Langwitches is such a great blog! It is so inspiring to see young children learning how to podcast and create blogs. Langwitches emphasizes a truly vital point: it's not the fact that technology is being taught; what's important is that skills are being taught.
1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook
1st Graders Create Their Own Read-Along Audiobook explains such a fun way to integrate podcasting into the classroom. Ms. Tolisano chose the book Dinosaurs Before Dark by Mary Pope Osborne for the students to read and eventually turn into an audiobook. She pulled students out of class a few at time to let them record their voices chapter by chapter for the script. She also had the classroom teacher create a written script for the students to read along with when they listened to the book. The audio file was about 15 minutes long, and as the class listened to the podcast for the first time, they were so engaged with reading along in their script.
I think creating an audiobook is an awesome way to get students excited about reading. I can remember reading time in my first and second classroom. It was so mundane and felt very repetitive because all we did was get into groups to read the same type of material over and over again. Allowing student to use their own voices to be heard aloud is a fun way for students to practice the inflection in their voices and to truly take on the role of the character in the book. Ms. Tolisano also pointed out a great idea by composing a read-along script for the students. This allows them to see the words they were saying on paper, and it will help them to pair up sounds with actual words and letters. I can't wait to be able to incorporate podcasting into my future classroom!
Flat Stanley Podcast
Flat Stanley Podcast was adorable! Ms. Tolisano had her students read Flat Stanley by Jim Brown. In this story, Stanley gets squished flat by a bulletin board, so he is now able to travel anywhere in the world through mail. Ms. Tolisano and her class brainstormed about the storyline so that each student could have a segment in the recording of the podcast. The children were excited to be squished by the smartboard in their classroom, and they couldn't wait to choose a place to travel to. The students were assigned to check a book out from the library to research more about their destination, and with the help of their parents and the Internet, they had to come up with a story about how they traveled to their chosen place, what they did while they were there, and how they traveled back home to Jacksonville, Florida.
It was so fun to listen to the children's recording about the places they traveled to by mail. They went everywhere, including England, Antarctica, Tokyo, and even outer space. I especially enjoyed listening to Flat Emily's description of her trip to Alabama because she went to a football game in Tuscaloosa, and she traveled to the white sandy beaches of Gulf Shores. I think it is a great idea to have the children check out a book and research more about their destination. Not only do the students benefit from making the podcast, they also learn more about geography and what goes on in the world around them. The Flat Stanley Podcast was a cute and effective way to get the children engaged in reading. It also allows them to have fun in the classroom, which is always a major bonus.
Podcasting with First Grade
Podcasting with First Grade explains how the first graders in Ms. Tolisano's classroom were very eager to learn to podcast when they heard other students' voice recordings. They were so excited to have their voices heard by audiences all over they world, and they wanted "to get their voices into other people's computers" too. Ms. Tolisano had the students read Vacation under the Volcano by Mary Pope Osborne from the Magic Tree House series, and they had to pretend that they that were interviewing Jack and Annie, the two main characters, about their latest adventure that had taken them to Pompeii. The teacher and students read one chapter at a time, and they then discussed as a class what happened in the story. Each boy and girl in the class took turns interviewing and recording their voice, and by the time the podcast was complete, the class was so excited that they listened to it over 20 times.
Just like the other two podcasts mentioned earlier, I think this podcast is a wonderful way to get students actively involved in reading. It is very easy, even a college student, to simply glaze over a book or story without really comprehending what is actually being said. Recording student voices into a podcast allows the students to truly pay attention to the storyline. The theme, character, and tone of the story will be much easier understood by implementing personal voices and inflections into the story. This first grade podcast serves the awesome purpose of integrating student skills into the classroom.