5 Digital Resources for the Global Read Aloud 2019

What is the Global Read Aloud?

The Global Read Aloud was founded in 2010 with the goal of having one book to connect the world. According to the Global Read Aloud website, now over 4 million students in 80 different countries have participated in this event!

Educators selected recommended titles that they’d like to read with students during a 6 week period of time known as the Global Read Aloud. They make efforts to discuss the literature while making global connections.

This year, the Global Read Aloud runs from September 30th to November 8th. There are no age restrictions on the books so educators may select the titles that work best with their students. The Global Read Aloud helps students and educators become part of a global celebration of literacy while demonstrating how technology may allow us to use digital tools positively while communicating and collaborating with a global audience.

Digital Resources and Activities

GlobalReadAloud.com: If you would like to get involved in the Global Read Aloud you may sign up at GlobalReadAloud.com. This website answers many important questions you may have, shares information on this year’s book selections, and offers many resources for you to explore. Make sure to check out the official website of Pernille Ripp. She is the founder of the Global Read Aloud and an expert in literacy and technology integration!

Facebook Groups- Educators have been creating Facebook groups to connect with educators from around the world. Here, you may find lesson plans and amazing opportunities.

Facebook Groups:

Twitter– The official hashtag this year is #GRA19. You don’t need to have an account to search the hashtag to view posts with ideas and opportunities. Educators may also participate in Twitter “slow chats” where they may respond to questions about the literature posed by authors, educators and students.

  • Diaz Has Something to Say – #GRAStellaFront Desk – #GRAFront
  • The Bridge Home – #GRABridge
  • The Marrow Thieves– #GRAMarrow
  • Picture book author study – #GRAYuyi

Seesaw– There are so many amazing activities for students to discuss this year’s selections when you search the Community at Seesaw. Enter keyword #GRA19 and you’ll find dozens of amazing activities submitted by educators. These activities allow students to share their thinking about the literature and receive feedback from classmates. Many of these wonderful activities were submitted by Seesaw Ambassador @smalchow.

Here are some example activities:

Flipgrid Flipgrid is one of the world’s most popular video platforms for allowing students to share their ideas about any topic. Educators may search for pre-made activities in the Disco Library or create their own topics for students to engage and collaborate. Many educators use Flipgrid to create a class or school shared read aloud. Or, another popular option is to discuss literature with classrooms around the world by searching for educators looking to collaborate in the GridPals section of Flipgrid.

How do you use technology to participate in the Global Read Aloud? I’d love to hear about it!

Evaluating the Authenticity of Websites

The Objective

This month, students in grades 3-5 evaluated the authenticity of three different websites. Students often are unaware that anyone may create a website and frequently believe that anything they read online is valid. If we are going to teach students how to use search engines and conduct research, then we must also show them how to evaluate the search results.

The Lesson

Each class had roughly 15-20 minutes to explore the websites on their own. Fourth and fifth grade students had received the same lesson the year prior, only they were presented with a different website.

I introduced the following (fake) websites by stating that I would appreciate some student opinions before I started a project.

  • Third Graders: Dog Island Preface: My dog has been acting up. Should I send her on a vacation to Dog Island?
  • Fourth Graders: The Northwest Tree Octopus Preface: I found this amazing creature online and realized it was endangered. Should we start a school fundraiser?
  • Fifth Graders: All About Explorers Preface: We will be learning about different explorers this year.  Would this website be a good resource for me to recommend to for student research?

Assistive Technology: Read and Write for Google Chrome Extension

Since not all students are able to read at grade level, I reminded students to use the Read and Write for Google extension to help them read text aloud and define words. We used the highlight collector to highlight important information to support our opinions and then collected the highlights into a Google Doc. I find this extension to be extremely helpful with any and all reading activities.

The results were far from shocking.

Grade 3: Third graders decided I should NOT send my dog to Dog Island as it did not seem like a nice place. However, they did not question the website’s authenticity.

Grade 4: Fourth graders voted to save the Northwest Tree Octopus.  Only a couple students seemed confused while learning that this octopus lived in a tree. But, they still did not question the websites authenticity. Only one student raised their hand to share that they thought “something is wrong with the website”.

Grade 5: Roughly a quarter of the fifth graders picked up on the false information. I politely asked those students to hold their thoughts until after I asked the class to vote if we should use this website as a resource. The majority of the students still voted YES!

Action Taken

After I revealed the objective of this lesson, students laughed and pretended like they knew the websites were “fake” the whole time. But, in reality they absolutely did not. We then talked about how we can evaluate websites for authenticity and brainstormed many different ideas.

Students then used this Google Sheets checklist to go back and evaluate the authenticity of the website using the 5 W’s:

  • Who wrote the information?
  • Where did the author get their information?
  • What is the purpose of this website?
  • When was the site last updated?
  • Why is this site useful for your research?

Evaluating Website Google Sheet Template: Click USE TEMPLATE to modify.

Here is a template you may use with your students. I found it was very helpful!

Not only was this lesson extremely important; it was also extremely fun! Many students laughed as they exited the classroom stating, “You got us again, Mrs. Boucher! Not next year!” Hopefully, they are correct.

Lesson Slideshow

An amazing reader sent me a fabulous Google Slides lesson they created using this blog post. Check it out here! (Somehow, I cannot find the name of the teacher that created and sent me this Slideshow, so if it was you, please send me an email so I can give you credit!)

