

The students were excited for our read aloud each day. They drew pictures of the Prince’s journey and their favorite part.  We created an Animoto of these images.  We also created a Voice Thread  to share our favorite part of the book. We posted this information on my school website for parents and the Global Read Wiki. My students put many higher level thinking skills to use while doing these projects. They had to express themselves to others without face-to-face connections, yet they knew others seeing their work had read the same book.

After The Little Prince, we continued to connect with other classrooms while reading two other books.  We used Edmodo, Wikis, and Skype.  This really solidified the concept of expanding their world outside our small town in northeast Wisconsin.

With this valuable experience my students were exposed to quality literature and held a 21st century book talk with other students. When asked at the end of the year, their participation in the Global Read Aloud was one of their favorite experiences of the year.

Participating again in 2011, I hope to have my new class connect outside the United States again.  I want them to expand their ability to use Web 2.0 skills with Edmodo, Twitter, and Voice Thread.  I also want the chance to have face-to-face connections using Skype. I would highly recommend getting involved in the Global Read Aloud.

Debbie Burmeister
Grade 4 Teacher
Neenah, Wisconsin
Twitter@Burmieland

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