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Digital Book Talk: Book Trailers for K-12

What it is: There is a new trend in reading: book trailers.  It seems that lately book trailers are popping up on all of the video sharing sites.  Digital Book Talk is a collaborative effort from the University of Central Florida where Dr. Robert Kennedy and Dr. Glenda Gunter have completed research on what motivates reluctant and striving readers to select, read, and complete books.  “The student productions of DBT (Digital Book Talk) focus use the technological skills taught in the undergraduate Digital Media and graduate Educational Technology curricula that teach teachers how to create dynamic digital games, trailers, and Web sites. Many of these skills include research and writing, Flash animation, visual storytelling, video recording and editing, audio recording, graphic design, website development, programming, and database creation.”  On the Digital Book Talk site, you will find high quality book trailers that will whet your students appetite for a good book.  Students can search for books by content level, and interests. How to integrate Digital Book Talk into your curriculum: The Digital Book Talk site is an excellent place for students to start their search for a book that will hold their interest.  Just like a movie trailer, the book trailers give students just enough information to leave them wanting more.  The Digital Book Talks will help your reluctant readers understand the adventures that await them in a good book.  Find a book trailer to introduce a novel that the whole class will be reading or set up classroom computers with a link to Digital Book Talk where students can be inspired to find their next read.  After students read, they can create their own Digital Book Talks using video cameras or tools like Xtranormal, ZimmerTwins, or Kerpoof movie. A few years ago I had my students create bookcasts.  These were the same ideas as a book trailer but instead of being video, they were audio podcasts only.  I created a wiki where the students uploaded their bookcasts as they finished them.   The wiki was a place where students could recommend books to their peers, demonstrate their understanding of a book, and find the next book to read based on a classmates recommendation. Tips: Be sure to check out the student work tab to see book trailers created by k-12 students around the country. Please leave a comment and share how you are using Digital Book Talk: Book Trailers for k-12 in your classroom!

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Podcast Summit

Posted by admin | Posted in Language Arts, Phonics, Primary Elementary, Science, Secondary Elementary, Spelling, Teacher Resources | Posted on 20-02-2008

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As promised I want to share some of the incredible uses of podcasting in the classroom that I heard at the Colorado Podcast Summit yesterday. One of the keynote speakers was ISTE Primary Teacher of the Year Carol Greig. Her Keynote entitled “Podcasting for the Struggling Reader” was truly inspiring. Carol teaches kindergarten in the Eugene School District in Oregon, here she started a podcasting program for her struggling readers called Reading Buddies. The Reading Buddies program uses several iPod shuffles that are loaded with reading lessons (created and recorded by Carol) that go home with the students. Carol said something that I think rings true with educators everywhere, “No one can teach my students as well as I can.” Reading Buddies allowed Carol to go home with her students every night using the iPod. The goal of the Reading Buddies program was to help struggling readers reach the benchmark. Carol loaded the iPods with reading lessons based on the individual child’s needs, this provided guided learning at home with and extended student learning. In the Reading Buddies packs Carol included vocabulary picture cards which she created, fluency cards, a book or two and the iPod Shuffle. A sample lesson might sound something like this: “Take out the green picture card. What picture do you see first? That’s right, a cat! Cat starts with the letter C. Cat, Cat. What is the next picture?” Carol pauses after a question so that the students have time to think and respond. The Reading Buddies program helps kids with vocabulary, fluency, alphabetic principal, rhyming, phoneme segmentation, and literature. The iPod “buddies” have been a huge success with 99% of students reaching the reading benchmark by the end of the year. Carol started getting calls from parents requesting that their student be a part of the Reading Buddy program, parents and other educators in the district started offering help to create the recordings for the Reading Buddies. At the end of the first year a parent called to thank her for the wonderful program and things it had done for her son, but she also benefited. After her son went to bed, the mother would listen to the reading buddy and follow along, she learned English by listening to her kindergarten son’s Reading Buddy! There are some good rules that were set up for the students who have reading buddies, each child was told that only the child who was given the Reading Buddy was allowed to use it, if a Buddy was lost or broken the students family was responsible for replacing it. It is a privelege that can be taken away if the Buddies were not cared for. They have never had to take a Buddy away or replace one that was lost or broken by a student. The future of the Reading Buddies program includes expansion to other grades, older students could have their anthologies or science text recorded on the Shuffle. The Reading Buddies program won the presidential award for reading and technology…it is easy to see why!

The new iPod Nano would be great to use as a reading buddy because students could have audio and visual presented. The Shuffles are nice because they are so affordable (the 1G just dropped to $49 yesterday!) I am hoping to get a Reading Buddy Program up and running at my school. I will keep you posted with any success stories or lessons learned!

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[…] and help students develop a love for story.  Books Should Be Free is a great way to start a Reading Buddies program at your school with some MP3 players or iPods that can go home with students loaded up with […]

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