Wednesday, February 9, 2011

More Fun With VoiceThread!



Oh, the possibilities of VoiceThread! 
It seems each day I hear a child in our classroom say, "Oh, I am going to put this on VoiceThread!" or tell a friend "You should share that on VoiceThread!" I have to admit I am VERY pleased with their enthusiasm and comfort in using VoiceThread. We have found many uses for VoiceThread and I say “we” because many of the ideas have come from the kids!  It hasn't always been this way. It took time to show the kids the possibilities and give them the opportunity to explore.

We first began using VoiceThread to share comments on our weekly book winner. Each week (as the schedule allows) we vote on our favorite read-aloud. We lay out all the books we have read and each child votes on his or her favorite. After the winning book is determined, the kids create a VoiceThread of the winning book, in which they comment on what they liked about the book, connections they made, or questions they may have. We then invite our class, the media specialist, other first grade teachers, even our principal to comment on the winning book.

Creating VoiceThreads of the favorite read-alouds have allowed everyone in our class the opportunity to share what they have enjoyed in the story. Not only can everyone comment, but the kids can hear the ideas of their peers, other teachers, our media specialist and the principal! Hearing the thoughts of others allows the kids to think about the story in different ways and move them to a deeper understanding. This helps me to select books I am confident my class will enjoy. In addition, it serves as an ongoing assessment of the strategies the kids are using in understanding their reading. Our media specialist has also developed a feel for the books we enjoy as a class and  even recommended a few books along the way!
We love it when someone outside our room shares their comments! I have opened the VoiceThread here so you can comment on our favorites and maybe even find a new favorite book of your own!

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