So, I’ve been wanting to get my students participating in learning with other students outside our school walls. Last year students had individual blogs and we worked on a little this and that. This year I am once again committing myself, and my class by extension, to more outside-our-walls experiences.
One of the first things we are doing is participating in the Global Read Aloud project (the Tuck Everlasting version). I have to say I was hesitant to participate because we already have Tuck in our curriculum at the end of the year where it is connected to some projects that I can’t really move. However, I decided to go ahead and read it out loud now and then have the students read it independently later. It is such a well-crafted and intricate book that I think we will be able to talk about all the hints and foreshadowing when we read it a second time, since we will know the plot already. At least that’s what I’m saying now.
Anyway, we have joined the Edmodo group for the project (I will really have to write about Edmodo too. I am loving it.) and just finished the first week of reading and commenting. A few of the kids are really enthusiastic contributors, others are lurkers. There are so many people in the group it’s a little overwhelming sometimes. One of the things we have done is made glogs on glogster (also a great too) and put them into the Edmodo group. This is now super easy to do as there is an “edmodo this” button on glogster.
One student came in and announced that she had a great conversation with someone about Tuck online the night before, “she’s my new best online friend! We’re going to watch the same move on the weekend.” Another student volunteered that she had been having a conversation with one person and then someone else joined in. Then on Friday we skyped with a class outside Atlanta, Georgia who is also participating. The kids had a great time talking about the book with other students.
I will be the first to admit the conversation is not very high level at the moment. It is a first taste of participating in an academic community that is beyond our walls. It is purposeful, age-appropriate, engaging, safe, and global.
We’re on our way.