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, 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 #GRA16 or post on our Facebook page as well.
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.
Are authors always involved?
No, not always. Every year since Katherine Applegate chose to get involved, I reach out to the authors’ whose books are chosen and ask if they have time. Some do and some don’t. I am incredibly grateful to the authors that take the time to be a part of the project as it enriches the experience tenfold for participants, but I do not pick books based on that criteria alone. Sometimes incredible books are written by incredible authors that lead very busy lives, and that is okay too. What matters is that we have the amazing books to read aloud and share.
What technology can we use to connect?
Anything that you have access to. One of the strengths of the project is that you do not need to use a specific type of technology to be a part of it, in fact, you can even choose to not use technology and use regular mail to connect with someone. All that matters is that you connect with someone.
To see great ideas of what to do during the project, go here
How do I find someone to connect with?
In the summer, I set up an Edmodo group for all facilitators. People then post “Connections Wanted” posts on there and find someone to connect with. For those that choose to not go on Edmodo, I create a Google Doc as well that you can submit information to and then view what other people have submitted for. You can then reach out to each other and facilitate your connection.
While I do not generally facilitate connections, please contact me if you are having problems finding someone to connect with. I can usually help.
Where do we share?
Anywhere you want. We have our Twitter hashtag for sharing, our Facebook page, as well as our wiki, but people find they share best wherever they feel most comfortable.
What should we read when?
Weekly breakdowns will be posted soon. 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. 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.