Reading with Wolves
A very quick blog post about a lovely reading conference I had on Friday last week. The conference was with @2globalrams who are in Second Grade at the Mary Institute and Saint Louis Country Day School in St. Louis, Missouri and along with @globalrams have a strong twitter presence. The children are given plenty of opportunities to let other know what they are doing and have recently progressed to adding video clips using yfrog.
I met Jeff Horwitz, a teacher at the school through email after he responded to my blog post about Twitter. I have been following the classes and have been really encouraged by their apparent love of texts and their regular tweets about their favourite books.
Jeff and I discussed an idea I had developed initially with Martin Wallerâ€™s class @classroomtweets when I skyped with them as â€˜The Book Manâ€™ so that we could discuss Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers. We decided that we would select a British book this time and that the children would recommend an American book to me next time.
The text we chose was Wolves by Emily Gravett. I started reading to the children without allowing them to see any part of the book. Their faces betrayed a polite disappointment as they thought that my favourite book was a boring non fiction text about Wolves! Next we re-read the book with them reading the images which completely changed their reaction. The children immediately fell in love with the text and impressed me with their observation and prediction skills. For those who know the text we had a wonderful discussion about the trees which make up a wolf. One of the boys decided that the kite is the spit from the drooling wolf.
Jeff has posted a recording of the session on his blog which hopefully will convey the excitement of the children.
The session has posed some questions to me about the work we did together. Skype is not permitted in schools in England due to certain issues however there are other solutions which are easily accessed by schools. I wish that more schools would embrace the power and immediacy of video conference. I donâ€™t understand why it is such an underused resource.
The key question is how we get schools to engage with it.