#cyberPD- Part 1- Week of Juy 6, 2015

Digital Reading: What’s Essential in Grades 3-8 
by William L. Bass II and Franki Sibberson

Thanks to Michelle Nero, Cathy Mere, and Laura Komos for hosting this virtual PD again this summer. I think this is the fourth summer that I have participated and I always feel like I “get” far more than I give.
Week 1:
I appreciated that the book started with the NCTE position paper review. I have not taught in the US for years and although I try to keep abreast of the thinking, I have not spent time with this document at all.
Chapter 1: I enjoyed reading their definition of “digital” and thinking more deeply about the differences between linear and nonlinear texts. I need to be more specific in my instruction about reading these types of texts differently. I am definitely guilty of assuming that my third graders already know how and when to click on hyperlinks and track their thinking. I liked that the authors emphasized what digital reading is and is not. I worry that the students are getting used to a more surface understanding and this was brought out in this chapter. The “what matters most” being that classrooms focus on authenticity, intentionality, and connectedness really made me think about the ways I have to model digital reading in the class more and integrate it more purposefully.
Chapter 2: Recognizing that time, ownership, and response are needed for growth as a reader made me happy that I have kept true to my own beliefs about choice. I feel pressured at times to do more guided reading with group sets of texts that the students have not chosen, simply because they are the books that we have multiple copies of and this chapter gives me more confidence to limit this. This chapter challenged me to be more inclusive in my read alouds and shared reading experiences. I do not often choose blogs or websites as my sources. I also have to be more explicit in teaching strategies for accessing information from digital sources via mini lessons. I have never taught my students how to track their thinking when using ereaders. If authenticity is key (and I really believe it is) I have to do a better job of meeting my readers where they are, and I know some of them DO read on ereaders (and in fact I have two in the classroom for them). This chapter also pushes me to work more wth my students in identifying and developing their intentionality, first by having them become more aware of their choices, then by helping them to refine their skills and repertoire.
Chapter 3 is going to focus on authenticity and I hope to get more ideas for how to push myself here.
I was lucky enough to have heard Franki Sibberson speak more about her digital workshop in the last few days at nErDCampMI and she shared some resources and ideas that I will definitely incorporate in the upcoming school year. I LOVE that she also teaches third grade, as it makes me really look at what I need to do with a “no excuses” attitude, because even though we are teaching far apart from each other, kids are kids. I also appreciate hearing the voice of “real” classroom teachers.
I look forward to continuing to think all this through with the other teachers participating in #cyberPD!

5 thoughts on “#cyberPD- Part 1- Week of Juy 6, 2015

  1. Linda Baie

    I agree with your ideas, Erika, & sticking to your beliefs about choice as much as you can. This final part seems like a good start for your thinking: “This chapter also pushes me to work more wth my students in identifying and developing their intentionality, first by having them become more aware of their choices, then by helping them to refine their skills and repertoire.” It seems to me that we often make assumptions about how students choose and whether they do spend thoughtful time considering. It takes one on one talks plus community conversations too, to share all the possible ways that others think about their choices (intentionality). If changes can be made at the early levels, just imagine what they’ll be doing a few years later. Exciting to hear your ideas.

  2. Cathy Mere

    The reminder to help students learn to navigate nonlinear text is a big one and has been discussed across blogs. I’m not always intentional about talking with students about why I may or may not click on links. When I first started reading blogs, I remember clicking on many links. Often I’d find myself five clicks from the original article unsure of where I started or how I got to my new location. I’ve gotten better about being thoughtful about this, but I really hadn’t thought about talking with students about it.

    There have been so many points that support strong literacy instruction. It was helpful to get to hear Franki speak at Nerdcamp. It helped to provide a clear overview of the direction the book may take us.

    It was WONDERFUL to meet you finally. It was truly a Nerdcamp highlight for me. Enjoy your last days of travel before your school year begins again.

    Looking forward to learning with you as we continue our #cyberPD discussions,

  3. Michelle @litlearningzone


    We are so happy that you are joining in the #cyberPD conversations again this year. I have had plenty of conversations about how we read fiction and nonfiction text, but never discussed the differences between linear and nonlinear texts! This is a must for this year moving forward. I know I can get easily distracted when reading and clicking and reading and clicking, but now we need to be more intentional in our discussions with students to stick with the purpose. I also agree that another a-ha for me was to include more web-based reading/digital reading during read alouds.

    Lucky you to attend Nerdcamp and hear Franki speak of this topic! What timing! I agree, it’s great to hear the voice of a teacher too! Best of luck in your planning for next year!

    Thanks for sharing,


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