Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Producing Information #1

I am always looking for ways to include and incorporate technology into my lessons to make them more meaningful.  When we first got our netbooks in the spring, I needed to introduce them to my first graders.  We read the book "The Dot" by Peter Reynolds and then used Microsoft Paint to create a dot of our own.  This gave them some ownership of their own creation, created relationships with a story and allowed them to practice using the netbooks.

Also in the spring, my fifth graders worked on doing Voki Book Reviews.  After reading a book, they created a script for their book reviews and then created an avatar to speak the review for them.  They loved this project.  The script had to be written, peer edited and rewritten.  When they typed the the script in to create a voice for their Voki, they had to spell correctly and use correct punctuation for the avatar to speak correctly.  Basically, if you can't understand what your avatar is saying, you made some mistakes that need to be corrected.  This is the link to my library blog where you can see samples.  Students love looking at their own creations and watching others.  These actually led to a bunch of checkouts for the books they used.

My fourth grade students created Vodcast book reviews. They had the same basic requirements as the Voki book reviews but they video taped each other instead of using an avatar to tell about their story.  My library blog has an example of those as well.

My experience has told me that kids love to use technology to create and share information.  Students who typically hate writing, didn't make a fuss at all knowing what was in store for them with the Voki's.  And students who knew they would be videotaped took the extra time to make sure they were fluent with their retell.  These projects gave myself, my students and their teachers a whole new perspective of book reports.


  1. I love your vokis and vodcasts! I bet your kids were really excited to do their book reviews. My students just turned in a book report and these would be a great way for them to share them with the class and thier parents. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. What a great idea! Such a unique way for students to make text connections themselves and share with peers. Another bonus would hopefully be inspiring those reluctant readers in the group to try something new. What better way to make reading cool.
    I think as educators, incorporating technology could just easily be enhancing a lesson you have taught for years. I am sure that experience will really stick with them better then just writing a review and sharing it with the kid sitting next to them.

  3. Awesome work! You have ideas for every learning style, it seems. I'm not sure how I could incorporate some of these tools with high school students, but it would be worth checking out.

  4. Isn't it amazing what technology can do for the motivation levels of our students? Your library blog is really maintained well. It is evident that you care about differentiating learning for your students and supporting their teachers in advocating literacy. Any school would be lucky to have you as their Library Media Specialist.

  5. I also wanted to share with you this link about International Dot Day. I know several educators that take place in activities around this date across the country. Maybe this is something you can try next year!


  6. Thank you for the link Mrs. Blanco. I've added it to my delicious account. Exciting.