1. Today we used Edmodo in a new way. While I read aloud, the students did some “live-blogging” on Edmodo. I made a separate group (within our just our class group) for this. In the past I have used Twiducate for this type of small commenting. Twiducate is like Twitter, but again for schools and a closed group that is created by the teacher. The main difference is that with Edmodo it is easier to reply to a comment and to see a conversation developing. Anyway, as I read aloud, students posted their reactions and thoughts.
I made sure to pause, add some thoughts myself, and reply to what the students had already posted.
Although I have done similar activities in the past it was more successful today in terms of the quality of the comments. I think this is because I have been talking with very deliberate language about “what good readers do” and sticking with a few key habits. So, for example, I have been repeating that good readers: 1. connect the book with their own experiences 2. have a conversation with the book and 3. notice details. Of course good readers do a lot of other things too, but we are focusing on these for now. I have been talking about this, but in a class discussion I can’t have everyone contribute enough for me to see all that going on. Using Edmodo and live-blogging, everyone can practice these habits simultaneously. I can look over the conversation somewhat at the time, but then can go over the entire thing later to check for quantity and quality of contributions.
2. We had another skype conversation with the school outside Atlanta. We resisted the urge, just barely, to gloat about the Phillies ruining the Braves’ playoff hopes. I think it was another good conversation. Here’s why. First, I was not involved much at all. Second, the students were agreeing and finding common understanding (while having a good time) about academic ideas with people from another school. And, finally they left school bragging about what we did today.
3. I’m thinking now about a unit that I introduced last year might be a great option for a Global Read Aloud type thing. I already checked with Pernille Ripp who organized the GLA about suggesting my idea in the teacher group. She’s totally fine with it, by the way. I’m going to get myself organized a little more and then put my plan out there.
I think the horse is out of the barn now.