Saturday, October 11, 2014

Supporting Readers: The Global Read Aloud

The Global Read Aloud
The last few years as a classroom teacher, I've participated with my classes in the Global Read Aloud.  I was thrilled this year that an author active in social media was chosen for the event.  Over the next six weeks, students all around the world will be reading the same books.  Within the last few years, a picture book author study component was added.  I found this focus to be a better fit for my young readers who are just learning to navigate text.  As I've participated in past years, I've found the conversations are deepened by the interactions with other students.  Students are motivated by the connections made around the world.

Growing a Reading Community
This year, I wanted to find a way to participate with the readers I support in our building.  As I've watched my students in their classrooms, I have realized that it is as essential that I connect them to a community of readers as it is to help teach them to read.  This year's picture book study uses books written by Peter H. Reynolds.  I really wasn't sure how this would look working with small groups across the day, but decided to just dive in and figure it out.

The first week's book was The North Star which was impossible to locate.  Thankfully, the book was available in a digital format at Fable Vision.  Though the illustrations are more powerful in the picture book, I wanted to get started while I waited on my copy so I printed QR codes to the site, brought in iPads for students, and away we went.  First graders followed text and listened as the story was read aloud.  Second grade readers participated in a shared reading of the story.  Students were excited to be part of a global reading discussion.  Many had friends participating in The Global Cardboard Challenge and were excited by the opportunity for global collaboration.

Connected Conversations
After reading the book, we talked about what happened in the story.  In some groups, we discussed the message of the author.  Here were two of my favorite responses:

Students wrote about their dreams.  Some wrote about dreams for their future, others dreams for today.  It was a reminder to me of how important it is to support these young readers who have big dreams for today and tomorrow.

We then joined the conversations at #gra14 and #graPeter.

Great Conversation:  It seems discussing big themes engages readers.  Groups had interesting discussions about the author's message, their dreams for today and tomorrow, and the challenges the character faced.  We've carried these higher level conversations into our thinking in other texts.

Community Connections:  Joining the Global Read Aloud is helping us build our connections to other readers in our school as well as around the world.

Connecting Readers to Books:  When I went into my last classroom yesterday afternoon.  One of the readers I work with came over with another Peter H. Reynolds book she had checked out at the library.  She had selected next week's title:  I'm Here.  She wanted to read it….and how could I resist?

Looking forward to seeing where this takes us.

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1 comment:

  1. I love reading and should of known you would take technology with you to your new role. Tweeting and a blog - wonderful ideas to share your important work and thinking for your students while with you.