Learning to give students choice.

Global Read Aloud 2012 has begun. In July, I pitched this idea to a group of teachers and two jumped in—head first. We had lots of learning to do since we had never before collaborated beyond the school. Of course, this meant making contact with other teachers (via Edmodo, which we had never used), deciding on a platform for shared communication (what’s a platform? They asked.), organizing the groups of students across the classes, introducing the students to digital citizenship, and oh yes, preparing the content of the lessons.

The novel, The One and Only Ivan, provides a wide array of topics and themes that students can ultimately choose to explore. Along the way, the class will read/listen to the story, and the student groups will use Kidblog to share their thinking with each other, weekly questions will be posted on Wallwisher to help support the extension of ideas across all the classes. Already, students are lobbying for time to delve more deeply into different aspects of the text. Some are curious to learn more about silverback gorillas, while others want to understand why poachers capture animals for captivity, and others yet, are offended by the treatment of animals in captivity and want to learn more about what is being done to end this practice. And we have just completed week one of four! In this project, students can choose what they want to learn more about and how they want to share that learning with their classmates and group mates. StorybirdGlogsterVoiceThread, and a wiki are all possibilities for students to choose from to create their final project.



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