4 Easy Ways to Integrate Tech During the Global Read Aloud and Collaborate with an Authentic Global Audience

According to the Global Read Aloud‘s official website, the Global Read Aloud was created back in 2010 with a simple goal in mind; one book to connect the world!

Although it may be easy to purchase the books and participate in the readings during class-time, educators may find it difficult to determine how to use technology to connect with like-minded educators and collaborate with classrooms around the world.

Here is an easy to follow infographic filled with 4 easy ways to connect your classroom and participate in the #GRA18 this year! The event starts the first week of October and runs through mid-November.

Just click the image for a copy!

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Are you participating in the Global Read Aloud this year? Are you using technology to collaborate with a global audience?

Collaborative Poetry Snaps

Poetry Snaps

Looking for a new and exciting way for students to share and receive immediate feedback on their original poems? Curious how you can spark student motivation by providing an authentic audience? Or, are you interested in new ways for students to annotate poetry and share their thinking? Try giving “poetry snaps” a whirl by using Google Slides!

What are poetry snaps?

Poetry snaps are annotated snapshots of poems inserted into a collaborative Google Slides deck. It’s a spin off of #BookSnaps, the term coined by Tara Martin for annotating texts digitally.

Here’s how:

  1. The teacher creates the master deck in Google Slides. In this example, the master deck is titled Poetry Anthology.
  2. Teacher then shares the deck via Google Classroom with the permissions “Students May Edit”.
  3. Students may then create their own slide and insert an image of their original poetry by going to INSERT>PHOTO>CAMERA. (Or, of course they may just copy and paste digital text.)
  4. Once finished, students may go to FILE>IMPORT SLIDES to add their slide to the master deck, thus creating a collaborative poetry anthology.
  5. Students may then annotate their classmates’ poems by adding thoughts about the author’s craft, connections, imagery, or questions that may have arisen while reading. Students can add images, text boxes, thought bubbles, or even create their own annotated GIF’s using the Sticky AI app.
  6. Option: Have students type and illustrate their poems using Google Drawings! Then save file as a JPEG or PNG file to import into Slides! This would look fantastic.

Example Poetry Snap Template

Click image to Make a Copy

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Not sure how to import slides? No worries, there is an animated GIF included in the slideshow.

Summary

Poetry Snaps are a fabulous way to provide instant feedback! And, the authentic audience may help motivate reluctant students to try and write some quality poems. Of course, you do not have to use original poems. Students could annotate any poems you provide! Have fun snapping!

Have you or your students created and shared Poetry Snaps?

 

Integrating Flipgrid Across All Content Areas

Educators across all content areas and grade levels are easily able to integrate this Flipgrid into their curriculum while tremendously enhancing their lessons. 

Flipgrid is a FREE video discussion platform used by millions of students and educators across the globe! Teachers post a topic in a grid (alongside any resources or links) and students may leave detailed video responses. You may also search the Disco Library and find activities already created by other educators and then modify and share them with your students. I love Flipgrid so much that I became a Flipgrid Ambassador a couple years ago!

Why Flipgrid?

Flipgrid is a fabulous tool for promoting student thinking, offering instant feedback and providing students with an authentic audience. Students are so engaged by creating these video responses. Paired with the digital stickers and the social media features (such as the many different “like” buttons and video replies) it’s a guaranteed success!

Newer Updates:

  1. AR capabilities: Scan the QR code in the Flipgrid app and see your responses become augmented reality.
  2. Video Shorts: Login to your educator account. Go to Navigate Shorts in your dashboard. Click “Record a Short”. Share the link to your short anywhere!
  3. Microsoft’s Immersive Reader: The Immersive Reader now works in the assignment description and also the student feedback area.
  4. Supercharged Replies: Students may now add titles and attachments to their replies.
  5. Closed Captions: Closed captions are now added to every video response. Now you may even edit the captions!
  6. Filters: There are now a variety of filters allowing students to modify the video appearance. The pixelated filter is an amazing option for students that are reluctant to record their faces.
  7. Whiteboard: There is now a whiteboard feature allowing students to draw and type information in their video.
  8. Epic: Flipgrid now works with the popular reading app, Epic! Students may read a story and then reflect on their reading using Flipgrid.

What other apps work with Flipgrid? 

If you search the Disco Library you will find activities that integrate with Epic, Wonderopolis, Tynker, Skype, Pebble Go,  Code.org, Flowcabulary, Nearpod, and more! Find your favorite activity and share it with students by simply copying and pasting the link into your desired app. Or, have students join by entering a code a Flipgrid.com.

How may I integrate Flipgrid into my curriculum?

Flipgrid provides a HUGE integration library and also an amazing ebook guide for educators.  Here are some of my ideas for integrating Flipgrid in your curriculum. (I used Google’s Autodraw program to create the images.)

Flipgrid infographic

Collaborate with educators from around the world!

Flipgrid makes it easy to collaborate with like-minded educators around the world. Simply click on #GridPals in your dashboard and search for an educator. You may choose to allow educators to search your profile and connect with you. You may also filter by grades and subject area.

Have you tried using Flipgrid? How are you using it with your students?

