Sunday, May 6, 2012

Blog Post #4


In “1st Graders Create Own Read Along Book,” Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano tells her readers about her experience with making her own version of a read along book. When Tolisano takes the place of a first grade teacher, she initiates recording the first graders reading a book from the Magic Tree House series. When the teacher returns, Tolisano continues recording the students while the teacher would read and write the scripts with the students. By the time she was done recording, she had ten written scripts and decided to make a booklet for the students to read along with. I feel that the chance Tolisano gave her students to feel confident with their reading abilities both quietly and verbally was a great idea, and even better she provided them with the option to hear themselves over and over again. This not only gives the students a sense of pride, but the ability to hear their mistakes. I feel this assignment would help the students grow in reading comprehension and reading aloud. All of the comments but one were positive to Tolisano’s idea and mentioned how they wish they could use this technique in their classrooms.

In “Podcasting with First Grade,” Tolisano explains further her experience with the first graders. She had the students listen to a podcast by second graders and got a positive response from the students, who wished to “get [their voices] into other people’s computers and iPods too.” This is when she started reading a chapter book with them, which they discussed in class. The students were supposed to discuss as they were interviewing the main characters and Tolisano kept record of the questions and answers the students came up with and used this as the “script”. That way all of the students were able to participate in the project. They also got to participate by either being the interviewer, Jack, or Annie, and everyone got to record group sounds like gasps or chants. Tolisano was surprised at the participation and interest from the students in recording, waiting to record, and editing. Shy students surprised her the most with wanting their recordings to be perfect. I was surprised to read that the students didn’t read off of the script, but memorized the sentences one at a time and practiced different tones, pitches, and attitudes for recording. This was an unexpected dedication to the project from children so young. Tolisano also mentioned all of the skills acquired from the project itself, including listening, presenting, speaking, and much more. Once again, the amount of positive reaction from readers is great to see. Encouraging children in doing something they love and are proud of. In the beginning of this post, she states that, “having an audience is important… even to a 6 year old.” I feel this is very true because everyone wants to be able to show off what they can do well to others and these students not only got to show off to people they know, but to people all over the world thanks to technology. 

“Listening-Comprehension-Podcasting” begins with Tolisano discussing her role as a former World Languages teacher and the importance of hearing, feeling, saying, and reading words multiple times to fully understand them. Because of this, she fully supports recording and editing podcasts. She says that this gives students the opportunity to do all of the things most important for understanding what they read. In one project, the students all recorded one sentence each but recorded them out of order. Once all of the sentences were recorded, the students were assigned listening to and putting the sentences in the proper order. Not only did this test comprehension, it also addressed organization skills that I feel are very important. Tolisano says, “This lesson was about writing a script, listening, comprehension, collaboration, speaking skills, and fluency in the target language.” The lesson wasn’t about the technology being used; rather it was enhancing the original lesson plan. I like the fact that she holds importance on her true lesson rather than giving technology all of the credit. Once again, this post received only positive remarks and enthusiasm about the students and their success with this project.

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