Thursday, October 8, 2015

DPMS Students are Getting Connected Through The Global Read Aloud

DPMS students are getting connected.  For six weeks beginning October 5, a group of 7th grade students will meet with me and Literacy Coach, Mrs. Rohan to discuss the book Fish by L.S. Matthews.  Using a variety of digital tools such as Facetime, Twitter, Voxer, Google Apps for Education, and Write About, this group will regularly connect with students from our partner school, Tosorontio Central Public School, in Everett, Ontario, Canada as well as with students from other parts of the United States and the world during the course of this project.  Our connections are part of our participation in The Global Read Aloud Project, an initiative created by Oregon, WI teacher Pernille Ripp. For six weeks beginning October 5, participating teachers from around the world will choose one of the GRA selected books, read it aloud with their students, and then form worldwide connections through various virtual outlets.  Currently, there are over 500,000 students from over 60 countries participating in this project.

Today, our Fish group met for the first time to discuss the book.  After reading chapters one and two, students made some interesting observations:
  • They identified that the author does not reveal the gender of the main character, but the entire group thought that he was a boy.
  • The main character appears to be between 9 and 11 years of age, but again the author does not reveal the exact age.
  • The family is fleeing a country and moving to another.
  • This situation is similar to what is happening now in Syria as large numbers of refugees continue to flee the war-torn country.

Each Thursday our group will meet to continue our Fish discussion with our partner school and other virtual connections I will find posted on Twitter, Voxer, or Edmodo.  Next week we will have our first Facetime chat with our friends in Ontario. We will have the opportunity to do a question and answer session about chapters 1-4 and determine if our Canadian friends are making similar discoveries and connections during the course of their reading.

We are thrilled to participate in this year's Global Read Aloud, and I look forward to sharing more about our connections as we progress through the next five weeks.

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