Reading Life in 5th Grade: Part Four

Our 5th Grade Reading Life - Part Four: 

Today I want to share with you some technology ideas that have been floating around in my brain since even before last year that I may have got my toes a little wet with or just completely watched from the shore this past year. We as a district are one-to-one iPads, which is absolutely amazing, yes, but there are some drawbacks to the situation. This was my first year being 1-1 and it was definitely a learning process. The kids thoroughly enjoy it, which is to be expected since their livelihood revolves around technology. I have some tech ideas on my Twitter Moments that you can view here too. I try to remember to save them there, but I don't always remember. 

The way the year ran this year was that assignments would be posted on iTunesU, students would download said assignment into Notability, mark up, and then turn back into me on iTunesU and I would grade there. Easy enough. I know next year I want my lessons to be a little more thought out. I DO want to explain to my kids their learning objectives with each assignment so they're not just doing "something" on their iPads. This will definitely take some planning on my part, but again, the organizational takeaway from having each assignment labeled with a learning objective/standard makes a heck of a lot more sense to me than to just post something for them to do, right? Am I crazy? 

As I posted in a previous reflection piece about their reading responses, there are going to be multiple ways that the students can then respond not only on paper, but using their device as well. 
Flipgrid, Seesaw, Padlet, Booksnaps (just added a snap from my friend Scott Fillner to my moments on Twitter, but also search #BookSnaps on Insta and Twitter), blog posts, and many many more. 

Next year I know 100% I will be using Flipgrid. Haven't heard of Flipgrid? You can find out more here. Also, if you search Flipgrid on Twitter you can see all of the amazing work that educators across the nation are doing. A friend of mine, Nikki @MissNikkiin5th on Twitter, has this PHENOMENAL Flipgrid page where authors are leaving videos book talking their book. It's such an amazing opportunity for students to be able to hear an author discuss their book and the decide if that's something they may be interested in reading. There are so many ways to use Flipgrid in the classroom. Not just a 5th grade classroom either, but all ages. We just recently used it in a professional development session on PBLs. My whole thought with Flipgrid is that kids love to talk and the love to video themselves (cough*The YouTube obsession*cough) so why not utilize that love for videoing and turn it into a reflection piece of some sort?! 

Another tech app I desperately want to learn more about and utilize extensively in the classroom next year is SeeSaw. I see it a ton in younger grade levels, but in doing the research that I have, I feel that it would be so beneficial to a 5th grade classroom as well. Why? The responsibility it requires children to possess by sharing their work with their parents, with others, and also using as an accountability measure for students to make sure their work is completed and completed efficiently and on time. I know I need more training on Seesaw because it is such a huge platform that can do so much and from past experience, I don't want to just jump into something without ensuring that I can teach my students effectively how to use it. 

Just like with everything, I know that I need to make sure when I start implementing a new tech piece that I discuss with students the expectations, the timeline of documenting information, and any consequences that may occur if used inappropriately. 

I also want to implement Padlet for quick exit ticket responses or even just a whole class question. If you aren't familiar with Padlet it looks basically like a board with a bunch of sticky notes stuck to it. So students respond in an open type forum and everyone can see their responses on what looks like a physical sticky note. This is a great to see others responses and build of of that as well. 

Two pieces that we already use in our ELAR classroom is iStation and IXL. iStation is  our district wide reading assessment tool. It's just another form of collecting data to see where a child is at. It is probably my students least favorite thing to do on the iPad as far as reading tools go. In their end of year surveys iStation and IXL were the two things they did not like doing. I totally get it, but I will say with IXL I saw a lot of growth when it came to grammar/writing skills, as well as the few nonfiction components they had. It was quick way to do to a warmup or to do a pre-assessment on a skill I may be about to teach. It was definitely one of those things that as a teacher I loved because of the data and the content, but as a kid I can see how it wasn't "fun" for them. (Insert teachable moment of how devices aren't just USED for fun games or videos, but as an educational tool since you are at school and the school has provided this device for you. This will be a conversation I initiate at the beginning of the year and retouch throughout.) 

There are so many things that we did this year with technology that I did love though. The kids did a paired literature project where students had an article from NewsELA paired with a literary nonfiction picture book and then were required to breakdown the both of them separately on individual google slides, and then compare/contrast the both of them together. Paired passages is something that is sadly on our state test and students can sometimes struggle with. Instead of doing passages to teach this strategy, they were able to read multiple titles and learn so much more from two pieces that were different mediums, but also very informative. This is the information I gave to students. 

I loved this project and plan to do it next year. I also want to create a fiction/poem paired one as well. 

Another favorite use of technology that we do is Skype with authors. Y'all, seriously, it's one of the highlights of the year for a lot of the kids. A lot of the authors we talk with are authors who are in our Mock Newbery club so a lot of the kids have read their book and are able to ask loaded questions and learn a lot in return. One of my favorite parts as an educator is that students get to hear from authors who explain their writing process and how, no, it doesn't happen overnight. I'll never forget the shock and awe when Melanie Conklin shared with my kids that she wrote/rewrote her book for 10 years. They had no idea that that was even possible. All you have to do is reach out. Twitter is my PLN, it is my source for all things "what is working for others and what could I bring in?" professional development. Authors are our biggest fans, teachers, I promise. 

I would love to connect this year with those of you who have reading response Padlets/Flipgrids. My kids love talking with students across the nation and learning more about what others are doing/reading in their classrooms!  

Tomorrow I will be sharing some professional development titles I have on my TBR this summer as well as how I run my non-traditional book clubs + a few extra insights into my next year. There may also be a giveaway ;)! Thanks for reading, y'all! 

1 comment

  1. I love this! Is there anyway to get a copy of it? Thank you!


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