Around this time of year, many classrooms are taking part in the Global Read Aloud. This means that students from kindergarten all the way up to college are offered a variety of books to read and share in a common experience. With the use of technology they are able to connect and share their views, feelings, and insights with one another. Last year, fifth grade connected with classrooms across the globe by utilizing Skype, Twitter, and Edmodo. This year, we are joining over 30 countries along with over 300,000 students in a celebration of books.
The two books that fifth grade has chosen to read include, One for the Murphys by: Lyndy Mullaly Hunt and The Fourteenth Goldfish by: Jennifer L. Holm. On October 6, 2014, we began reading and started our connections with other classrooms. Already connections have been made to classrooms in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan and Cupertino, California. These connections allow students to engage not only their peers in their hometown, but students in all parts of the world.
During the read aloud, students are actively listening for quotes that are meaningful to them, preparing questions for our friends in different classrooms, as well as focusing on inquiries they might have. The opportunity to be a part of the global learning community is and has been a wonderful opportunity for our students and we hope to continue it in the future. Making connections around the world has proven to be an experience the students in our classrooms are not soon to forget.
The Global Read Aloud was founded by Pernille Ripp, who lives right here in Wisconsin. Four year ago she had one goal in mind, one book can connect with the world. Her main focus was to show students that they are part of something bigger than them. That caring for people around the world can start with a simple conversation. Over the course of the six weeks, teachers and students make connections with either one classroom or as many as they wish. We are lucky to be involved in this year’s GRA and are enthusiastic about starting and continuing those conversations.