This week schools all over the world are participating in Lit World's World Read Aloud Day, by connecting their students with other students, authors and more, to share stories read aloud! I asked Mrs. Toto and Mrs. Henry if they would like their Public Speaking students to participate by collaboratively reading aloud Dwane Alexander's newly Newbery winning novel in verse, The Crossover, and they enthusiastically agreed. I then shared a request for partners via Twitter, Google Plus and LM_Net; and Sandra Carswell (@sandracarswell) and Shawn Hinger (@cmslibrarylady) replied that they would like to join us.
Together we created a pre-reading lesson, coordinated reading assignments and planned for our students to participate via Google Hangouts on Monday and Thursday. Our students were excited for the experience to connect!
Monday's delayed opening due to snow, in addition to the time difference between schools, made meeting when planned difficult; luckily our teachers were flexible, and a small number of students had the opportunity to collaboratively, and expressively, read their chosen verses. Yay!
We were excited to continue on Thursday. Mrs. Hinger tweeted about our meeting and Mr Alexander replied:
Needless to say we're not in San Juan or Key West and "the year of the crazy snow" struck once again, not only in Madison this time, but also in Texas; Mrs. Carswell's school was also closed. Bummer.
Because MJS's public speaking classes only meet on Mondays and Thursdays, in addition to previously missing class time due to snow, it looks like we'll have to try again next year. At the least we were introduced to an awesome book, and with better planning, look forward to continued opportunities to connect with friends in other places!
Reflection: If time allowed, we could have spent a couple more days learning about tone and practicing change in tone scenarios in addition to sharing other novel in verse titles. I would have double checked the quality of our webcam and lighting before recording in Google Hangouts; ours did not work out well! Also, in order to avoid editing, we could have been better prepared for recording, in order to move quickly and smoothly between readings. I definitely need to be more aware of my voice and only say what I want recorded! Also, we had considered the possibility of reading The Crossover using Flipgrid rather than live through Google Hangouts. This would have avoided the weather issues we faced and the recordings would have been of better quality. However, the project would have lost aspects of connecting in addition to public speaking. Also, I would have had to be precise in approving the recordings in a backwards fashion so that they ended up in the correct order on the grid!
Courtesy of AllSides.com