Friday, July 24, 2015

Writing About Reading - Round 2

A couple of weeks ago I participated in an online book group that read Cynthia Lord's A Handful of Stars. (If you haven't read it yet, pick it up immediately! It is an awesome book.) We were interested in our writing about our reading. We all have our students write about their reading, so we thought we'd practice what we have them do. It's not an easy task!

During the first book club, we all put our notes in a shared Google Doc. It was great being able to read everyone's thoughts. Many people took pictures of their notebooks and uploaded them into the document. It was great to see how differently everyone jots while reading. The other thing that I really enjoyed was reading everyone's notes and comments and being able to reply to other's comments. I found my thinking became much deeper and taken in new directions after reading the thoughts of others.

For the second round of book club, we broke up into groups of 3 to 4 and chose different books. My groups is reading Gordon Korman's Masterminds. Although we're only on chapter 10, this book is excellent! It really grabs you from the very beginning. We started with a shared Google Doc but someone from our last group introduced Padlet to us. If you have used it before, it's super easy to use and would be great for all kinds of things students can do in the classroom. So, most of us decided to try Padlet for taking notes this time. What I found so far is that by each of creating our own Padlet, we've lost the conversation feeling we had in the first book club. We're posting in our own Padlet page and then putting a link in the Google Doc. There is an option to share a Padlet page with others, so I'm hoping my group with either be willing to post together on one Padlet page or go back to the Google Doc. We'll see. I'm definitely still enjoying it, but I can tell my thinking isn't moving as much as it did the first time.

If you haven't tried Padlet, I would highly recommend it. It's super easy to use and would be very easy for the kids to pick up on and use.

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