One of the things I really enjoy about being a Kindergarten teacher is teaching my students how to read. Really, learning to read is a very complicated process, but with rich literature, explicit teaching, meaningful use and integration of technology, connections and opportunities for conversations between students begin to develop. Students not only develop the skills they need to read, but learn how to use what they have learned, to help them continue on their journey.
This month we are exploring the world of Dr. Seuss. My students had an awesome opportunity to connect with other students in Wisconsin via a Google Hangout as part of Read Across America. It was wonderful. Our friends in Wisconsin did an awesome job doing book talks about a few books written by Theodore Seuss. My students were able to ask questions and give feedback about what they saw and heard. This was a great way to begin to excite my students about our new author study. I asked my students what they noticed. My students shared that they noticed that the students read with expression, their voices changed when they read, they read well, they were also taking breaths. As a teacher this was wonderful because their responses reflected many of the skills and literacy experiences we have created and explored together.
Later we used AirServer to share another Dr. Seuss story on our SMARTboard. Wow! My students all had wonderful smiles and were making connections through conversation as we watched and listened to the story. I so enjoy the expressions my students make when they are connecting and engaging with books.
Afterwards we had another opportunity to have a conversation about the story. When I asked my students what they noticed this is what they had to say:
*the voice paused at commas
*we heard rhyming words
*it had lots of digraphs
*every word has a vowel
*we saw important words and sight words
*we use iPads to read books
*AirServer helps us read books
I am so inspired about how AirServer and iPads can capture and enhance the essence of what my students understand. Their observations give me immediate feedback about what they understand and through the connections they make, I learn what has resonated with them in regards to their learning. It is also wonderful at how young children can connect with a variety of text and make meaningful connections through rich, interactive, literacy experiences. The technology gives voice and highlights many of the skills we explore during our reader’s workshop time.
The technological tools that I used were AirServer, SMARTboard, Google Hangout and iPads to enrich a read aloud. Even if you had 1 of these tools, your students experience with a text will be enriched.
AirServer is really a wonderful tool because you can remotely access what is on your iPad. This helps demonstrate what is possible.
Google Hangout is available through Google Plus. This is an awesome way to connect your students with others to have conversations. You will be surprised at the connections they make. Google Hangouts through video can have up to 10 people at one time, so the possibilities are endless here when it comes to audience.
Learning to read is magical. I really enjoy the endless expressions my students make when they begin to realize they are reading words and interpreting illustrations. This is where I can really help enhance what my students discover. Learning is for everyone. Technology gives all my students a voice.