First two weeks were spent researching and setting up all of the social media outlets.
The novel study start date was delayed and as any teacher knows, flexibility is one of the keys to success or at the very least the key to sanity. We were delayed starting for a variety of reasons that anyone can appreciate. Waiting for novel sets to arrive from the district office, finish previous unit projects, taking an extra day for presentations, and of course, the day that was not accounted for, to begin with, quarterly standardized testing day. Being of the mindset that everything happens for a reason, the delay was very beneficial and allowed for additional planning and collaboration time.
Collaboration with any new venture can be a teacher’s saving grace. The delay in starting provided the extra time needed to meet with the special education teachers and work out a plan to ensure that all of the students were able to be in the general education setting for the novel study. During the meeting, we discussed the concern with not all students writing and reading at the same level. The reading concerns were quickly addressed because we are listening to an audio book reading of the novel and following along in class. Students will not do any reading outside of the classroom or have to read aloud in front of their peers.
It is important to experience the novel together as a class, stopping for discussions as needed and reviewing blog prompts together. The daily classroom schedule for the novel study looks like this:
8:30 am students come into classroom. Sit at tables and prepare for reading. Small groups discuss prompt on the board as a refresher from previous day’s reading. Attendance during warm-up discussion.
8:35 am brief whole class discussion sharing group thoughts and ideas
8:45 am read novel with class. During this time, Audible is used on the teacher iPhone connected to the classroom sound system. Using audible for the read aloud, provides the teacher with opportunity to sit with students and listen to the story, observe students, redirect behavior if needed, use Ipad to publish posting at kidblog during reading so it is ready. Avoid posting reading reflection prompts before students read – avoids spoiling story line and keeps students from posting ahead of time.
8:10 am transition from read aloud to kidblog reflect, provide 5 minutes to have mini discussions or whole class questioning about reading.
8:15-8:30 student blogging time. Teacher available to help students as needed. Walk around room with iPad reviewing and approving student postings.
Breakdown for each novel study can be found under Categories – Interactive Novel Study, Tags 8grade and 7grade.