Saturday, July 25, 2015

The Search Is On! #CyberPD & Digital Reading What's Essential in Grades 3-8

Ok, Ok, we are a forgiving community, we all do what we can, and we make it work for us...and this is why I feel comfortable posting late AGAIN and now sharing TWO post in one!  Digital Reading What's Essential in Grades 3-8 gives us so much to think about, I am sure I will be back again and again. But for today here are my take-aways!
To read more thinking and reflections from the #cyperpd community visit #CyperPd . Thank you @CathyMere @LauraKomos at @litlearningzone for all you work in bringing together this community!

Chapters 3-5 
As I read I realized I had not expanded our digital options in terms of reading from multiple sources Wonderopolis, but why haven't I considered digital reading as a viable daily reading choice?  Am I enabling my readers to  understand a topic deeply and take in a variety of information ? Am I building teaching them to take in many sources and then synthesis the information making their own independent thoughts? Why am I limiting them?
around one topic; I have to admit our reading choices have been largely print. I was surprised as I thought about this in our room. I have worked to include more non-fiction text and a variety of genres, magazines, graphic novels and even a visit or two to

My first thought is the readability level of digital resources for first grade readers. I have to pause here and think about this... is it true the tools are limited or have I not invested the time needed  to look for sites that will be  users friendly for my students? And if the sites are too challenging how can I scaffold their learning so students experience what is possible. Only by knowing the possibilities can they begin to take on this responsibility and choose intentionally.

So this year I will be exploring the sources here in our book and looking for suggestions from all you and on Twitter! If you have suggestions please leave them here in the comments!

Chapters 6-7
"Somehow, with the inclusions if digital tools it's easy to move away from the things we know to be true of literacy assessment. But un this digital age we both believe that we must keep our eye on the literacy and assessment practices we have trusted for years." (pg 88)

Keeping my eye on what we have trusted for years has been a point on focus for me for quiet sometime. I wouldn't be honest if I didn't admit that the glamour and fear of technology were the initial catalyst in rooting technology in my room. The glamour wasn't obvious to me initially, but the the fear was. I knew I wanted the students in my classroom to learn about digital tools because I saw the benefits of being connected, reaching beyond the classroom and learning to share in different ways. But it was the fear and pure challenge that fed my drive. I am a firm believer in doing something new, something out of the box, something that scares me each school year. This challenge gives me new energy and focus in teaching and the students and I benefit.  So as I read the final chapters I was again reminded to think about what it is that I am doing now that I believe to be true in literacy learning and then infuse my new learning.

Infusing Technology
As I reflect on my classroom I feel confident that technology is embedded in a way that allows natural use and enhances learning and assessment.  But there is room for improvement right from the start.

The first change I plan to make is in the survey I give to parents and students. Each year I have a list of questions, like Franki and most likely from something else brilliant I have read of Franki's, to help me get to know the students better as a literacy learner and to set a tone of our learning conversations throughout the year.
  • What kind of books do you like to read?
  • Where do you read?
  • Who do you read with?
  • How do you feel when you read?
  • Tell me about reading in kindergarten. 
  • Do you see your parents or siblings read?
  • Do you have tricky parts when you when you read?
  • What do you do when you get to these tricky parts?
  • What would you like to learn more about?
  • Do you have a library card? How often do you go to the library? 
  • Where do you buy books?
  • Where do you keep your books?

This survey currently does not include questions about the student as a digital learner. Looking at the list Franki plans to infuse I am planing to add the following questions to my first grade survey:
  • What kind of things do you read other than paper books?
  • What kids of things does your family read?
  • Do you have an e-reader?
  • Do you ever listen to books?
  • Do you have any websites, you tube channels or blogs you read? 
  • Is there anything other than books you can read? 
#CyberPD in paper and digitally has given me much to take in and grow my thinking! Thank you all for giving me pause to reflect and improve my practice! You are all to be commended to your dedication to education and kids! #LOVEmyjobitsaprivilege


  1. Wonderopolis is one of the "newsstand" resources in my webmix for students. I have,,, too but they are probably better suited for your most advanced readers.
    Something to consider... Use QR codes to scan to your own content. You could have PDF files of resources you already use and if you have them in Google, get a shareable link to set up with a code. It is another way to make a print source "digital" for engagement and practice with digital tools.
    Another thought would be to consider for linking text and getting kids to have digital discussions (in a private "chat" setting). Here's a set of tutorials about NowComment:

    1. Heidi~
      Thanks for all the wonderful resources! I have added a few to the Symbaloo remix. I can see myself using these in my instruction. Your advice also inspired many ideas, one of which asking older students to create content for us. May Thingkink would be a great tool!

  2. Deb,
    I look forward to seeing the resources for digital reading you collect. I know this is something I want to spend some time doing as well. Hopefully as we crowd source we can make new discoveries.

    I know I will be thinking more in the coming year of the connection between home and school. How can I help parents and students connect as digital readers together?? I want to think more about parent digital literacy experience in finding ways to support my students.

    Looking forward to seeing what you will try this year that scares you! ;o)


    1. Cathy~
      This thing that scares me is FEWER seats.... I have a few new ideas floating around about this a few of which were inspired by Heidi Weber's (see above commenter) Google+ page!

  3. Stephanie Affinito left a great link in on Goolge+. I am adding it here in hopes someone else can use it too!

    Here is the link to my Digital Literacy Diigo if you want to add it!

  4. Deb, as we consider digital resources, have you thought about audio/video for media literacy? PBS LearningMedia has great videos, interactives and more. Teachers can build lessons and share them. Another thought is Blendspace and EduCanon. Here's are two samples that lend themselves well to inferring:

  5. Hi Deb! Here are a few resources my 4th graders love; I think your primary students will love them too. You can follow this link to a resource page I developed on my classroom hub. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy Summer!

  6. Hi Deb! Here are few resources that my 4th graders love. I think your first graders and their families would love them too. If you follow the link, I have them posted on a student resource page on my classroom hub. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy Summer!