Check out our reading for this week!

The first big takeaway I had from the reading was the definition of what reading is.  Reading is defined as an ability to read and write as well as ability to make connections, conclusions, and associations with text. I have seen firsthand in schools the focus on the reading and writing portion of this definition. While of course students are exposed to the other aspects presented in this definition the focus is primarily around the decoding and writing portion. The connection I made to this was how important it is to service all kinds of learners within a classroom. While some kids may excel in the reading and writing portion there are a whole bunch of kids who live and thrive in the making connections, drawing conclusions, and real life application world! I find it so interesting some of my kids who are awesome at reading and writing struggle to be creative and make connections/inferences within a story. It is so important that we are servicing all types of learners and that means challenging different areas that can be improved as well as giving opportunity to be successful in every lesson. Taking this a step further the reading goes on to make a connection to other forms of text not simply print on paper. Inclusion of this such as images and sound even further the learning types that can be reached and inspired through digital stories. The opportunity for student to demonstrate learning, express interests, find identity, and explore concepts through digital stories is immense! I think classroom dynamics and potential would be positively impacted in so many ways through implementation of these definitions and mentalities.

 

I also found the portion of this text about writing to be very interesting.  In essence writing is given two definitions. The first is writing with voice and fluency, there is rhythm to the writing and it is similar to the way which we speak. The second definition was writing with real voice which empowers people to pay attention and understand the writing. Reflecting on these definition I think a majority of academic setting teach to the first definition. Students learn a code to writing and use it in order to be successful. There is not a lot of soul or real personal voice in the text. I know as a teacher I definitely see this disconnect. I have such animated students and know them so well, but when I read their writing their personality does not come through. While real voice would take some time and social cultural exploration to develop I believe these skills begin in primary years. I can only imagine the writers that would develop being given the opportunity to really put their voice into work through digital stories and self-exploration.

I got confirmation through this text about how important it is to have students writing about concepts they are interested in and have background information on. I remember being younger and having to write about the, “dumbest things” I would have nothing to write about and would just end up doodling and waiting to ask a neighbor what they wrote about so I could say the same thing. Giving student’s choice in writing not only allows for them to write about something they have investment in but also something that are knowledgeable about. All of our kids are so different picking a topic they are ALL passionate about and also knowledge is impossible. Differentiation through choice is huge in helping with this.

 

I love this quote, “Thus, the challenge is to create within the child the motivation to write and then to help him or her master the techniques of writing.” Kids have to want to write first and see meaning and purpose before they can fully invest. As such primary years are so important in building that love for writing. Rooting this in self-expression and digital stories is a great way to build this motivation. After there is that buy in on student part then there can be more focus on techniques associated with writing. I think writing has su much potential in our classrooms and is something that kids should intrinsically love if done correctly. I love starting writing and hearing my class cheer because they are excited! This article had a lot to say about building voice in digital stories and other context. I really found it useful and got a lot of affirmations about my own teaching.

 

Check out more great leaning! #ds106 and #ILT5340

 

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