A Guest Post: On The Eve of the Global Read Aloud: Tips for Success by Ron Dorland

The Global Read Aloud is fueled by the love of so many and Ron Dorland is definitely a shining example of this.  He just published this post on his blog and I couldn’t be more thankful.  His ideas are great as is his genuine passion for making this is a great project.  I am thankful he let me share this post on here as we all prepare for the Global Read Aloud tomorrow!
For you first timers to the Global Read Aloud Project (GRA) get ready to be blown away. If done correctly you are about to improve your curriculum a million times over. Pernille Ripp has always done her due diligence in choosing thought provoking, emotionally consuming books that keep you on the edge of your seat, glued to the plot and wanting more, more, more! This year is no different. No matter what book you choose (they are all wonderful) if you place your GRA curriculum around the competencies communicating, thinking and the student, then your room is a haven for literature loving!

The one thing that takes this amazing project to a whole other level is the ability for students to communicate.  Do not treat this read aloud like a regular 1980’s novel study. If you are using worksheets, pre-made tests then you are completely dropping the ball. Instead as a teacher, do your homework and make connections. Through platforms like Edmodo, Twitter, Weebly, Kidblogs etc… it has never been easier. Don’t wait for others to do the legwork for you in terms of connecting. You are capable, so start adding teachers and classrooms now.

Once the platforms are in place let your students connect with other kids and teachers around the world, and share information and ideas about the book. Engagement, understanding and enjoyment will never be higher.  In other words students will love reading and arriving to class in the morning.  Trust me!

Here are frameworks I have set into place so my kids can get the most out of the amazing Global Read Aloud Project:

  • Connect daily reading to the child’s multiple intelligence. My grade 6 students are all in different stations throughout the room learning how they learn best…their way.
  • Set up Edmodo groups to connect students globally who are reading the same novel. Have thought prompting questions for them daily, but also allow them autonomy to have discussions with their new global friends and PLN.  (Yes each kid, like us, needs a personalized learning network.)
  • Blog, Blog, Blog. My students all have Weebly accounts where they share their learning. But what takes blogging to another level are the comments. Teacher you need to start a blog roll and have your kids comment on other blogs and vice versa.
  • Skype often.
  • Have a before or after school tea club. Kind of like a “Dead Poets Society”, where you open up in-depth novel dialogue. It is amazing how many kids will join in to talk literature. How cool is that!
  • Use digital platforms to engage and enhance. Don’t tell kids the apps but rather let them choose. For example, some of my kids want to talk about plot through an Adobe Voice and Adobe Slade presentation.
  • Have a classroom Twitter handle and hashtag. (Make sure you share the hashtag for others to see). If students have their own accounts let them tweet openly. They love it.
  • Make time to be a part of the author’s novel concluding Google Hangout.

It is the eve of arguably the most important project you will run in your room this year. Please embrace the opportunities the great Pernille Ripp has afforded us. I hope this post has given you some ideas. I will be reading “Fish In A Tree” as there is zero percent chance I would pass on a Lynda Mullaly Hunt novel. If you have not connected please don’t wait any longer. Write me a comment below or send me a message on Twitter @rondorland and I will add you to my novel contacts. The map above are the connections I made last year, and if you click here you can read a post I wrote last year on just how engaged my class was. Happy reading everyone!


23 thoughts on “A Guest Post: On The Eve of the Global Read Aloud: Tips for Success by Ron Dorland

  1. Patricia says:

    Thanks Ron for a well-written GRA pep post. I agree, and am so excited for another GRA with Pernille and Lynda Mullaly Hunt. It will be fantastic. Please add me to your list. We are from Short Hills, NJ. USA (@applemurphy22)

  2. Ron Dorland says:

    Thank you all for not only reading my post but also commenting. If you want to connect please connect with me on twitter @rondorland or on the initial blog post on mrdorland.weebly.com

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am excited to begin too, if you want a connection in the Cayman Islands, we are in Grand Cayman, 11 Grade 5 students,

  4. Angela McNeil says:

    I am a newbie this year and very excited. We too are reading FIAT. Please add me to your contacts. Going to follow you on Twitter.

  5. Samson says:

    I am new to GRA. I would like to connect to you as a way kick-starting this exciting project. I have group of 25 4th graders.

  6. Amanda Bridges says:

    Hello! We are a group of 39 3rd-5th graders at a rural school in Stoddard, NH. This is our first time with GRA and we are reading FIAT.

    We will be on edmundo and writeabout. I also have a skype account. We would love to connect with people my email is amanda.bridges@sau24.org

  7. Lorraine Gonzales says:

    I will be starting Fish in a Tree with my students today for GRA, but had no idea of all these fun connections going on! I definitely wish I would’ve started planning sooner and connected with other classes!

    I will definitely try looking into blog posts and other things.

    Thanks for the tips,

    Lorraine G.
    5th grade teacher, Southern CA

  8. Kelli Wilcox says:

    I am a third grade teacher in Upper Arlington, Ohio and am excited to be a part of this for the first time! We are reading FIAT. Please add me to your contacts @kmwilcox2.

  9. LG Teacher Librarian says:

    I am a little late to the game, but I just learned about GRA and it seems like the perfect fit for the type of literary experiences I want to provide our students with. I just finished “Fish in a Tree” and want to be able to share it with students as well. I would love if you added us to your contacts @LGESlibrary

  10. Cathy Ciecierski says:

    My class started reading Fish in a Tree this week. So far my class loves it. We are a private school for children with disabilities in Gainesville GA and each of the 4 classes are reading a different book.

    How do we connect to others reading the same book on Skype?

    Please add me to your contacts.


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