I have really been enjoying watching my students navigate novel study in small groups of 2 to 4. They check Google Classroom for their daily reading recipe. They use elements of ‘read to others’ developed in the primary grades to coach and assist each other through the reading process collaboratively. There is no judgement, just support that has been highly modeled and reinforced. Upon completing the day’s chapters, they begin on the task outlined in Classroom. Every day is a different type of digital reading response. Maybe book review or theme online forms. Maybe it’s using Google Drawings to create a new book cover. Maybe it is loading a Padlet with important quotes from the text. Maybe it’s a word cloud of adjectives that speak to a character’s identity. It’s something new each time and they seem to be responding to the uniqueness of each task with high interest.
After the first two days of setting the parameters of what a student-directed hour of literacy looks and sounds like, it’s off to the races. I get time to conference with small groups, discuss goals, and praise their hard work in helping each other. Community! Today I sat for a second to scan the room while students were reading, and later, working on using ShadowPuppet (video notation iPad app) to complete a book talk. I was impressed. I felt as though I was in their space, not the other way around. The students were totally engaged and focused. Pulling tech into literacy time is helping students jump into books.