Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Reading Contagion

Hosted by the team at Two Writing Teachers, link up
your Slice of Life 

on Tuesdays throughout the year.
Paul W. Hankins and Sarah Gross have been posting "High Point(s) of the Teaching Day" on Facebook. I love catching these glimpses into their classrooms. Light travels. Today my high point was listening to tenth graders, Mahammed and Kevin, talk about Sick by Tom Leveen.

Kevin is "patient zero" when it comes to being infected by Leveen's story. He read it first and he has been talking it up since. Mahammed just finished it. He handed it right off to another student even as his table mate clamored to be "next" to read it.  It's been read by three students in less than two weeks. That's the best kind of contagious. And they are still talking about it. That, I love.

Another high point in my day was finally getting students into the digital textbook. I finally had time to figure out what we'd been doing wrong getting there.  Learning a new resource takes time even for folks who are tech savvy. Just as I need time to learn, so do my students. I want to keep the idea that learning takes time in mind, especially  this time a year when it can seem like there is a rush to get things done and moving at the start.  I screen casted my demonstration today if you'd like to get a peek into our new resource.  Please forgive the multiple log on interruptions around 2:36 . Sometimes our server requests multiple log ons when we're using personal devices on the network and what works one way one day does not always work the next.

On the plus side students were excited to see the online book. They jumped right in, got through the multiple log on requests with their mobile devices and even figured out the highlighting tools using their phones.

Four textbooks, four devices. 
On a funny note, I just went to find the picture of Kevin reading Leveen's Sick on my phone and discovered I'd been photo bombed. Do you call it photo bombing when someone snicks your phone and takes a bunch of pictures of himself? I don't think students call it that, but I vaguely recall them calling it something. Blowing up the photos or the phone maybe? Tobi left about eight pictures of his face on my phone. I can tell he his standing at the computer station because of the light fixture above his head.

I've been taking pictures of students reading and of students' work in class and saving the images to their folders in Evernote, so I have my phone out on a work table a lot. I trust my students not to take the phone and can't help but laugh at the funny faces Tobi made on the screen. I wonder what possessed him to do that?


  1. It's an important time to capture the high points...as too many lows can pull us down...Love that they turned the camera on you!

  2. Wow, amazing that you have the online text-what a savings for the school (I think). I wonder if tech labs are just going to be gone fast than we imagined? One questions: what do you do with/for a student who has no device, or internet at home in order to access all of it? Is it a problem? Just wondering. Loved the little joke at the end, & hearing about the book at first-will look it up!

  3. I've seen Sarah Gross sharing these high points of her teaching day too. It's wonderful to celebrate when things go well!

  4. Every time I read one of your reflections, I ache to be in your class.

  5. What a fabulous interactive experience your students received from the MLK text! Digital textbooks are becoming popular.