How do you teach students to evaluate website authenticity? Have any great resources you’d like to share?

How to Write a Quality Comment

There are quite a few apps that allow students to leave quality comments for instant feedback to classmates’ projects, work samples or blog responses. Tools such as Google Classroom, Flipgrid, and Seesaw allow students to post their work and receive instant feedback from their teachers and classmates, providing them with an authentic audience. Timely feedback is extremely important for student learning. However, the quality of the feedback is equally as important.

We need to teach students HOW to leave quality feedback for their classmates in order for it to be effective. Simply stating, “Good job!” is not enough.

Students must learn to dig deeper and write comments that help their classmates expand their ideas.

What should be included in digital feedback?

  • Compliments: We all know that before we start offering any constructive feedback, we should compliment the author on what was done well before offering suggestions. Model this concept by teaching students to start their feedback with phrases such as “I like how you….” or “It was helpful how you…”
  • New Information: After starting a post with a friendly compliment, it is helpful to then offer connections, questions or new information not mentioned in the post. Did the author forget to mention a certain part that may be useful. Model adding new information by sharing phrases such as “This reminds me of the time when…” or “Another idea could be….”
  • Digital Citizenship:  Students are quick to share personal information such as phone numbers, family details or thoughts about school. Or, they may be overly critical of their classmates. We must remember to teach students digital citizenship during our daily lessons. We know we want students to revise and edit their ideas, but it is equally important to remind students not to post any personal information online such as family circumstances or health issues and also obviously any words that may be offensive.
  • Editing/Revising: The world of texting has definitely impacted the quality of digital responses. Students must spell-check and proofread before responding. We often teach students to revise their formal papers, but we should also remind them to go back and revise and edit their feedback to peers.

The following infographic may be helpful for teaching or revisiting key points.

What Should Students Do After the Feedback?

Often, students receive feedback and that is the end of the learning experience. Students must have time to:

  1. Respond: Have a discussion with their teachers and/or classmates.
  2. Review: Was the feedback useful? Can they make changes?
  3. Reflect: How did the feedback help the student learn? What would they do differently next time? What goals can they set for themselves?

How do you teach your students to write a quality comment?

Getting Students to Evaluate the Authenticity of Websites: Grades 3-12

There are millions of websites and our students are looking for instant gratification when it comes to finding answers. But, students are often using websites that are either not credible, erroneous or not current. So, how do we teach students how to find accurate and solid information in a world where anyone can post anything?

The Lesson

I like to start by playing a little trick on students. The two websites that I often use while teaching students how to evaluate websites are All About Explorers (created by teachers) and the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.  Both of these websites are not only safe to use with students but also very entertaining!

This week, I started my  lesson by asking students to review one of the assigned website and to share interesting facts with their classmates. It always amazes me when these 4th and 5th grade students shared their learning while stating obvious impossible facts such as “Wow. I never knew an octopus could steal dollar bills!” Or,”I had no idea that they had email back in the 1400s!”

These type of statements tell me two things:

  1. Students continue to believe what they read online is TRUE. We need to make sure they understand that anyone can make a website. It is up to the AUDIENCE to evaluate the website for authenticity before we use it for a reference.
  2. Students need to think for themselves.  We need to urge students debate questionable information. I believe every student knew that electronics were not around in the 1400s and that an octopus cannot climb trees. Yet, not one student in the 4th grade classroom debated the statement. And, only half of the 5th grade students were challenging the ideas. We need students to become independent thinkers.

After explaining the objective of my lesson (and getting quite a chuckle out of the students’ reactions), I introduced the 5 W’s for evaluating the authenticity of websites using this Google Drawing. (Click to make your own copy.)

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 12.27.58 PM

Then, we used these two hyperdocs to continue learning how to evaluate websites.

All About Explorers HyperDoc

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 12.17.18 PM

Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 12.18.50 PM

Summary

We need to teach students not only to be independent thinkers, but also to evaluate the millions of online sources at their fingertips. There are so many websites out there that look like they are credible, but are either filled with erroneous or dated information.

How do your students evaluate the authenticity of online sources? Do you use any “fake” websites such as All About Explorers or the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus?

7 Key Points for Evaluating Your HyperDocs

There are so many amazing HyperDocs out there for you to share, use and modify. Maybe you are even creating your own HyperDocs! But, what differentiates a really good HyperDoc from just an average learning activity? What is the big picture? What are your goals? Keeping the SAMR model in mind for redefining the task, I have come up with 7 key points.

7 Key Points for Evaluating HyperDocs

  1. Activate Prior Knowledge
  2. Engage Explore
  3. Collaboration
  4. Apply/Creation
  5. Self-Assess/Reflect
  6. Authentic Audience
  7. Student Choice

Providing students with an authentic audience and choice is so important when it comes to engaging students and promoting creativity. It is so very important to make sure these key items are provided throughout your HyperDoc.

I would not say that I have completed one HyperDoc to perfection. I am constantly going back and making changes as I learn about new tools and ideas. And, not every HyperDoc is going to have touched on all these key points, but it is so beneficial to keep them in mind.

Click on the Doc below to enlarge and make your own copy of this guide.

Screenshot 2017-10-07 at 10.30.05 AM.png

Resources

Check out Kathy Schrock’s Blog on the SAMR model