Friday, September 23, 2011

And This is Just the Beginning!

Our class, known as Gill-Ville (@Gill_Villeans on twitter) is participating in the Global Read Aloud Project for a second time.  We had such an amazing experience last year (read about it here) that there was no question whether we would participate again this year.

We had the common goal this week to read the prologue and up to chapter six. We had two trips this week as well as a PD Day, we are already a little behind, but that’s quite alright! So far we are enjoying the story. Students have joined a special group on Edmodo to talk with other students about the book. We have already answered a few polls on Edmodo that asked us which country we lived in, our predictions for the book, and whether we’ve read it before or not. We are also contributing to the online wiki where classes are posting their work using a variety of web tools. In our class, we started by making predictions using LinoIt . http://blogs.wrdsb.ca/gillk/files/2011/09/Screen-shot-2011-09-22-at-1.39.41-PM.png

We then turned the discussion to whether or not "life everlasting" would be a good thing.  Here is a screen shot of some of the responses that were shared during our discussion.


As we began reading the first chapter, we discovered many new or unusual words in the story. Students worked in partners and used the “Use Your Handwriting” app on the iPad to create personalized word lists from the chapter.
http://blogs.wrdsb.ca/gillk/files/2011/09/IMG_0001.jpg

This story is a novel that does not include many pictures or images for the students to look at. This gave us a great opportunity to work on visualizing. This task is very tricky for many of us who struggle with auditory learning so we began working together to describe the setting using the SMARTBoard. Here is our representation of the road to Treegap as described in the first chapter.
 

The text then goes on the describe the wooded area beyond the road that is very important to the plot of the story. Students listened carefully to find details in the text that they could draw. Here is an example of the wood as visualized by Emilee.
 

As we moved on to chapter two, we started to meet some of the characters in the story. The first character we meet is Mae Tuck, the mother of two boys and wife to Tuck. The text provides a very detailed description of Mae that we used to help us visualize her appearance. In the computer lab today the students used SumoPaint, an online art program that can be used at home, to create their drawings of Mae Tuck. From this picture below, can you tell us something about her? You can see the students’ drawings and descriptions of Mae Tuck on their blog posts from yesterday!
 

We can't wait to get back at it next week as we look forward to Skyping and chatting with some classes about the book!  

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