Sunday, January 20, 2013

Nonfiction Reading

I feel so out of the "bloggy world"!!  I have a LOT going on now.  Expecting our first little one has made me so discombobulated I don't know what to do with myself lol.

But back to blogging...

I don't know about you all but our principal has set an expectation of reading nonfiction text 3 times each week.  I can't say I disagree with her as I see every year our benchmark scores in "reference and research" fail by the wayside.  Our school takes a countywide benchmark test each December which gives the teachers and parents a snapshot of how each student is doing in each of the strands of reading and math.  And EVERY year, nonfiction reading is by far the lowest scoring of each strand.

When you think of it, kids in elementary school usually choose fiction novels as their independent reading text.  Who can blame them??

In order to combat this, I had an idea that popped into my head one evening (between updating my baby registry and making a focus calendar to the end of the year for my team to use in my absence).

I decided to try out blogging with my fourth graders.  My class website is on Blogger and I gave my kiddos a "Nonfiction Challenge".  I have to say, those who participated, did an amazing job!

I do take it as a Participation Grade for reading so I hope more students will jump on the wagon this week.  Nonetheless, if I don't MAKE it a grade, many of my students won't do it...

Only one alteration need to be done... Students must have a Gmail account and they must be 13 in order to get one.  Therefore, I had to inform the parents that they would either need to a) make their birthday 1999, b) allow their child to use a parent's Gmail, or c) they could do the assignment on paper and turn it in for credit.  I also need to tell the kids and parents to change their post names so their full name isn't showing...

All in all, the first week was exciting for both the students and me.  It was cute to read their responses :)

Check out their work.


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