Global Read Aloud: Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

October 16, 2013

My elementary reading group is part of the Global Read Aloud this year.  It is over 100,000 students around the world reading the same book.  With four books to choose from, students of all ages can be a part.  It is so exciting to be a part of this!  I chose Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper to be a part of this year.  This book is about Melody, a girl with a lot of challenges.  Will she overcome them?

We are doing a weekly Skype with another classroom within our school district, though 70 miles away.  We are also contributing to a classroom blog in South Carolina, and then doing other things as we come across like this Padlet about Melody’s fish, Ollie.


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Expository v. Narrative Writing

October 31, 2012

We are starting Expository Writing.  Here is what we know so far about Expository v. Narrative writing:


Wrote these stories 1st Quarter
Has characters
There’s problems in it (conflicts).
Narrative stories have solutions (resolutions).
They have setting.
Beginning (Characters, setting, conflict)
Middle (between the conflict and solution, rising action)
End (the solution and the falling actions)
They are fun to write.


Do they have settings, too?
What is it?
Does it have to do with anything of a narrative writing?
Can they have settings, problems and solutions but they are real?
Do they have a narrator?
Is it in 1st, 2nd or 3rd person?

We do know that…

Expository is non-fiction writing.  They are fun to write, sometimes.

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March 31, 2012

Student walked into class this past Friday and asked, “It is Friday.  Who are we Skyping with today?”

#FarAwayFriday is the brain-child of @TechAng, a teacher in Eastern Canada.  Her class Skypes with a different person each Friday who reads to the class.  We had the priveledge of being that class on March 23rd.  Our students read their own works to the class, and then answered questions about life in Alaska.  @TechAng reported back that the concept of living in a ‘village’ was an eye-opener for her urban students.  That, and our proxiemity to volcanoes.  Plus the many feet of snow out the window…in March.

Our ‘aha’ was that we can communicate beyond our school’s walls in an immediate and engaging manner.  One of the skills for 21st Century Learning is Global Awareness.  #FarAwayFridays is one way to get there.  We’ve only done one, but we are certainly interested in doing more.

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Happy Leap Day

March 1, 2012

What did we do yesterday?  We posted to as part of a world-wide blogging event.  Over 20,000 people visited the site, mostly school children and mostly from Great Britain.  At least 20 of my students posted with a variety of posts about life, school, basketball and lists of 29.

Most had fun.  Some did it because I ‘made’ them do it.  Most followed our iSafe rules about posting personal information on the internet.

Posting for a global audience thrilled me, and I hope it started the kids thinking, right…there is more to our world than what I see outside the classroom windows.

I posted four times….in the thousands of posts, here’s the one I can find.

What global writing project will we participate in in 2016?

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Starting Place

December 15, 2011

I promised the 3rd and 4th graders an online video to display recent work regarding spelling rules.  What I would love is for them to tell me, “Mrs, Stading!  We want to do an online video for _____________!” but I know they aren’t there yet. However, if you are ever going to move forward, you have to start somewhere.

Animoto might be that place for them.  I know it is my starting place.

What I like about Animoto is that it does all the fancy stuff for you…you just add words, photos and videos.  It is also super easy to revise.  For example, the first version of the video doesn’t showcase the student work very well…but the animation is lovely.   So I tried a different version and now it is about the students, and not about Animoto.

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