So You’ve Joined GRA – Now What?

First we wait, because this project does not really start until September 19th when you should crack open the book you are reading and start to read.  We have set a schedule which can be seen on our wiki so follow that because you don’t want to be behind or ahead.  That seems to diminish the experience.  You choose when you read but get it done within the week.

I read aloud every day to my students but during the read aloud we take some extra time to work with the text.  We predict, we dig deeper and then we start to ponder and analyze.  My students blog about their predictions and their thoughts on quotes from the books.  One student’s thoughts from last year here can be viewed here.

Edmodo is used by the kids more informally to connect with other students.  Often teachers ask a question and all of the students in the group can respond.  Kids will then branch out and ask their own questions and get connected that way to.  Give the kids time to play on Edmodo and you will see them reaching out beyond you.

Twitter seems to be a great place to connect with a couple of people and to start to plan.  We have a hashtag #GLREAD11 – use it to connect with others participating and set up times to work with them.

Skype needs to be planned by you.  I hope to have people Skype in and read aloud for us, but I would also love to discuss predictions with another group of kids somewhere.  If you would like to Skype with me, please let me know, I don’t have anyone lined up yet. On our wiki we also have a Skype page where you can establish a connection.  

Speaking of our wiki, this is where you can showcase your students’ work.  Last year we scanned  pictures, we created Animoto’s and VoiceThread and put them all on the wiki for others to view and comment on.  This was just another way for students to connect.  I would often start our morning showing them something on our wiki to get them excited.  We now have a Teacher’s Help page on our wiki where people can share their activities and resources to inspire others, please add your ideas.

You decide what you want to do with this.  The expectation is simple; your students should share the read aloud with other students.  However you want to accomplish this is up to you.  Some people have unlimited time, others very little, so make it your own.  It should not be stressful, it should be a unique opportunity for you and your classroom.  Reach out, connect, ask questions – I am here to guide anyone through that needs it.    I am almost always available, particularly before the year starts on Sept 1st for me.


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