Monday, July 20, 2015

Digital Reading: Chapters 6 - 7

It’s always fun learning together and having conversations about books. This is true in my classroom and even more in the summer when I have time to reflect (OLW15) on my learning.  #cyberPD has been a perfect combo for summer learning. A huge thanks to everyone who has been posting their thinking and commenting!

Chapter 6:  Assessment: Keeping Our Eye on the Literacy
This chapter made my heart happy.  I have been shifting my literacy assessments over the past several years to more of a "conversation" with students about their books.  I've never done required reading logs (page number contracts etc) because I believe that killed reading for our own two children in elementary school. My students write me letters about their current reading book and I write back to them. A few years ago that switched from pencil/paper to Google.  That switch really helped me for convenience and also 24/7 communication with my students through commenting.  On page 98 "'s important to keep parents and families in the loop."  Google has allowed me to do this easily,  I often share a letter with a parent or send it as an attachment if they don't have a Google account.  Most of my shares are positive and allowing parents to see what their child is reading and to see their thinking about the book. At fifth grade, most students are still not sharing their HW with their parents, so this has been a positive communication tool with parents. Sometimes they even join in on the conversations by leaving a comment which is powerful.   

Chapter 7:  Beyond the Classroom Walls:  Connecting Reading at Home and School
I think I was most excited to read this chapter.  It our busy world I am constantly trying to connect home and school beyond the weekly Friday folder.  I know that  I have done that with the weekly reading reflections, but beyond that point I have not figured it out.  My first thought always moves toward the Flip Classroom and shifting HW.   It's been on my radar for at least two years now and every summer I try and tackle it a little bit more.  Time at school is precious but time at home is even more precious.  As a parent of two grown children, I remember the busy sports/CCD/scouts nights and then HW.  I am still pondering how to connect HW to school so that it's not an add on but in addition to the classroom learning.  It's still an enigma to me that I will continue to ponder.

Summer Blogging Break:
Summer has been refreshing, slowing down and reflecting (OLW15) has been exactly what I needed. As this posts, we will be on our summer vacation, and I'm sad that I am going to miss the final Twitter Chat.  A huge thanks to Cathy, Laura and Michelle for organizing another successful #cyberPD.  I will be back sometime in late August ready to share new ideas and ready for the start of a new school year.  

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