Saturday, November 3, 2012

Kidblog, VoiceThread, Twitter, Weebly, Shelfari…Oh, the possibilities!

My Technology Search~
Over the past 3 years I have been working to integrate web 2.0 tools into my 1st grade classroom. Thinking first of the students, then the learning and lastly of the technology. I want the technology to enhance the learning we are already doing. As you can imagine it was not difficult  to find web tools!  The first graders have learned to use VoiceThread, Scribble Maps, Kid Blog, Weebly, Shelfari and Twitter in and out of the classroom!

Shelfari Then and Now~
We all know each group of students bring a new set of ideas to the classroom (and to the technology we use)! While Shelfari isn't a new tool to my classroom, the way the KIDS are using it this year is new (and improved)!  What made this year different? ONE reader! A's excitement about Shelfari has made Shelfari a collaborative tool for all four first grade classrooms.

In the past, our class has used Shelfari simply to post books we've read together and to share with families. This year started out with these same humble beginnings, but during our morning meeting one student shared she had started her own shelf and was following our class and the other first grade teachers! The questions began to bubble up
How do you make a shelf?  How many books do you have on your shelf? Can I follow you? Can we see your shelf?

Of course we visited A's shelf! We saw she had Strawberry Shortcake books and books she had read in our classroom! The class began to ask about her books. Have you read all those? Which one is your favorite? They were definitely hooked! As the week went on more and more kids came in announcing they also had made a shelf. In just 2 weeks the entire class had created a shelf and started to follow their classmates and the first grade teacher's!

It's a Reader's Journey~
I love looking at the books on the shelves of my readers, seeing their books has changed the way I select books for our classroom and the way I feel about first graders caring around chapter books! 
I believe strongly kids first need to see  themselves as readers, reading as fun, books make us feel good, books are meant to be shared and enjoyed. So now when I see chapter books come back from the media center or see my kids pick Star Wars books from the book fair I just smile. I know this is part of their reading journey. This is how they will find their place as a reader. It's my responsibility to provide a variety of books, on a variety of topics, and genres to help them on their journey.

The New Collaborative Shelfari~
It wasn't long until the kids began to comment to each other on Shelfari. They talk about books they have read or books they wanted to know more about. I loved seeing these comments and began to make a few comments of my own! Kids now come into the room pulling books from their book bags asking if their friends are here yet.  "C asked me if he could borrow this, is he here?"  Imagine my surprise when Mrs. Carr, another first grade teacher walked into my room with a book for A! Our little friend had asked to borrow a book from her classroom. Mrs. Carr generously shared the book and A's face was priceless!

Humble Beginnings~
This is again just the beginning of Shelfari for our class, I am eager to see where the kids will take us! 


Amy Rudd said...

This is so amazing! It makes me want to start a shelf with my daughter and my son! Thanks for sharing your story.

Cathy said...

I'm enjoying watching your classroom and Shelfari. It has really become a collaborative adventure. I also enjoy looking at the shelves of your students. It has me pondering many questions about our classroom library. Your students have taken Shelfari to a new level.


katied said...

You have me thinking about giving this a try in first grade! Thanks for this post. I may come back to ask a few questions :)

Tama Trotti said...

Hi great ideas- did you set up the accounts for each child or did you have one classroom account?ThxTama

debf said...

Thanks for the comment. Yes, the kids had individual accounts except for Twitter and Weebly.those two accounts are class accounts.

Nik Snood said...

Your post helps me a lot! Thank's for that!