Reading and Writing Journey

I will be posting my thoughts on different texts that I will be reading. The destination is not as important as the journey.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Digital Reading Project-Thoughts and Connection to TORS

Alana, Bruce, Michelle and I journeyed this year together.  We were to create a Digital Reading Project for struggling readers.  So Bruce and Alana worked on the site to be used by 8th graders.  Michelle and I worked on the site to be used by 5th graders.  We initially had 70 students enrolled in this project per grade level.  I want to give you the link so you can check it out.  This is a work in progress and we more lessons to create.  Each student is given a net book to take home to work on.  We have learned many lessons as we have gone through the process.  I have learned many including the fact that I was stretched in many, many ways.  I had to find alternate ways to communicate with my digital students.  I was the digital coach of 12 students.  So after they saw the lesson and was supposed to respond in a Google Document, I was to respond back to them.  If they were in front of me in my classroom, I could ask questions and gauge how they were doing.  Some didn't have much computer technology skills.  They didn't know how to create a Google Document as we had presupposed 5th graders to have.  I also had to find ways to speak to them as they were struggling readers and sending long emails just wasn't working.  I had to slow down and start making videos to explain myself and help them. I encountered a Jing, which I hadn't ever used.  I found out that Snag it! was a great tool to use with students to make videos to show them what to do in the tech and the reading response world.  After lots of trial and error, Michelle and I decided to make videos using Window's Movie Maker and Stupeflix. Just having a flip camera worked wonderfully.  The only draw back is the sound isn't that great.  As we were going through this TORS training and reading the books, our thinking changed and we tried to put into practice in the lessons what we were learning with Rosenblatt's transactional theory and Purves' creative readers response.  We considered many avenues and ways to interpret the responses using Beach's Reader Response theory.  Now having read Smith's book, wow!  There's so much to consider and I haven't even read the all of the 18 books yet.  I will be doing that soon.  My world has been widened and I consider myself to be somewhat dialectic to put in Beach's terms.  These convergent ideas hit me like a ton of lead and then I begin to diverge and create.  So I will put the link to the elementary site on a QR code for you to peruse.  You will see the finger prints of Rosenblatt, Purvis, Beech and Smith all over the place.  It is quite an easy crime scene.  I plead the fifth.  No, I please guilty.  I am guilty as charged.  What crime?  Becoming better in my profession.  Thinking deeply and widely about things I had never even knew to consider and implement.  Guilty and proud of it!

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