Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Meet Davis, a 4th grader inspired by the Global Read Aloud!

Cross-posted to another blog I contribute to, Chromebooks in Education

Sometimes in the everyday, enjoyable chaos that is the edtech world I get a stark reminder of why we all do this.  This always seems to happen when a student is doing something GREAT in school that has a huge impact on them, using tools that have never before been available.  These are opportunities that simply didn't exist for students before the tools and access caught up to our imaginations.

This is exactly the place I found myself when I ran across a 4th grade teacher named Ms. Kaylor Kaemba, who had a student that she told me had found a ton of motivation for reading and writing through their participation in the Global Read Aloud (read more about the Global Read Aloud, created by Pernille Ripp).  So I decided to go meet this young reader, Davis C, so I could feature him and his progress on our blog.  It was the highlight of my week!

So without further ado, I introduce you to Davis!

Davis is a 4th grader at Carthage Elementary School in Carthage, North Carolina.

This year, Davis' teacher, Ms. Kaemba, was exposed to the Global Read Aloud by the Digital Integration Facilitator at her school, Kelly Priest.  Mrs. Priest helped this class get started with the project and assisted in setting Davis' class up to also Skype with a class from San Diego.  The two classes engaged with each other via Skype and through Kidblog blogs, where they discussed the book The Fourteenth Goldfish.

As Mrs. Kaemba reports:

"Davis has so much to share but putting it down in words is not always easy for him. He did not eagerly participate in writing activities, that is, until Davis was introduced to a 4th grade class from San Diego via Skype.  After his experience with one student in that class, Davis began to ask to write on his blog.  He would eagerly check the comments left by students all over the United States.  Davis found motivation to grow as a writer and as a reader."

I found Davis to be an exceptionally bright and articulate young man, who gives an outstanding interview.  Below are the questions I asked him and his (paraphrased) answers.  I hope you enjoy him as much as I did!

How did you start blogging?
We read The Fourteenth Goldfish and got to blog with other people, kids, from across the world.  We were all reading the same book.  The other kids were way ahead of us at times but were nice enough not to spoil it.

What would you write about?
Things like our favorite parts of the book and we would ask questions of the other class.  It was cool to see what they thought about the same book and parts of the book.

What did you like about blogging?
I like blogging because it's really nice to know what others around the world are like and to know their names.

What was your favorite part of connecting through Skype?
We got to see them on the webcam!  There were lots of kids all over the place.  There was a student in the other class named AJ that I really liked reading his posts.  He would talk about his family and what kinds of things he liked to do over the summer.  When we got to see the other class I was really excited to meet AJ since I had read all his posts.  He looked a lot different than I expected and that was neat.

How has blogging and connecting with this other class helped you become a better reader or writer?
Before, I didn't really like to write or read that much.  I did write one comic book but that was about it.  I got to be a better reader because I saw that the things that others were blogging about were really interesting so I started reading all their stuff.  Now I like to write on my Kidblog blog.  And now that I'm reading better, I'm starting to read a series of books called The Amulet and it's really awesome- I can't wait to read the next few after they come back to the library!

So there you have it- it was a great experience for me to sit down with Davis and I can't thank Ms. Kaemba and Mrs. Priest enough for being bold enough to try something new with digital tools to make learning relevant and motivating for students!

And Davis- keep reading, writing, blogging, and connecting!