Student Digital Reading Log Using Google Sheets

Why Google Sheets

Collecting student reading logs can be such a tedious task.  There are many websites out there that allow teachers to monitor student reading. However, I prefer Google Sheets as it is so easy to provide students with feedback using the Commenting Tool. Also, students and teachers may easily share the reading log with parents, administrators or educators simply by using the Share feature. And, the Google Sheet is also collaborative. If students were researching together then they could share references, ideas and summaries with their partners. Finally, Google Sheets automatically saves in the Cloud which makes it easy for students to track books they read at school and at home. It will never get lost!

Google Sheets Template

The following digital book log allows students to set a goal for how many books they wish to read. In the image below, the student set a goal to read 100 books. As the student updates their reading log on a weekly basis the percentage towards that goal is automatically updated. So for example, the student in the image below read one book today and they have a goal of 100 books. Therefore, they have met 1% of their goal!

Click the image and Make a Copy to modify and edit your digital book log. 

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Ways to distribute the digital book log

  • Google Classroom-Make a Copy for every student
  • QR Code Generator– Post a QR Code
  • Gmail- Share the file with students and email it to them
  • Teacher Website- Post a link to the URL on the teacher’s website. Remember to change the URL ending from “edit” to “copy” which will force students to make their own copies

Summary

There are many ways to have students track their reading. But, Google Sheets allows teachers and students to easily monitor progress using the amazing features of Google.

How do your students track their reading?

Do Your BookSnaps Seem Flat or Disorganized? Spice Up and Organize BookSnaps Using Google Drawings while adding GIFs, Bitmojis, and Word Art to Code Text!

What are BookSnaps?

BookSnaps is a term used for annotated digital snapshots taken by students while reading texts. Popular apps for BookSnaps include SnapChat, Seesaw, Instagram, and Explain Everything. Tara Martin is one popular educator credited for coining the phrase “BookSnaps” and sharing her fabulous BookSnap ideas all over Social Media.

Do your BookSnaps seem flat or disorganized?

Use Google Drawings to help students stay organized while promoting creativity!  Use animated GIFs from Sticky Al app, or add images using Google Search or the Bitmoji Chrome Extension. And, don’t forget how simple it is to use Word Art to code the Text! Or, if you have never created BookSnaps, consider starting your journey using Google Drawings!

Google Drawings is my favorite tool for a number of reasons:

  1. Students may collaborate on BookSnaps using the Share Tool.
  2. Students may provide and receive feedback using the Comment Tool.
  3. Google Drawings saves in the Cloud.
  4. Students may use the Explore Tool to locate images and research topics.
  5. A Key for coding the text can be provided in the margin or “gutter”.
  6. Bitmojis are easily integrated using Chrome Extensions.
  7. Insert animated GIFs or captioned student-created images Using Sticky Al App.
  8. Students can use the Screencastify Extension to explain and record thinking about their BookSnaps.
  9. Students can “Turn In” their work using Google Classroom.
  10. Teachers can “Make a Copy” of a template for every student or differentiate by modifying templates to meet individual needs.

Example BookSnap With ANIMATED GIF! Click Image to View

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Student Created Stickers for Annotating Text

Students may create their own images  or ANIMATED GIFs by using the amazing FREE apps such as Sticky Al. Sticky Al allows students to create their own selfie-stickers and GIFs that may be used with Google Drawings by:

  1. Using the Free Sticky Al on iPad to take photos using various facial expressions and gestures to use in the reading responses. (I recommend students model being surprised, angry, sad, happy, confused, and also using hand gestures. Then add fun labels to express the thoughts.)
  2. Uploading images into Google Drive and placing them in a folder. Students may now use the images for the rest of the year. They would only have to do this once!

Go to Insert-Image to locate student-created images and insert them to BookSnaps.

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You can even caption the images or customize animated GIFs right in the Sticky Al App! Awesome!

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Google Drawings BookSnap Template (Click and Make a Copy)

booksnaps template

Here is a template you may wish to use with students.  I provided the Bitmojis for my students using the Chrome Extension as they are too young to have their own Bitmoji accounts. I would provide both male and female Bitmojis so students may select the desired gender. But, ultimately, student-created images using the Sticky Al app would be the way to go! Click the image above to create your own copy and modify as needed.

Video Tutorial

Summary

In Summary, I think Google Drawings allows teachers and students to stay highly organized by inserting a coding key and distributing assignments using Google Classroom. The ability to work in the Cloud while collaborating with group members is also a key to engaging students. Immediate feedback using the Commenting Tool is surely a way to allow students to revise and reflect with peers and educators. Throw in some animated student-created GIFs and Bitmojis and you have a winner!

Reading Response Choice Board

Coaching Request: How can I my students use technology to respond to literature?

There are so many different ways students can discuss and share their learning after reading. Many educators find that “learning boards” or “choice boards” are a wonderful way to differentiate instruction. These boards allow students to choose which activities they want to complete using a variety of tools.

The following choice board allows students to choose which activities and which tools they would like to use to show their understanding.

Please feel free to share and modify this choice board to suit your needs. I will be updating the document with more video tutorial, rubrics and assessments.

Choice Board Google Doc

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