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.
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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