There’s so much more to a book than just the reading. -Maurice Sendak
We are 35 days into this school year and several of my students are reading. They are excited when they find words and phrases they know in books and in environmental print. They love to share with anyone who will listen words or books they can read. Even at age 5, my students see the treasure that is unlocked when one can read. The fire has been lit and my fervent hope is nothing and no one comes along and puts that fire out.
We are a classroom immersed in literacy all day long. Our iPads have certainly facilitated my ability to deliver personalized literacy instruction through the “Just Right Books” I create for my students as well as various apps that we use that adapt to students’ responses. My students also have the choice to read regular books in the book center or books on their iPads. I want them to love reading and to be able to get lost in a story, so that when the story is over, they will wish it wasn’t. There are books I have read and when finished, I missed the characters and I thought about them long afterward.
Part of building strong readers includes assessing students, listening to them read, working on fluency, and well…just reading, reading, reading. Having 23 students makes it difficult for me to listen to every child read every day. The iPads definitely help. I had the students in one of the reading groups open the app Explain Everything and take pictures of each page of a leveled book they wanted to read. They then used the laser pointer to track the print. They saved the movie to their camera roll and then uploaded it to Showbie. I am able to then listen to the child read at any time. I can use it as documentation for running records assessment, see where the child is having trouble and then go back work directly with that child if needed. I can also email to parents. This also allows the child to also re-visit the recording, listen and practice along for fluency. By saving a few of these, you can show growth (or not) at a parent conference. Here is one example:
Explain Everything is truly a versatile app. It is definitely one of my go-to apps in all subjects. Consider trying it for reading. It engages students of all reading levels and that’s never a bad thing!
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!
Book photo credit: Creative Commons