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.


Why I Joined This Project

       Since I joined Twitter a few months ago, I have quickly seen the value in connecting with educators from around the world.  I would like my students to have some of the same opportunities.  The Global Read Aloud Project seems to me like a great vehicle for these connections. Beginning with a common framework of the same book, many classes of students will have the opportunity to interact with other students.  Whether the interactions are discussion groups through chat or Skype, reading each other’s blogs, or any other option, the chance to learn and interact with other people outside our local community is highly valuable to me.  I hope that you’ll consider joining this project and learning with right along with the over one hundred people who have already signed up.

Connected by a Book – Gill-Ville Goes Global!

Thanks so much for the opportunity to participate in the project and contribute this guest post about the Global Read Aloud. When I stumbled upon the twitter post announcing the concept of connecting classrooms with a story, I thought that it was a brilliant idea that I just had to get involved in! We began reading the story online, projecting it on our SMARTBoard.

Students took turns using the hand-held microphone for our new sound field system while reading aloud. Our special education class had more volunteers anxiously waiting for their next turn than in any other read aloud situation we’ve encountered. As we became more interested in the story we wanted to see the actual book. This allowed us to take our story mobile and we finished reading the story in our new outdoor classroom. It did bring me a little pleasure to see their desire
to physically hold the story and appreciate the pages (a little balance in our technology-focused school).

The vocabulary in the story was a little out-dated and above some of my students in this congregated setting, however the numerous characters introduced throughout were interesting enough to capture their attention and imagination. We used this project to introduce many web tools that we’ll be using this year. It was amazing to share our character vokis, wallwisher and voicethread predictions, animoto videos displaying our illustrations, and tagsxedo word clouds on the Global Read Aloud wiki .

Even more amazing were the connections we were making with other classes beyond our own school building. The relationships developed during conversations about the story and introductions to class/school/town were fabulous. We were able to connect twice through a chat site, twitter numerous times, and skype on two occasions. During these sessions, we had wonderful discussions with a grade 2 class in New Brunswick, another in Pennsylvania, a grade 4 class in Wisconsin, a 5/6 class in Nova Scotia, and a grade 6 class in Iowa! We mapped out the route we would take to travel between schools and posted them to our own class wiki page. Not only did we connect about the characters and plot development of the story, we shared pictures and school website links. I am convinced it is these connections that made the project such a success.

Thank you once again for organizing such an amazing reading network for our students and providing them a place to showcase their ideas and interpretations. I look forward to future involvement with these projects. I am even more excited to maintain some of our Global Read Aloud connections throughout the year ahead.


Here is how it will go:
Inspired by Jeff Howe #1b1t

  • Right now – nominate the book you would like to read aloud.
  • Next – We select the shared read aloud.  The book has to be of general interest, appeal to a large age group of students, be appropriate, hopefully translated into other languages and be freely available.
  • Then – We determine the start date and start reading aloud, blogging, tweeting, skyping, wiki’ing and sharing.