Why Did I Join?

By Jee Young Kim

This past week, I attended the summer reading institute led by the Teacher’s College Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University. One of the main parts of the reading workshop model they talked about is having students engage in book clubs. As we had a chance to participate in our own book club during the conference, I was reminded of how meaningful it was when I could talk to others about the book I was reading. I was excited to hear other peoples’ thoughts, interpretations and questions about the book.

The Global Read Aloud project is so exciting because it creates an international book club for our classes. My fifth grade students from Seoul, Korea will be able to talk, discuss, and share with students from all over the world about Tuck Everlasting. Thanks to the Internet, we can connect to classrooms thousands of miles away, something that I could never imagine doing when I was in fifth grade. This project makes the reading that we do in class more meaningful and relevant for the students. They will have an authentic audience of other students to share their reading with.

Another huge reason that I joined is for myself as an educator. I am thrilled about this opportunity to collaborate with educators from all over the world. It’s not often you can say that you helped plan a global read aloud with talented teachers from outside your school, district, state and country! It is always encouraging to work with other teachers who will put in extra time to plan, write posts, upload videos, leave comments, take photos, and more because of our passion for learning and teaching.

I can’t wait for this project to start with our students in September. I just bought a copy so that I can reread the book again over the summer before school starts. I think the last time I read it was when I was in fifth grade. I hope you and your students will join us on this global journey!


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