Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Reading Like Readers~ Naturally

When Cathy of Reflect and Refine asked me to share a blog post on VoiceThread as a part of the conversation ~ Love of Reading vs. Homework at A Year of Reading, which is hosting the event for Share a Story-Shape a Future,  I had to accept the challenge, I am new to the world of blogging and could not resist the opportunity. 

A New Tool for Learning and Sharing ~

This has been a fun and exciting year of learning for my class and me, WE discovered VoiceThread (VT)! VT is an interactive tool that allows you to share books, documents or videos. As a viewer of VT you have the ability to comment by voice, type or video. As comments are shared they appear around the sides of the VT, viewers can even draw as they comment! 

It didn't take my class (or me) long to find a few MANY authentic uses for this new tool. Soon after I introduced VT the kids (and sometimes their family members) were creating and commenting from home! This outside participation linked to our learning community is what really made VT a success in our class.

As first graders we are learning to choose, think and talk about books as a part of our daily life. We don't view reading as homework or something we do at school, we see reading as something we do for fun to share with others! 

VoiceThread  Helps Us Share Our Thinking ~

Alaina created the VT above during reader's workshop as a book recommendation to her peers. As you listen to the comments you will hear some comments were made in the classroom, some were made from home and some were from the sibling of a peer! 

This is a great example of how the kids are extending their reading beyond the classroom! While some comments are made in the classroom and some outside of the classroom all comments keep a common thread of conversation, reading, thinking and sharing!

Reading Like Readers

Kids always have choice in the books they choose and how they share their thinking and reading, VT helps us get our thinking out and extends the conversation and learning beyond the classroom. 

Kids have choice in the books they read, share and the discussions they participate in on VT. Each day kids choose books from home, the classroom, the library, and even from the conversations in VT’s.  Just as kids choose their reading for the day they also choose what to share on VT. Kids share naturally and freely. In  the authenticity of our VT conversations kids comment and create throughout the day, evening and even on weekends. They share when something they read strikes, like readers do. What's important here is CHOICE and extension beyond the classroom. For more on choice in reading visit Reflect and Refine Building a Learning Community.  This choice and extension is what builds our love of reading.   

I love that the kids are choosing, thinking and talking about reading as a part of their life.  This seems the most authentic way to develop life long readers.


Anonymous said...

Yeah! This is such a wonderful way to share books. What I like is how you modeled ways for parents to give feedback to their kids about book choices and reveiws.

Anonymous said...

oh! and I LOVE LOVE LOVE how you open your profile "20 very excited first graders who love learning as much as I do!" Yeah!

annmariecorgill said...

Deb--Thank you for sharing! This is amazing--and I just wish I had you sitting next to me teaching me all about VoiceThread!

Happy Birthday Author said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing VoiceThread. What a great tool for young children. I used to teach special education - this would have been awesome!

Melissa Taylor said...

wow, this sounds fantastic and also a little intimidating. Is it easy to learn? I'm with Ann Marie, can you tutor me? :)

The Book Chook said...

That's what I love about so many of these web 2.0 tools, the interactive component really encourages sharing with an authentic audience as a totally natural process.

Mary Lee said...

Thank you for letting us listen in on this amazing conversation! And this is just ONE book...I can imagine all the talk about all the books that goes on every day in your classroom!

(Sign me up for your Voice Thread class!!!0

debf said...

Thanks for reading my post and your comments! AnnMarie, Melissa & Mary Lee VT is easy to use (my forst graders can do it, tee hee!) I am happy to show you all- nt sure I can actually teach any of you anything but, I"ll try! Let's say... in AnnMarie's state where it's warm AND sunny!!

Cathy said...

I am so glad you took the time to write this post. I wish everyone could see the way your readers share with one another on Voicethread. It is not unusual to walk into your classroom to see students standing at computers learning and sharing their voice with the community. I have learned so much watching the conversation evolve this year.

debf said...

My kids have become quite confident and capable on VoiceThread! They have taught me so much about the possibilities of using VoiceThread to extend learning beyond our classroom!