My teacher-librarian, Tasha Tolbert, introduced our staff to a website called Padlet this 2016-2017 school year. Below is an example of one of my 8th grade classes who were ask to link to any piece of writing they chose and to write an IVF statement about the writing. We were reviewing central idea and author’s purpose at the time, so IVF statments are a simple, quick way to assess both skills! I’ve got so many more plans for Padlet now. It is a really great, simple space for networked learning!

Padlet: IVF Statements

Through the site, I demonstrated/encouraged students to hyperlink their sources, like I did above, instead of dropping an elongated/clunky html in the post.

The Sticky-Note Book Report

One of my favorite book projects that I’ve done every year I’ve taught is the “Sticky-Note Book Project.” Although past years students have written on sticky notes to indicate they are using reading strategies, this year I’m trying to encourage ake notes according to the Notice and Note Signposts. As for most of my trimester book projects, this one is to be done with a self-chosen book. When students finish their book, they need at least 6 notes to stick into a construction paper booklet we will make in class with a cover, headings, and binding!

Below is the link to the Google drive information/rubric for the project. I’ll have pictures up soon when my students are done with the project in April!

The Sticky-Note Book Report

 Student Blogs

For another one of my book projects last year, I utilized Fort Lupton Library’s “book bags” and had my students form literature circles. Each group was to read an agreed upon number of pages and was then given 45 minutes of class time each week  to write a blog post taking on different roles. The roles were:

Signpost Master:  Find a signpost in the chapters/pages assigned and write a blog post explaining the signpost (context; what’s happening in the novel?) and why it’s important to the book (how will it impact the characters or plot? Does it provide foreshadowing or irony? Does it reflect and emphasize the conflict? Etc.) (*Note: If you are not sure what Signposts are, please see this information Notice and Note Signposts flyer.)

Passage Picker: Find one or two paragraphs that are moving or interesting in some way. Write a blog post about why you picked each passage and describe your thoughts or feelings (passages can be on the same page or can be chosen in different locations if they somehow relate to each other).

Predictor: Based on what you read for your group assigned homework, write a blog post explaining what you think is going to happen next. Also explain what led you to make your predictions.

Psychologist: Write a blog post giving advice to one of the book’s characters. What’s happening in their life? What’s their major conflict? What would you tell him or her to do, and why?

Connector: Write a blog post going into detail regarding a specific text-to-self, text-to world, or text-to-text connection with the assigned pages.

You can find my instructional pages for the project here.

Student Blogs

Below are a few examples of student blogs. We used the Google sponsored site Blogger. They really enjoyed the project and admitted that it got them reading far more than any other project that year. My hunch is that they liked it so much because they were allowed to pick their groups, books, and roles from week to week. Choice and collaborative learning are very effective engagement tools.