"I have always imagined that Paradise will be some kind of library." ~ Jorge Luis Borges

Friday, November 30, 2012

All Aboard for Picture Book Reading!

My fourth grade students have been giving  their voices to the Picture Book Month Celebration.

They have been learning how to share their voice (or opinions and ideas) using social media and Web 2.0 tools.

The student blog is active! The most exciting part is seeing how quickly they have adopted this communication tool and how quickly they have improved their communication skills.  We've been evaluating their use and I'm noticing changes: improved grammar; use of whole sentences; expression of complete thoughts, and producing meaningful and productive comments.

Voices from the blog:

Here are the most recent Tagxedos they created.  The previous week, I added my own puns to their Tagxedos.  This time, I challenged them to come up with their own puns.  (I might have added one or two that didn't rise to the punning challenge.) I think they did a fine job.  See for yourself:
Here is their Wall on Wallwisher:

It has been an incredible Picture Book Month Celebration here.  I already have #picturebookmonth #plansfornextyear!


  1. I admire your frequent and seemingly seamless use of Web 2.0 tools.

    How do you do it? Do you have easy access to a computer lab? Mobile lab? Tablets?

    Are you self-taught in Animoto, Tagxedo, Wallwisher and the other tools I have seen throughout your pages?

    Do you have an instructional technology educator in your school or does that fall under your area of responsibility?

    How were you able to set up a blog that 4th graders could contribute to?

    Tell all, what's your secret?

    1. I think my secret is: a love of how technology tools change and enhance students' expression of understanding; a willingness to take ricks; and, available technology. I had eight desktops and about 7-10 laptops last year and have almost 1:1 this year. There are other laptop carts in the school, so these pretty much stay with me.

      There is also an ITS and we sometimes collaborate, but our schedules do not always mesh. We both troubleshoot and integrate technology and collaborate with classroom teachers.

      Weebly doesn't require an email address to comment. I have them just put their first name and write the comment. I moderate the blog.

      I am self taught in the tools. There are so many out there, so I would recommend playing with a few and then choosing the ones that will fill your need.

  2. My question is - How long are your classes? I love technology too, but my biggest roadblock is time. I have 30 minutes classes, which needs to include time for book exchange. It seems like just as the kids get the hang of a tool, it's time to go.

    1. I have only 30 minutes as well which is never enough time. To get the students into technology tools, I try to focus on a few tools to give them mastery and then keep coming back to those tools. I sometimes alternate tech weeks with literature weeks. I also shorten my lesson to 10 minutes and give 10-15 minutes for the activity and five minutes for browsing (not great). I also ask teachers for an extra 15 minutes when I am in the production part of a unit.