Write On!

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.  ~William Wordsworth

One way we’ve been making connections with our reading is to use our Pages App as a Reading Response journal.  Students write about what they are reading.  It’s a way to share thoughts, feelings, and questions.  The story we read was Denise Fleming’s In the Tall, Tall, Grass. Students wrote their thoughts about the story.  Some shared connections they made with the story.  Reading Response journals enable the children to think more about the story.  My students often have difficulty thinking beyond the text.  If asked “Why do you think” kinds of questions, they are reluctant to answer because they are afraid they will get it wrong.  At 5 years old, they are already conditioned to give the “right” answer.  I want them to think beyond what is written in the story and explore the possible feelings and/or thoughts of the characters.  This opens discussions up for making inferences and predictions.  I model this by stopping during shared reading and thinking aloud, discussing things I wonder and make predictions about what is about to happen next in the story.

Another good way to use the Pages App is to have the students do writing extensions beyond the text after reading. For this activity, we took our iPads outside and took photographs of the tall grass near our room.

The students wrote what they might see (or have seen) in the tall, tall grass.  They imported their photo into Pages and shared with the group their innovations on the story.

Using Pages is a great app for journal writing. Whether Reading Response or Science, it’s a great way for students to quickly get their thoughts down.  Having the camera option is a terrific means of incorporating their observations.  These activities had my students completely engaged and asking when they could write some more.  Isn’t that what it’s all about?

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4 thoughts on “Write On!

  1. I love this particular blog Kristi. I am so excited that as a teacher you recognize the injustice in our children always having to determine what the “right answer is”. How will they ever learn to be creative, to think outside the expected and to dream of something other. Many blessings to you and your endeavor to give children freedom of thought.

    • Laura, I agree. That’s what struck me most about this post. And also, how technology has evolved so much that our kids can snap a photo and write about it. I imagine that making connections beyond the text is a tough concept to grasp… but it’s wonderful they are being introduced to it at such a young age.

    • Jill,
      There are a couple of ways we save work. One way is to upload to Paperport (if it’s an app that does that). Since my kids have their own iPads, they can also just save their work to their own iPad and I can look at it from there. There is another app called Simple Transfer that allows you to share photos and videos. It is awesome. You could take a screen shot of the child’s work and transfer it to your laptop via Simple Transfer.

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