If You Are New to the Global Read Aloud – Tips For You #GRA15

Every year, the Global Read Aloud grows even bigger.  It is quite astounding honestly.  But with growth also comes more questions, thus this blog post to hopefully help all of the new facilitators that have signed up for this year!

To see basic information, such as chapter breakdowns, start date, and hashtags, please go to this page.

Before the project:

How do I get the books?

Since headquarters is just me and my ideas, there is no way for me to purchase the books for you.  I am sorry.  So please do get the books ordered on your own.  To see this year’s books and order them, please go here. 

Why should I be a part of the Google Group?

I use the Google group to email you any information that you may need, as well as updates on author participation and such.  If you have not received emails from me yet, please join the Google group here or check in your spam folder.  And if you got this information via your email – wahoo, you are a member of the Google group.  (And no I don’t share your email or information with anyone).

What do we use Edmodo for?

Edmodo is used as a safe space for teachers to connect, ask questions, and share ideas.  Please join your respective Edmodo group to connect with others doing the same book as you and to find people to connect with you.  Edmodo is also used during the GRA by teachers, but that is something they set up between their classes.  To see the teacher groups for Edmodo, go here.

How do I connect using Edmodo?

After you have joined your group and I have approved you (which I do on a daily basis) there are two different ways; you post a connections wanted post in your group, or you respond to one.    If you post a connections wanted post, please make sure people have a way to get in touch with you such as email or Twitter handle.  One you have found the connections, please alert people that you have found them.  Also, please reach out to all people that respond to your post, even if it is to say you have found someone already.

If you respond to a connections wanted post, make sure you describe your classroom and give them a way to contact you.

What should I post in my connections wanted post?

It helps if you do age group, location, experience level, as well as what types of tools you feel comfortable using or would like to use.  That way people can respond with similar dreams.  You can post anything else that you think is helpful as well.

What if I don’t want to use Edmodo?

Then you can look for connections via Twitter using the hashtag #GRA15 or post on our Facebook page as well.  There is also a Google Doc where you can post and search for a connection.

How many connections should I be looking for?

You decide. I like to have one solid connection for each of my classrooms and I like to have our ideas cemented before the project starts, that way I know for sure I am connected with someone.  However, I also like to look at what else is going on during the project, so checking in on the Twitter hashtags, seeing what other people are sharing and such.  Some people like to have several connections ready in case one doesn’t work out.

Should I read the book(s) beforehand?

Up to you.  I like to read them to make sure I am choosing the right book for my students, and I like to think about the discussions/projects/connections we will have.  But there is no rule.

During the Project:

What tools should I use to connect with others?

Again, up to you.  Here is a list of great tools I have used in the past.  You can also decide with your connection(s) to try something completely different.  If you have an idea for a tool to use please share it with others, this is how the project becomes so awesome!  If you are using Kidblog or something that requires others to go to your site to connect with you, then make sure your site is open to the public so others can view it and comment.

What should we read when?

To see the weekly breakdowns, go here.  Don’t worry if you get behind (I do every year!).  Just don’t read ahead.

Are there lesson plans?

No, however, many many people share ideas on the Edmodo groups or on Twitter.  I also have a Pinterest page where I try to share as much stuff as I can.

What are things you can do with your students?

The sky is the limit.  I see people use Skype for discussion calls or to guest read aloud.  Many use Padlet to share about.  People use Kidblog or to have students write about the books and then have others comment.  People use Twitter to share projects and also to participate in a slowchat that will happen for some of the books.  People use WriteABout to create writing communities.  This year Sway from Microsoft is also an option with your very own Sway community. To see more about some tech tools, please go here.

How much should we do?

As much or as little as you want.  You can share as much with the world as you feel comfortable doing or as little.  Some choose to simply read the book aloud to their class knowing that they are part of something bigger without connecting with others, others choose to go as big as possible.  Find your comfort zone in this and make it work for you.

Do I have to use technology?

No, you should connect in some ways.  Technology makes that easier but you don’t have to use it if you can’t or do not want to.

Can I make shirts or other things for my students to show we participated?

Please reach out to me first, the name “Global Read Aloud” is trademarked.

After the project:

We finished the book, now what?

Hopefully the connections will continue.  Many, myself included, use the Edmodo groups throughout the year to find others to do  projects with.  I do not shutdown the Edmodo groups, nor do I lock them down.  So please continue to use the space to do projects and share ideas.

Are you reading books for next year?

Yup!  The minute books are selected for the year, I start my search for the next year’s amazing books.  If you want to know more about the process, go here.  If you are an author and want your book considered, please go here.

I hope this was helpful.  If you still have questions, please leave them here or contact me via email or Twitter.  This was very long, I apologize, but I hope it was helpful.


16 thoughts on “If You Are New to the Global Read Aloud – Tips For You #GRA15

  1. Helen Lengel says:

    Never done this before–excited to check it out. I’m not sure if I signed up for a book–or if I did, for the right book. I teach fifth grade and was thinking that the Fish in a Tree would be a good book for my group. How do I check to see what I’m signed up for?

    Helen Lengel

  2. Jennifer Robertson says:

    Hi, I am new to this and I still feel a bit confused. I team teach 2nd grade, so I will have two groups of students that I would like to experience this. Is the Edmodo group where I would connect with other classrooms? Do I just choose one? What is involved when connecting with the other classroom? Are we supposed to record our reading, our responses, questions for the other class….? Do we have to do this for a full six weeks? Sorry for all the questions! Just want to make sure I’m clear on everything before I decide if this is something that would work for our classroom.


    • Pernille Ripp says:

      You do the six weeks because you only read certain chapters aloud each week. Edmodo is the easiest place to connect with others and people also share ideas there. You choose the one based on which book you are doing or if you are doing the picture book study. You would find a classroom to connect with there (or on the Google doc) and then decide with that classroom what you would like to do with them. You can see what people are doing/looking for on the Edmodo groups already. It may be a good idea to join one of the groups even if you are still unsure to see what others are doing.

  3. Jessica Zepik says:

    I am the media specialist at my elementary school and am planning on beginning the read-aloud on Monday. The problem is, I don’t know how to find a connection. We do not use Twitter, Facebook, or Edmodo. I saw that Google Docs was an option, but how do I access that?

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