So the other day I had the kids visit a new link on our class website called the Cove Online Library. This is a place I have begun to collect free online stories and books for kids. They had to choose a story (at the time, all of the stories had audio capabilities so the kids could choose to have the story read to them as they followed along) and take notes of main events and words they thought would make great vocabulary words. They really seemed to enjoy this and were captivated. They were actually SO captivated that when I Skyped with a room of teachers downtown being trained to start our additional 1:1 program at the middle school level, half of my kids were unaware! I actually turned the camera so my videoconferencing colleagues could see the magic in action!
I decided for today’s jobs to have the kids digest their new information in three ways. They were asked to address our newest classroom blog post which asked them to tell all about the story they read! Please check some of these summaries out and tell me SOME of these kids are not improving their literacy! Whitney, one of my young ladies made my whole week when she said (after working for 60 minutes straight), “Mrs. C. I really learn a lot of grammar when I am blogging!” Yes!! Never heard that when we were copying sentences out of the grammar book….
Their second extension of the online story activity was to take the vocabulary words they had collected (choose your favorite 5), look up the definitions (I gave them a link to an online kid’s dictionary), and add them to our new Vocabulary Wall (also embedded on our class website). I used Wallwisher for this, and it worked out wonderfully! The kids loved adding the virtual sticky notes to our wall, and now we have a wonderful collection of challenging words to learn! Make sure you check out our collection HERE.
And finally, I really wanted to get an idea of how the kids felt reading on the computer versus holding a paper book. So I created a quick survey on SurveyMonkey and linked it on our Job List for today. Here are some of the results:
1. 77% of my kids would rather read a book on their computer.
2. When given the choice 53% would like to follow along as the computer reads the story (more details below), followed by 41% wishing to read with a partner, and in last place reading a book to myself (only 4 of my 19 kids).
3. When asked, “What did you like about reading an online story?” some of the interesting responses were:
“I learned more about the story than I would if I read.”
“It read it to you and you could pause it and play it.”
“I liked I experienced something different that day.”
“I like reading on line because I don’t like to read a lot.”
4. When asked, “Is there anything you did not like about reading an online story?” most of the responses were “nothing”, but here are a few others:
“I didn’t like how they read it needed more insperation and excitement.”
“I didn’t like how long it was but other then that no.”
I feel good today! I think we’re heading in the right direction!
Picture Credit: Real Ink vs. E-Ink via Flickr