Part of my job as a reading specialist is to not only help students learn to read and then read to learn, but to help foster a lifetime love of reading. My “traditional” approach to reading instruction for my 4th and 5th grade students was not meeting this goal because it not only bored them, but to be honest it bored me as well. Therefore I needed to change the way I teach to meet the needs of today’s learner. Since technology is a big part of the their everyday lives; it made sense that I would add technology to my lesson plans to increase student enjoyment and engagement, while still teaching students the fundamentals of learning from written materials.
I took my “traditional” reading lessons that consisted of reading a text and having an oral discussion of the text, and changed it to add technology. This lesson includes the use of responding using a blogging literature circle approach. I chose to add in the literature circle approach because “literature circles are structured, fun ways to get students reading.” (Nicole Nigro, 2011). To make them even more effective, I decided to add in the blogging component, because, “integrating technology in education helps students stay engaged.” (Danny Mareco, 2017).
The most difficult part of this transition was figuring out the appropriate amount of time needed for the unit. With my “traditional” teaching method I could read and discuss a book in three days, This new unit will take the same amount of time as reading three different texts. So I needed to make sure the additional teaching time with just one text would be used in a meaningful and beneficial way that enhanced learning. Even though this will decrease the amount of texts read, I am excited to see the students looking forward to read and enjoying the process of learning. With sharing these ideas with the students, they are already excited to get started and because the students are excited about this approach, they will be more engaged in the learning process. The positive interactions and responses from students make me look forward to facilitating this learning project.
Mareco, D. (2017, July 28). 10 Reasons Today’s Students NEED Technology in the Classroom. Retrieved February 24, 2018, from https://www.securedgenetworks.com/blog/10-reasons-today-s-students-need-technology-in-the-classroom
Nigro, N. (2011, January 20). Using literature circles to engage students. Retrieved February 24, 2018, from http://www.uft.org/teacher-teacher/using-literature-circles-engage-students